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Bernier's Best

Weekend Stakes Previews for May 28

by Matt Bernier
Updated On: May 27, 2022, 1:23 pm ET

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The graded stakes calendar in horse racing is on the quieter side following last weekend’s Preakness Stakes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t solid wagering opportunities across the country to consider.

Below you will find three plays from three different racetracks on Saturday – an allowance from Belmont Park, a stakes event from Monmouth Park, as well as a Florida-bred stakes race at Gulfstream Park.

After nineteen weeks, here is the results tally (records reflective of $2 WIN / $2 WPS):

WIN: 7-54 (13%, -$60.40)
WPS: 30-54 (55.6%, -$95.70)



BARLEEWON (3) often hasn’t been good enough to take top honors, but the five-year-old gelding picks up jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and makes his first start for a new conditioner, making him an interesting price-play in Belmont’s seventh on Saturday. The gelding’s new trainer, Jose Camejo, has had solid success with horses making their first start in his barn over the past five years (19-for-91, 41 ITM), and the fact that Ortiz, Jr. sees fit to take the mount makes Barleewon a runner to consider underneath, at the very least. (NOTE: NO PLAY IF TAKEN OFF TURF)


THE PLAY: 3 – BARLEEWON to win at odds of 5/1 or greater



MID DAY IMAGE (7) has never been beaten when traveling 8.5 furlongs on grass, and his ability to sit close to the pace while not being dependent on having the lead makes him an intriguing play in this spot. After trying better at a marathon distance in last month’s Pan Am at Gulfstream Park, the six-year-old son of Midshipman turns back to a distance he’s much more comfortable with on Saturday. The Luis Carvajal, Jr. trainee has also enjoyed a fair bit of success over Monmouth Park’s turf course, going 3-for-5 lifetime. Expect jockey Jeremy Laprida to have Mid Day Image positioned close to the pace throughout, looking to take his shot as the field rounds the far turn. (NOTE: NO PLAY IF TAKEN OFF TURF)


THE PLAY: 7 – MID DAY IMAGE to win at odds of 4/1 or greater



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WILLY BOI (8) was exceptional defeating weaker at Tampa Bay Downs in early April, and despite the hike in class there’s every reason to believe he’ll replicate that performance at Gulfstream Saturday. Trained by Jorge Delgado, the four-year-old gelding will be making his second start of the year, and this barn has shown a penchant for getting horses good and keeping them good (9-for-31, 19 ITM with last-out winners over the past six months). The pace in the Big Drama is likely to be swifter than the one he set at Tampa last month, but he’s shown the ability to press the pace and be equally as effective. Jockey Chantal Sutherland will likely play the break and decide what to do with her mount; either send to the lead or sit just off another runner’s flank before heating up as the field enters the far turn.


THE PLAY: 8 – WILLY BOI to win at odds of 4/1 or greater




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Matt Bernier

Matt Bernier is a betting analyst for NBC Sports and host of "The Matt Bernier Show" podcast. His work has been showcased in the Daily Racing Form, on ESPN, as well as on TVG. Matt can be followed on Twitter @bernier_matt.