Every Friday and Saturday 1/ST BET handicapper Jeff Siegel offers his best wagering opportunity from a selected North American racetrack. These “Best Plays” can take the form of a win wager, exacta, trifecta, or a daily double, pick-3, pick-4 or pick-6. Selections are listed in chronological order.
Belmont Park Race 9 – Post time: 5:15 ET
9-Thundering Nights (6-1)
Arrives from Europe following a career top effort when an outstanding runner-up in the Alleged S.-G3 at The Curragh in April behind top class Broome, a performance that if repeated will be good enough to win today’s New York S.-G2 for older fillies and mares. Assigned an outstanding 118 Timeform in that outing that makes her a Breeders’ Cup level performer, the Irish-bred filly has good tactical speed, handles any going, and lands J. Velasquez for her stateside debut. Listed at 6-1 on the morning and offering wagering value at that price, the daughter of Night of Thunder warrants a play in the win pool, in exactas and trifectas (along with another likeable long shot Virginia Joy) and as a key in the various rolling exotics.
Belmont Park Race 10 – Post time: 5:48 ET
8-Baron Samedi (8/5)
Trainer J. O’Brien and jockey J. Velasquez, who team up with Thundering Heights in the previous race, will try to make it two straight when they combine talents with this outstanding staying gelding in the Belmont Gold Cup-G2 over two miles on grass. The English-bred 4-year-old seeks his seventh straight score while arriving with Timeform ratings that make him a standout over this level of competition. With a good stalking style that should keep him free of trouble and the ability to handle softer surfaces if needed, this classy gelding can justify his 8/5 morning line favorite’s role as a rolling exotic single.