Exacta Box of the day for Belmont Park
Race seven on Belmont Stakes Saturday at Belmont Park is the one-mile, Grade 1 $700,000 Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The race attracted a field of nine fillies in what looks like one of the best betting opportunities on the 13-race card.
What makes the 2019 Acorn such an attractive betting race figures to be a red-hot pace scenario that could set he race up to be won from off the pace by a live longshot. If you can come up with the correct off-the-pace challenger, and combo her in the exactas with the best of the speeds who is still left standing in deep stretch, you should be rewarded with a solid exacta payout worth shooting for.
Race 7 Exacta Picks
QUEEN OF BEAS (#8) (12-1) is a challenger with a stalking running style who seems to have landed in a good spot in the Acorn to capture her first Graded stakes victory. She exits a third-place finish in the Eight Belles stakes at Churchill, where she chased the pace at 7F on a sloppy track and settled for third. That was her first race back from a three-month layoff, and she that outing should have her legged-up for an even better effort today. With this year’s Acorn field overloaded with blazing speed front-runners such as Ce Ce, Guarana, Fancy Dress Party, Cookie Dough, and Serengeti Empress, the race sets up for an off-the-pace horse, and the best off-the-pace option in this field is Queen of Beas. Plus it doesn’t hurt that she is likely to add value to the exotcs at 12-1 morning line odds.
SERENGETI EMPRESS (#1) (5-2) is the Kentucky Oaks winner and horse to beat in the Acorn based on that as well as two other Graded stakes wins in her career at ages 2 and 3. There is no doubt the quality is there and she outclasses this field. The question is can she withstand what figures to be a blazing pace in this race and win on the cut-back to a one-turn mile. The pace and the distance make her vulnerable here as the favorite, but she is so good that she must be used in all of your exotics plays.
CE CE (#9) (9-2) invades from California after winning at first asking in a 6F career debut at Santa Anita and then ran very fast in defeat last time out in just her second career race, finishing nine lengths clear of the third-place horse and earning a strong speed figure that stacks up well against many of today’s rivals. Trainer Michael McCarthy sees enough to ship her across country for this off a fast bullet 5F workout at Santa Anita last week, and it’s sure not a bad sign to see regular rider Victor Espinoza making the trip to Belmont.
FRENCH DRESS PARTY (#5) (10-1) is the wild card in this race because she has yet to stretch out beyond 7F in her four career outings to date, and the Acorn’s one-mile distance with other pace in the race could pose problems for her. That being said, this horse has plenty of upside with a perfect 4-for-4 record that includes a win in the G3 Beaumont at Keeneland last time out. She has passed every test so far, so it’s impossible to discount her chances in this spot, at least in the exactas.
Contention runs deep in the 2019 Acorn, and while the favorite Serengeti Empress looks tough to beat, there are no guarantees here at the one-mile distance against other speed. It would be no surprise to see French Dress Party, Ce Ce, or Queen of Beas post the upset.
$2 Exacta Box 1 – 5 – 8 – 9 = $24