Race of the Day, June 19
Belmont Park, 5th race, 1 Mile, Inner Turf, Maiden Claiming $40K, 3 and up, Purse $41K.
Today, it’s back to N.Y. for the first time since the Belmont Stakes. Great racing there everyday. Plus, it’s another installment in Maiden Claiming week! I love Maiden Claimers. Tons of risky favorites and lots of horses that need miracles to win. It can set up for great value in mid-odds.
Here’s what you need to know about the fifth from Belmont:
- Corinthian Summer (#8, 2-1) continues his drop through the maiden claiming ranks. Did make up some nice ground in the middle of last race, but should be overbet because of connections.
- Azorian (#1A, 10-1) stays in the race as, perhaps, the most important pace factor. Easy fractions could see an improvement to the Winner’s Circle, but demand at least 6-1.
- Dividend (#7, 3-1) adds blinkers in a curious move for a horse that made up almost 21 lengths in a previous start. Ian Wilkes struggles with this angle, but Dividend’s last workout — presumably with blinkers — has to be encouraging. I wouldn’t go much past 6-1 with him.
- Plated (#6, 5-1) cuts back from 2 1/8 miles in his last start. Not something you see everyday — perhaps underneath and late.
- Hooping (#4, 6-1) would need more today, but certainly has a shot. His experience in lower-leveling claiming at Gulfstream Park ($16K) will likely keep the price relatively fair.
The Key Questions:
- How heavy a favorite is Corinthian Summer? The lower the price, the better for value elsewhere. Public overbet!
- Does Azorian improve with an easier pace? It’s a tough angle to nail, but one that can pay well in the right circumstances with value odds.
- How does Dividend react to the blinkers? Wilkes struggles with this angle.
- Does Hooping do enough to win? Sometimes the winner doesn’t have angles, but just enough speed when others don’t fire.
What I’m thinking of playing:
I’ll likely take a stands against both Corinthian Summer and Dividend. Azorian should be be the play, but only at 6-1 or better. Good luck!
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