Just an $11 winner & an ice cold $76 triple yesterday, but there's plenty of action today, so pick yer spots wisely ( and also be wise about imbibing alcoholic beverages & getting behind the wheel ! ) 


I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same!

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 2 - War Canoe

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Belmont - 6/9 - Belmont Stakes Day


 Race 1

1.Hardly Mate

2.Bonita Springs

3.War Canoe

Hope y'all have a great time from wherever you take in today's festivities !!  As for today's opener, it's allllllllll Formulator here, so let's get right to it in a no frills manner: #2 HARDLY MATE -- Maker is a perfect 4 for 4 with locally based optional turf stayers who crashed the fiesta 2-4 dozen days ago & are > 5-1 & < 15-1 today ( $14, $17, $18 & $24 ). #7 BONITA SPRINGS -- Rice is 5:4-1-0 with first off the claim/second off the layoff turf stayers right here at 16-1 or less ( $21, $12, $16 & $13 ). #3 OUT OF TROUBLE -- Cox ( Dig it ! ) is 6:5-1-0 with runners of this ilk off hibernations of 140-280 days beneath the 8-1 watermark ( $4.86 ROI ).  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #6 WAR CANOE fills the bill as Contesa is oh-fer-15 with Belmont turfers that were 1-2-3 < 24 days back at 4-1 or lower.


      Race 2


2.Lunar Beauty

3.Prince Lucky

Second race today is named after the Hall of Famer, Easy Goer. We've enclosed some video of his great Belmont win here ( Marshall Cassidy's "...and it's New York's, Eeeeeeeeasy Goer !!" version ) #2 MASK -- despite being bred for the slop -- may not have appreciated the Churchill goo on Derby Day, as that's not always to everyone's liking. Chance to make amends her for a colt that can send or rate. #1 LUNAR BEAUTY is a bit light from a numbers aspect, but the last race yielded two next out winners from four different races ( five starters ), and Malibu Moon runner gets a weight break from some others signed on. #5 PRINCE LUCKY hasn't done much since being transferred out of the Larry Jones barn, but is 4 for 4 going one turn, and we'll toss beneath at double digit odds for high profile connections.


Race 3

1.Highway Star

2.Pacific Wind

3.Abel Tasman

#3 HIGHWAY STAR ( cross entered yesterday, so check the changes ) loves this joint ( 8:5-2-1 ), switches to a rider who won the only time he got legged up on this gal, and is 7 for 12 when toting 121 or less ( 1-6 at 122 or more ). Bombs away in a great rendition of the Ogden Phipps. #4 PACIFIC WIND recently won in her first start over this strip, missed by only a honker in her lone "3rd off the L/O attempt", and Brown is 6:4-1-0 with graded dirt dashers at Elmont off breaks of 23-45 days ( < 7-1 ) w/a $3.14 return on investment. #6 ABEL TASMAN has lost three in a row, but is 2-3 going 1X & still deserves respect, no?  NOTE: AS OF 10:47, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #1 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


      Race 4


2.Caledonia Road

3.Monomoy Girl

Discounting the 1/28 event where she got butchered at the onset, #6 STARCLOUD is a poyfect 4 for 4. Granted the #'s are a bit lowish, but aside from the mishap, they're definitely heading in the correct direction ( 64-70-77-86 ), so who really knows where this one's ceiling is, right? Place horse from that day came back to get the job done next time out, and all returnees from said heat improved their figs by an average of 8.8 points in their subsequent starts. e have a live, lightweight, longshot here. #5 CALEDONIA ROAD is another with but one loss on the resume', and how often do you get a Breeders' Cup winner who followed that up w/ another tally, at 3-1 odds? #3 MONOMOY GIRL is but a neck shy of an unblemished 7 for 7 mark, and just keeps getting better, and better, and... MUST include.


      Race 5

1.Take Your Guns


3.Hard Study

Brooklyn ( Cowboy ) Handicap coming up here... #4 TAKE YOUR GUNS has won both outings since returning off an elongated absence, and also got the job done in the lone two turn attempt back in '17. Barn is 9 for 14 with dirt stayers at this level who won 4-8 weeks back ( ROI above four clams ) & is 3-3 with a sub category of 3rd off the break types. #2 HOPPERTUNITY has danced a boatload of dances, and this 7 year old "horse" ( you hang on to them cashews, buddy ! ) is still getting the job done; won the Jockey Club right here in 2016. #3 HARD STUDY is 3 for 4 right here, and what the hell's wrong with that?


Race 6

1.Pure Sensation

2.Disco Partner

3.Pocket Change

Jaipur Stakes up right now, and what better way to honor this Belmont & Travers winner --- then by naming a turf sprint after him !! #2 PURE SENSATION & #5 DISCO PARTNER both comprise the uncoupled Generazio/Clement entry, and also happened to be backed by excellent trainer stats with 2nd off the L/O graded turf dashers that were ITM last out. We'll side with the former, given the higher odds, 2 for 5 mark in second off the break scenarios ( 1-4 for 'Partner ), and more favorable draw given the tactical speed. There's an old adage in horse racing to never discount an undefeated animal at more than 3-1 odds, and that's exactly what we have here with the #3 POCKET CHANGE, who is a mite fragile, but has won on both the green and the brown. Love runners shedding weight off a score.  OFF TURF: 7-1-2-3-4


Race 7 

1.Strike Power


3.Madison's Luna

You can't have a Belmont Stakes day without honoring the great Woody Stephens, who won an amazing FIVE ( likely never to be broken ) consecutive renditions of the classic. As for this deal, we'll give a tepid nod to the #12 STRIKE POWER. Colt was duking it out on the front end in the Florida Derby, before understandably spitting the bit halfway through. Hennig gave this one ample time to recover from that fiasco, and Speightstown runner already owns a win at this tricky distance. Y'all know that we love the draw, but demand every bit of that 9-2 here. #8 KANTHAKA is an even better 3 for 3 going seven panels, and has fired off a wicked breeze since the last. Must use. #1 MADISON'S LUNA has eye cups added after the recent debacle & they were likely affixed for the crisp move on 5/24.  NOTE: AS OF 10:48, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


 Race 8

1.Proctor's Ledge

2.Off Limits ( Ire )

3.A Raving Beauty ( Ger )

#5 PROCTOR'S LEDGE just posted the best "soft" turf number of her career, and if you were to prorate that to her finest "firm" performance, then she's an obvious major playah vs. these. Meeeekest of selections in an extremely tough race to decipher. #3 OFF LIMITS (IRE) is a nifty 3-5 at Elmont & also owns a 5 for 9 record at the distance. #7 A RAVING BEAUTY (GER) won fairly easily in her Belmont ( and Ameeican ) debut, but 5-2 seems a bit low. Using in the rollers, but don't see good value for putting upstairs.  OFF TURF: 5-1-4-6-2


 Race 9

1.Limousine Liberal

2.Ransom the Moon

3.Bee Jersey

#3 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL ( Double dig it ! ) has been a part of the tri in nine straight, has the perfect type of "declining" record that we love to see ( 21:8-6-3 ), is 3:1-1-0 when toting 117 or less, has that same mark in 3rd off the L/O tries, and has doing quite well in the A.M.'s of late. Factoring in a double digit offering in an extremely tight race, and we're on for the ride. #8 RANSOM THE MOON has been an entirely different runner since being transferred to the D'Amato barn ( shockerrrrrr ) and should be following the move made by the above on the turn. #10 BEE JERSEY has gone coast to coast in 4 of 5 and draws sweetly.


     Race 10

1.Alexios Komnenos ( Ire )

2.One Go All Go

3.Hi Happy ( Arg )

Well, we had the Brooklyn Handicap earlier, and now we're up to The Manhattan Handicap. If we work our boroughs northward, is "The The Bronx Handicap" that far off ? ( Yes, "The" was typed twice on purpose ! )  We'll go with the Greek named Irish bred who last raced in England for his American debut today. Four year old #4 ALEXIOS KOMNENOS (IRE) named after an emperor who lived nearly a thousand years ago . Showed very little in the comebacker, but note that he scored decently as a three year old last year in a second off the shelf foray. Like many imports, this one takes a tremendous drop in the weight department ( jealous ) and is administered the miracle drug today for the 1st time. Like we mentioned yesterday, Geroux has plenty of experience in these turf marathons. #2 ONE GO ALL GO will be on the go go from the get go, and Scooter ( from a limited sampling ) is 2-6 with graded turf routers who hit the board 19-37 days back & are 24-1 or lower today ( $33 & $21 ). Extremely dangerous if able to shake free early on. #3 HI HAPPY (ARG) ha stepped up his game since making turns in the Pletcher barn, & is difficult to exclude.  OFF TURF: 3-10-6-7-12


     Race 11

1.Vino Rosso



Biggest race of the year on tap, and we're glad to see ten runners signed on.  #8 VINO ROSSO may not appear to have shown a whole heck of a lot down in Louisville, but the running line is a bit better than it looks at first glance. After being marooned from the 18 hole, this one was never better than ninth at any point, but did in fact gain ground twice during the race: Three lengths from the quarter to the half, and 4 1/2 lengths from the top of the stretch to the line. Granted, a few horses may have been "coming back" to him, but we like how this one didn't fold up the tent completely. Fella has gone down & up the Beyer ladder since starting things out, and what we've done is readjusted all his speed figures and put them in two separate categories: The "downs", and the "ups". The races where this one regressed yielded #'s of 73.9--80.9--96.8 ; The races where he reversed course came back 84 ( debut )--86.5--101.1 . Not only do we like that 'Rosso can possibly post something even better than a 101 here, but we also like that the fact that the "regressions" all improved off their prior slipups. As the late, great Billy Mays said -- "But wait, there's more !"  24% T.P. really cleans up with 3YO male, graded dirt routers who were OFF the board 23-47 days ago ( 4-1 to 12-1 ) as he's 6 fer 12 in that regards ( $10, $11, $13, $10, $14 & $15 ). Who was one of those winners? Why none other than last year's Belmont winner, Tapwrit ! You may have noticed that we emphasized "OFF" the board in that last stat. Why?  Well, those who follow us here know that we pay special attention to "In the Money/Out of the Money" when utilizing the DRF Formulator, because certain trainers regress after a horse gives a solid performance, and the great ones can figure out how to reverse course with their finest stock. Pletcher is no exception, as if you were to substitute "IN" the money last out for that study, than what you have is a rotten 2-33 ( 6% ) stat !! Now, if only we can get Noble Indy to press the big horse a bit here to set things up for V.R. ...  Hard to leave out #1 JUSTIFY today, so we'll once again slide him into the second slot. I can see myself 30 years from now..."Son, I was such a good handicapper in my day, that I picked a Triple Crown winner in every race --- to finish second !" Anyhoo, I'm sure Bob Baffert's Baked Beans' hair turned a touch whiter after drawing the wood, but his backers are assuaged by the fact that he owns a whopping 10 for 14 mark with the same categories listed above, changing the odds to 2-1 or < & days off to one to two fortnights ago ( $2.30 ROI ). #3 BRAVAZO showed a nice lil' "Z" pattern in Pimlico, when losing two lengths from the half to the top of the lane before regaining 4 1/2 from that point to the finish, while coming along nicely to help comprise our $300 triple box right here. Hard to knock off that effort. #4 HOFBURG is the wise guy horse today, but is another who gained ground late in the K.D. & should be left in all your exotics.  NOTE: AS OF 12:34, DUE TO A RIDICULOUSLY LATE EQUIPMENT CHANGE, THE #5 WILL BE OUR 4TH SELECTION.


     Race 12

1.Compass Zone

2.Slim Shadey ( GB )

3.Royal Albert Hall ( GB )

#6 COMPASS ZONE has steadily improved over his last troika, and we like the versatility shown when coming from off the pace last month. Seems like a 1-2-3 playa. How can you not love #3 SLIM SHADEY (GB) still knocking heads at the age of 10 after 73 starts. Gallant gelding has partaken in the exacta in his last septet, but as the overall boxscore both at this trip & over this strip leave a little to be desired, we'll include in the "unders'. #2 ROYAL ALBERT HALL (GB) has crashed the super in all 5 "legit" starts off a hiatus & makes his first outing for Jacobsen this afternoon---errrr......evening.  OFF TURF: 6-5-3-8-7

     Race 13

1.Proven Reserves


3.Chris and Dave

Just wanna thank y'all for checking us out today, and remember, wherever you're partaking today's festivities from, be SURE not to drink and drive. Remember, if you can afford to bet our losers, you can afford a taxi !   On to the finale... #1 PROVEN RESERVES sits the pocket and tips pout for another convincing score. #8 HYNDFORD is 2 for 2 going one turn ( 79-89 ) and is a legit threat should the top choice run into trouble. #9 CHRIS AND DAVE closes out the long day of action.  NOTE: AS OF 5:22, DUE TO EITHER A LATE SCRATCH OR A SCRATCH NOT SEEN, THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Belmont          ( Current )  50-254   ( $450.20 )    Beatable Favorites   4-16  ( 25.0% )   Favorites Win %:  94-254  ( 37.0% )( As of Saturday morning )


Aqueduct Spring ( Final ): 15-138   ( $167.50 )     Beatable Favorites: 6-15  ( 40.0% )    Favorites Win % :61-138   ( 44.2% )

Aqueduct Winter ( Final ): 67-317   ( $493.40 )     Beatable Favorites: 4-17  ( 23.5% )    Favorites Win %: 121-328 ( 36.9% )

Graded Stakes     ( Final ):  6-38     ( $43.20 )      Beatable Favorites: 2-3   ( 66.7% )     Favorites Win %: 17-38    ( 44.7% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2014-2018 Final ): 52-330   ( $463.20 ) Beatable Favorites: 16-49 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 108-330  ( 32.7% )  +/-: -30.3% against a 17.1% takeout   

Poly Tracks 2014-6 (All Final): 85-568      ( $819.20 )    Beatable Favorites : 15-68   ( 22.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 163-587    ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2014-8 (All Final):1814-8495 ($14,616.00)   Beatable Favorites : 267-947( 28.2% ) Favorite's Win %: 3126-8589( 36.4% ) +/-: -13.9%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats   (All Final): 1899-9063  ($15,435.20) Beatable Favorites : 282-1015( 27.8% )Favorite's Win %: 3289-9176( 35.8% )+/-: -14.6% against a 16.6% takeout