Closing weekend of the Spring / Summer meet at Belmont Park is upon us, as the New York Racing Association gets set to move north to historic Saratoga Springs next week for the annual meeting at Saratoga Race Course.
Before the racing action shifts upstate, however, there are still two major grade one races that will take place on Saturday: the G1 Belmont Oaks and the G1 Belmont Derby.
Below you will find selections from each of these races along with a two-year-old stake from Prairie Meadows that features an under the radar type whose ability is yet unknown.
After twenty-five weeks, here is the results tally (records reflective of $2 WIN / $2 WPS):
WIN: 11-73 (15.1%, -$79.00)
WPS: 41-73 (56.2%, -$131.90)
4:06 ET – BELMONT R7 – G1 BELMONT OAKS – 1 1/4 MILES – TURF
Purely on speed figures, HAUGHTY (3) is too slow to win this year’s Belmont Oaks. An assessment of her ability must go deeper than that, however, given the care that she’s in and the visually spectacular performances she’s delivered in her brief four race career. Trained by Chad Brown, the three-year-old daughter of Empire Maker has been brilliant on the racetrack, crossing the wire first in three of her four lifetime starts (she was disqualified from victory in her career debut last September). A narrow defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar last year in just her third lifetime start truly suggested she had elite potential, but a delayed return to the races in 2022 left room for concern. Her return to the races in the Penn Oaks, however, resulted in the easiest of wins despite running over some of the more testing ground any horse will ever encounter, likely setting her up for a lifetime best on Saturday. She’ll have to deal with talented fillies from Europe including With The Moonlight and Concert Hall, but I’m hoping the promise Haughty has always shown will be realized in the Belmont Oaks.
THE PLAY: 3) HAUGHTY to win at odds of 4/1 or greater
5:12 ET – BELMONT R9 – G1 BELMONT DERBY – 1 1/4 MILES – TURF
After his connections went chasing Kentucky Derby dreams, TIZ THE BOMB (9) returns to his preferred surface in Saturday’s Belmont Derby and represents one of the likelier winners of the race that is based in the United States. Trained by Kenny McPeek, the son of Hit It a Bomb has done little wrong in five lifetime starts on either turf or synthetic, earning four wins and a second on the two surfaces combined. The form Tiz the Bomb showcased as a two-year-old last year had the connections initially thinking about a trip overseas to Europe as a three-year-old, but the allure of the Kentucky Derby proved too enticing. Following a ninth-place effort in Louisville, Tiz the Bomb now has an opportunity to remind everyone of what he’s truly capable of on his surface of choice.
THE PLAY: 9) TIZ THE BOMB to win at odds of 6/1 or greater
9:11 ET – PRAIRIE MEADOWS R6 – PRAIRIE GOLD JUVENILE – 5 1/2 FURLONGS – DIRT
Whenever a two-year-old debuts and obliterates a field, there’s reason for optimism – especially so when said two-year-old debuts for a barn that has first-time starters win at a paltry 5% over the past five years and proceeds to win by nearly seventeen-lengths. TYLER’S TRIBE (1) did just that on June 20, showing solid early speed while racing well off the rail before destroying a field of juveniles by the length of the stretch. Tyler’s Tribe’s trainer, Timothy Martin, has had six winners from 111 first-time starters over the past five years, illustrating just how rare this feat was. Stretching out from 4.5 to 5.5 furlongs while breaking from the rail against winners for the first time is no small task, but the allure of a horse that could become anything is intoxicating. Will Tyler’s Tribe turn into your average claiming horse, or will he blossom into a superstar? Only time will tell, but as far as Saturday’s event is concerned – he’s likely to offer a price that’s appealing enough to bet on.
THE PLAY: 1) TYLER’S TRIBE to win at odds of 3/1 or greater