PICKS: Gene Makes Picks for Wednesday at Belmont

Belmont Park
Gene’s picks for Belmont Park on Wednesday are in!

Race 1: 1-4-5-3

Saratoga Mischief (1) is your key horse here. Was claimed last out off of the Pletcher barn/team. Nearly won that event, and backing up to 61/2 should do the trick against these. This horse has a lot of back class, having run second in the G2 Saratoga Special in 2015. Claiming operation does well with first off the pick-up.

Race 2: 3-8-2-4-1-9

Veil (3) drops into high-class claiming ranks for first time, and the 4-year-old catches a lot of younger fillies. This is second out off an extended layoff for a barn that excels with this type. Should pick up a win tomorrow. Farcical Feline (8) gets back to a mile and would be a nice claim. Jonquil (2) gets the dot here and could run better than the handicapping picks. Since adding Lasix, this filly has been right there and could be a good claim, too.

Race 3: 3-6-2-1-5

Bow Town Cat goes for a low percentage trainer, but comes off the mud today. Beaten favorite will go up in odds, but will still make the lead. Could be tough to catch here. Sadie Be Good (6) has hooked two dynamite fields in her last two. My Fair Lily (2) will end up the favorite here. Can’t dismiss in a good field.

Race 4: 1-7-2-5-6

Blenheim Palace (1) gets the dot here and should be very tough, if the one hole doesn’t compromise the stalking filly. Blinkers in last seemed to help add focus and should be able to break her maiden after 6 ITM finishes in first eight starts. Violet Blue (7) also gets a dot here, after a terrible trip in her opener. Picks up JJ today (big rider change) and with a little better break could win at a decent price. Empress of the Nile (2) nearly won as the favorite last out. JL Ortiz picks another horse here, though.

Race 5: 6-9-10-11-2/4

Fahan Mura, morning line favorite, gets the dot and should get your vote. Best on paper here. Steadied in last on the rail or could have won then. Drops in class. Bet of the day. Pop Rocks Lady (9) hasn’t been out since last October, but has won at the distance. Scarlet Goddess (10) gets a good number on lone grass race. If she runs to that number, she will be salty today.

Race 6: 1-6-5-2-8/3

A tough race to pick just one in, and will be highly competitive. I’ll go with the Pletcher-Castellano combo and Privy Council (1) off an extended layoff. Has lots of speed and hooked a really nice horse in last out – over a year ago. Training well and Pletcher can get them ready. Sweet Avery (6) gets my second pick at a price. Training very well and gets jockey John Velasquez to ride. Take notice. Your Love (5) is a firster for Chad Brown. Another who is training well and sold for a ton of money as a yearling.

Race 7: All button.

Are We Not Men (7) and Pax in Terra (5) likely to take all the action, but both could be vulnerable – especially if Jacobson comes ready to play. With this drop, could be handy with Paid Admission (4).

Race 8: 4-9-6-1-3/5

Vagabond (4) gets the dot here. Although off since last December, this horse has been training well for Shug. Could drift up from morning line 3-1. If no traffic issues, I think he can score today. Penjade (9) is one of two in for Chad Brown, but this one figures to be the star of the duo. If she returns to form before the Tropical Park Oaks, she will be tough. Brown’s other horse, War Queen (6), is a horse you have to use. Big closing move in-between horses last out. But I like Gaffalione better than Rosario. Tyler can ride.

I was able to sit just about last with her and follow a little cover for a little while down the backside. She’s one that likes to be on the outside. She’s a big filly [with a] huge stride, so there’s no sense in to keeping her bottled up inside. You just kind of get her out and get her momentum rolling, and it just seems like she’s improving every race. I think the more ground, the better for her, so I was happy she got the mile today, but I definitely think she’ll improve with distance.”

Trevor McCarthy, winning rider on Midnight Disguise in the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct

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