Pick 3 and Pick 4 plays for Belmont Stakes Day
Coverage kicks off on NBC at 2:45 p.m. ET. Want to play along with all the action? The Belmont Stakes is the final leg of two competitive multi-race wagers — a Pick 4 that figures to rank among the most popular bets Saturday, and an all-stakes Pick 3 that can save the day, if you falter in the opening leg of the Pick 4.
Let’s put together tickets for both wagers on a $30 budget.
Race 7: Allowance (3:39 p.m. ET)
This 6-furlong dash for New York-bred fillies and mares has drawn a large field, with #8 My Sassy Sarah the filly to beat. She dominated a maiden race over this course and distance in September, when she pulled away to score by 4 1/4 lengths with a field-best 91 Brisnet Speed rating. She also wasn’t disgraced when she finished sixth by just three lengths against tough company in the 1 1/16-mile Miss Grillo (G2).
My Sassy Sarah can win for fun if she shows any improvement in her 2020 debut, but because she hasn’t run since November, let’s back her up with #4 Strongerthanuknow, a frontrunning maiden winner over this course and distance two weeks ago.
Race 8: Acorn (G1, 4:15 p.m. ET)
The $1.8 million auction purchase #1 Gamine is undefeated in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert. She dominated her debut at Santa Anita, then battled to victory over future Santa Anita Oaks (G1) runner-up Speech in an Oaklawn Park allowance.
#4 Casual is likewise 2-for-2 under the care of Steve Asmussen and enters off a comfortable allowance victory in a 7-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs.
Both Garmine and Casual have posted competitive Brisnet Speed ratings in the 96-98 range, which stamps these talented sophomores as the fillies to beat in the one-turn-mile Acorn.
But don’t overlook #2 Lucrezia, who ran well to finish second, behind Kentucky Oaks (G1) favorite Swiss Skydiver, in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).
Previously victorious in the Sandpiper S. and Suncoast S., Lucrezia is versatile and has enough tactical speed to be involved from the outset. She is not quite as flashy as her undefeated rivals, but Lucrezia is proven against graded stakes company, and that’s not an insignificant feather in her cap.
Race 9: Jaipur (G1, 4:53 p.m. ET)
The speedy #4 Pure Sensation won this 6-furlong sprint in 2016, but these days the 9-year-old son of Zensational seems better running shorter. Perhaps he’ll shake loose on a relatively easy lead and see out 6 furlongs just fine, but if not, the late-running mare #2 Oleksandra can steal the prize.
A daughter of Animal Kingdom, Oleksandra is 2-for-2 sprinting 6 furlongs at Belmont and enters off a narrow loss to Group 1 winner Jolie Olimpica in the 5 1/2-furlong Monrovia (G2) at Santa Anita, her first run of the season.
If Oleksandra steps forward in her second start out, she can spring a mild surprise.
Race 10: Belmont Stakes (G1, 5:42 p.m. ET)
We’ll end our tickets with a single. #8 Tiz the Law would probably be undefeated in five starts if not for a troubled trip in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) during the fall. The son of hot young sire Constitution is 4-for-5, with three graded stakes wins to his credit, including a runaway triumph in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont.
A resounding 4 1/4-length score in the March 28 Florida Derby (G1) proves Tiz the Law can handle 1 1/8 miles just fine, and with a perfect post draw, outside the main pace players, Tiz the Law can sit a clean, stalking trip in the Belmont and take command when called upon.
Race 7, $1 Pick 4: 4,8 with 1,2,4 with 2,4 with 8 ($12)
Race 8, $3 Pick 3: 1,2,4 with 2,4 with 8 ($18)