Belmont Park is open for racing on Wednesday, as one of the most popular tracks in the US begins its spring/summer meet. Belmont Park is of course home to the Belmont Stakes, which is going to be the first leg in the race for the Triple Crown. It’s a bit unusual given that the Kentucky Derby is always the first leg on the first Saturday in May. However, nothing has been usual about 2020, so that’s par for the course this year.
The field is not set for the Belmont Stakes just yet. Much speculation has been brewing regarding the status of Charlatan. Bob Baffert seems to be flip-flopping on whether he’s going to register Charlatan in the Belmont Stakes or Woody Stephens. If Nadal was racing in the Belmont Stakes then it would have been a no-brainer.
Baffert likely wouldn’t have put Nadal against Charlatan, so it would have been an easy decision. For the opening day at Belmont Park, we’re going to take a look at the Pick 4 and Pick 5 card for the first five races of the day. Post time is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Head below for our free Pick 4 and Pick 5 selections for Belmont Park on June 3, 2020.
Post Time: 1:15 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 ½ Furlongs
Race 1 at 1:15 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon gets the day started at Belmont Park. This is an 11-horse field racing for a $28,000 purse. You are going to find some pretty fine horses racing at Belmont Park at this meet in the spring and summer. The way I see it from the morning lines, there appears to be some value to be had. Vero Sum, Star of the West, and Dodged a Bullet are the top-3 on my shortlist. Vero Sun is the betting favorite at +250. He has been in the top-3 in three straight races and in 6 out of 7 races. In 3 of 9 career races, Vero Sun has placed and been close to winning. He will be a factor in this race.
Dodged a Bullet is flying after finishing 8th on March 9, 2019 as a first-time starter. He has been in the top-3 in his previous three outings, placing in back-to-back performances on May 19, 2019 and February 1. Dodged a Bullet showed in his most recent outing on March 13, but keep in mind that was only against four other horses. When you look at it like that, it’s not very impressive. Nevertheless, Dodged a Bullet was in decent form and should compete. This is not a hard race, and similar form should put Dodged a Bullet near the front in this event.
Star of the West might have a chance of sneaking up near the front in this event. He was 4th as a first-time starter on July 14, 2019 and hasn’t raced since. There wasn’t any kick for Star of the West in that race, but he did beat six other horses and has been in good form in recent workouts. This should be a good race with some value to be had. Vero Sun is dropping down a class after running 2nd, 3rd, 2nd in his previous three outings. That form will be more than enough to win here.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Race 2 is a highly competitive race pitting four very good horses against one another. Even a fifth, Mandate, is going to have a shot at the win here. Mandate has a win in five races and outside of the top-3 in his five other efforts. This isn’t a huge drop in class, though, so unless Mandate found improved form in recent workouts, he’s likely going to find this race difficult to win.
Showing is certainly within reach for Mandate. Smile Bryan has a win in 13 races in his career. He won on February 23, 2019 and has gone winless in eight straight races since then. However, he did place in three of those performances and in 5 of 8 races. He will be a threat to win this one. Bebe Banker has gone winless in 13 straight races, with the win on March 24, 2019.
He has finished 3rd, 5th, 4th, 6th, 2nd in his previous five outings. Inconsistent horse that could do just about anything here. His most recent outing at Aqueduct on March 15 was promising, though, as Bebe Banker placed 2nd behind Our Last Buck. Our Last Buck took over the lead at the ½ pole and cruised past Bebe Banker. Bray has raced in two events and finished 1st as a first-time starter on November 10, 2019 and 2nd on November 30, 2019.
He won by ¾ lengths with terrific drive after he was 8th at the ¾ pole. In his next outing, Bray was 6 ½ lengths behind Bourbon in May. Fevola has raced in two events in two outings, 5th as a first-time horse and 1st in his most recent on February 28. That was a blowout, with Fevola winning by 8 lengths. After taking over at the ¼ pole, Fevola cruised from there and pulled away for a clear win. That form will do the trick today. I’m split on Bray and Fevola, with the slight edge to Fevola.
Post Time: 2:23 p.m. EST
Race 3 has some names that you should be familiar with. If you’re tired of hearing the name Fauci, well don’t watch this race. Fauci along with Garoppolo will be racing against one another for a $64,000 purse at Belmont Park. Both have a chance in this one, as does Prisoner from the No. 2 post position. Garoppolo and Prisoner both get favorable starting positions in the gate. This is a first-time race for Garoppolo, Prisoner, and Fauci. Garoppolo was purchased for $125,000 at auction in March. He’s expected to run well. His previous three workouts have resulted in times of 49.20 seconds at 4 furlongs and 1:01.20 and 1:00.85 at 5 furlongs.
Fauci will push hard in this one and might be in the best form going into Race 3. He was purchased for $175,000 in March and is expected to perform. In workouts it’s looked like that Fauci is the best horse in this race. In three recent workouts in May, Fauci completed 4 furlongs with times of 49.40, 47.20, and 48.40 seconds. Likely going to be involved and a good chance of being up front at the wire.
Post Time: 2:55 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
This will take us to the second-last selection of our Pick 4 and Pick 5 ticket at Belmont Park. This will require a bold bid at 6 ½ furlongs to get the top prize out of a $27,000 purse. Business Cycle, Javelin, and Moneymeister should be involved in this race. Javelin has been running strong recently, finishing 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, in three straight performances.
He has 5 wins in 30 races in his career, with the most recent coming back on April 11. That was back-to-back wins for Javelin, as he won the race prior to that as well. However, he’s been winless in 13 straight outings. Javelin placed in four of those races.
Moneymeister has been running well on paper, with three straight finishes of 3rd, 2nd, 1st. This is going to be a more difficult ask for Moneymeister, though. In his latest outing, Moneymeister won by a head over Saratoga Giro in a mini upset. He has won 7 of 29 races in his career and has totalled $111,095 in earnings. Likely another horse that is going to have a shot at the win here.
Business Cycle does have some decent value on the morning-line, though. He has been consistent as heck to place in three straight performances and in 5 of his previous 6 races. That included a win on October 16, 2019 at Belmont Park. Overall, Business Cycle has won 3 of 15 races. Despite solid performances in his previous three outings to finish 2nd, this assignment should actually be easier. Those weren’t easy races that he placed in, so if his form checks out on Wednesday, a win is within reach.
Post Time: 3:27 p.m. EST
The final race will be for a $53,000 purse at 6 furlongs. 16 horses are registered to participate in Race 5. Jewel of Arabia, Strongerthanuknow, and Saratoga Love are on my shortlist. Saratoga Love is getting fairly decent odds on the morning-line at +500. She has raced in two events and could be ready to pop today.
Saratoga Love hung around in both races, finishing 2nd on October 11, 2019 and 4th on November 29, 2019. She was ¾ lengths behind Stretchthestory for the lead. Close race and Staratoga Love had the lead going into the top of the stretch. She just couldn’t hold on and was caught.
Strongerthanuknow has made three career races, finishing 5th in her debut and then 2nd in back-to-back performances on August 4, 2019 and September 13, 2019. She was 4 ¼ lengths behind My Sassy Sarah in that race. That wasn’t good enough for a win, but Saratoga Love is coming off a layoff and could be stronger today.
Jewel of Arabia should be in the best form going into Race 5. She has raced in just two races, but already has experience in a stakes race. Right out of the gate in her first race, Jewel of Arabia showed in 3rd behind Fierce Lady and My Italian Rabbi in the Stillwater Stakes. Following that solid performance, Jewel of Arabia did one better to place on August 21, 2019 by 1 ¾ lengths behind Naked Avenger. She should have won that, but should return from her layoff with a win on Wednesday afternoon at Belmont Park.