Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) – Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography

Belmont Stakes Day Pick 4

There will be no shortage of wagering options on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, but one of the most appealing bets is the Pick 4 that kicks off in Race 8.

The all-stakes sequence has a guaranteed pool of $1.5 million, so with the right combination of longshot winners, the potential exists for a huge wagering score.

Let’s take a look at each race and put together a few of tickets on a ~$60 budget.

Race 8: Woody Stephens Stakes (G1)

This seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds tends to be unpredictable. The early pace is often destructive, giving an advantage to late-running longshots. There’s plenty of speed among this year’s 11 entrants, so the stage could be set for a horse like 20-1 #7 Strike Silver to spring a surprise. Trained by Mark Casse, Strike Silver is switching back to dirt for the first time since July of 2018, when he finished second by a neck in the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga. After being compromised by a slow pace in the Paradise Creek Stakes on turf two weeks ago, a fast-paced dirt race could be exactly what Strike Silver is looking for.

But playing Strike Silver is admittedly a shot in the dark. Late runners like #3 Borracho, #6 Nitrous and #8 Hog Creek Hustle could also capitalize on a fast pace, or perhaps we’ll see the speedy #2 Much Better take back while racing without blinkers. There are plenty of options here, so let’s hit the “ALL” button to kick things off and hope we catch a longshot.

Race 9: Metropolitan Handicap (G1)

Since I’m spreading deep in the Woody Stephens, I’ll take a stand in the Met Mile with #7 Firenze Fire, a track and distance specialist with a perfect 3-for-3 record at Belmont. As I outlined in my preview of the Met Mile, Firenze Fire seems like a different horse whenever he shows up at Belmont and should get a perfect pace setup on Saturday. I’m expecting a big performance.

Race 10: Manhattan Stakes (G1)

#8 Bricks and Mortar has turned into a beast of a turf horse, and the way things are going, he might even have a shot at earning Horse of the Year honors for 2019. Rather than rehash his virtues (which I’ve done on more than a few occasions this year), I’ll point you toward my separate preview of the Manhattan Stakes.

I would single Bricks and Mortar if not for the presence of his stablemate #3 Robert Bruce, who should finally encounter a firm turf course after three straight defeats over softer going. A repeat of his late-running victory in the 2018 Arlington Million (G1) would put him in the mix for a possible upset.

Race 11: Belmont Stakes (G1)

I’ve already made my case for #8 Intrepid Heart as a longshot pedigree play, but I recognize he’ll need to step up his game in order to win on Saturday. So rather than place all my eggs in one basket, I’ll also include the favorites #9 War of Will and #10 Tacitus on two tickets and the front-running longshot #1 Joevia on another.

$1 Pick 4: ALL with 7 with 8 with 8,9,10 ($33)
$0.50 Pick 4: ALL with 7 with 3 with 8,9,10 ($16.5)
$0.50 Pick 4: ALL with 7 with 3,8 with 1 ($11)

Total: $60.5

Good luck!