Unconventional as it may be, Saturday is Belmont Stakes Day, which means a full palate of stakes action! Below is my Pick 5 ticket for races 6 through 10. This economical ticket comes in at just $18. Good luck to all!
Highland Glory (#3, 2-1) has recency, which is something that most of her rivals are lacking in this spot. This improving filly suffered a rough trip last time and appears to be the most reliable option in a short, but contentious field.
Sweet Melania (#2, 7-5) has a class and pace advantage on her rivals and will be awfully scary if she is able to reproduce her strong 2019 form while making her first start as a three-year-old for Todd Pletcher.
Speaktomeofsummer (#1, 8-1) offers great value as there is no telling what this filly's ceiling is. Her two turf races resulted in easy wins, and while she is a little light on numbers, the addition of Lasix and blinkers could put her over the top.
Light in the Sky (#10, 8-1) is by a Dam who was 2 for 2 sprinting on the turf and that is her best game as well. Her maiden score at Saratoga over My Sassy Sarah was very impressive and I expect her to get back to that form with the trainer change to DePaz, who thrives when adding blinkers. Jose Ortiz, who won on her, climbs back aboard.
Noble Jewel (#6, 8-1) won on debut under similar circumstances (fresh, turf sprint, Belmont Park) and has been out of her element ever since. She suffered a brutal trip last out and should appreciate the turnback. Note she is a four-year-old facing mostly three-year-olds, an underrated advantage this time of year.
Lucrezia (#2, 9-2) is fresh off a solid second to Swiss Skydiver, who would be a big favorite in here. She should sit a perfect trip just behind the leaders and the mile distance should hit her right between the eyes.
Casual (#4, 3-1) is extremely similar to Gamine as she won her first two starts impressively and now steps into stakes company for the initial time. Unlike Gamine however; she has shown versatility and can hound that rival on the front end from her cozy draw if she chooses.
Gamine (#1, 1-1) dug in to beat a stubborn Speech (2nd in the Santa Anita Oaks next out) and will be tough on the lead if that big effort did not take too much out of her. She has always been highly regarded and could develop into a star, but she is not a good gamble at even money while stepping up to stakes company for the first time.
Oleksandra (#2, 7-2) is going to roll by her foes like they are standing still in the stretch en route to a breakout performance. Fillies and mares have traditionally handled the boys without much problem in high class turf sprints (Belvoir Bay, Mizdirection, etc..) and this mare will continue that trend. She is at her best when she is allowed to go 6F with a contested pace in front of her and Belmont's long stretch is exactly what she needs. She already won twice over this exact layout when she was not as good as she is now. Throw in the fact that Rosario fits her like a glove (4 wins in 6 tries) and you are left with an obvious single.
Tiz the Law (#8, 6-5) is well rested, tactical and proven over Belmont. There are very few, if any, holes in his game and he is absolutely deserving of favoritism. The Florida Derby winner should get an honest pace to run at and could beat this soft field rather easily.
Dr Post (#9, 5-1) is the only runner that has the upside to jump up and beat Tiz the Law. He has paired up consecutive 8's on the Sheets and looks to be sitting on a huge race. He isn't the fastest mover, but he just keeps coming relentlessly, which is the perfect style for Belmont's long stretch.
$0.50 Pick 5 Ticket: 1,2,3 – 6, 10 – 1,2,4 – 2 – 8,9 = $18