We are a day closer to the Kentucky Derby on May 1 at Churchill Downs. I will be covering the Triple Crown, and whether or not we will see a Triple Crown winner or not soon at the blog. There are prop bets out there that you can bet on if there will be a horse that wins the Triple Crown. It’s not easy to pull off a Triple Crown win, but the odds for the yes option might be enough to warrant a bet for fun. We’ll see after we breakdown the race a bit more, and see what direction we’re going to go with that wager. Along with a Triple Crown bet, TheSportsGeek will have a futures prediction for the winner of the Kentucky Derby this week. You don’t have to wait until the day of the Run for the Roses to get your bet in.
BetOnline has eight racecourses available for wagering, which includes the start of the spring and summer cards at Pimlico and Belmont Park. The big boys are going to take up most of the schedule from now on, as Triple Crown season signals the beginning of racing for several of the noteworthy tracks. We will open the season at Belmont Park in New York with three picks. There are a total of eight on the card worth $580,000 in prize money. Head below for our free Belmont Park picks for April 22, 2021.
Post Time: 1:31 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
We will get going in New York with Race 2 at Belmont Park. This is on the turf covering 1 1/16 miles for a $92,000 purse. Red Storm Risen and Principled Stand must be taken seriously on the grass. Red Storm Risen is a one-time winner in nine attempts, finishing 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 9th, 2nd in his previous six performances.
He was a winner on October 3 for a $123,200 purse over In All Alone by 1 ¼ lengths at Woodbine. That was impressive, but Red Storm Risen struggled in his next assignment for a $101,200 purse. Despite the poor performance, Red Storm Risen came back with a better look on March 21 to place 2nd behind Kentucky Ghost by 2 ¾ lengths. However, that was only for a $26,250 purse.
Principled Stand beat Grow Tiger by 7 ¼ lengths in a blowout as a rookie on January 8 at Tampa Bay Downs for a $22,500 purse. That was much too easy for Principled Stand. The young colt was purchased for $288,701, and in a $22,500 event, the hope was that Principled Stand was going to torch that field. It was even better than expected. Expect Principled Stand to have another win on the turf today.
Post Time: 2:34 p.m. EST
Race 4 is a $72,000 event on the main track for a $72,000 purse. Seven horses are expected to participate, with Fed Funds and Always Sunshine likely involved in the stretch run. Fed Funds needs a bounce back performance after struggling a bit recently, but certainly has the talent required to win.
He is 4 for 10 in his career, with back-to-back wins on November 12 and December 15 before going 5th in back-to-back efforts in his last two performances. Fed Funds beat Road to Meath by 2 ¼ lengths in a $43,000 event, and then followed up for a $82,000 win by a half length. However, Fed Funds struggled in January and February, finishing 5th for a $84,000 and $57,645 prize.
Always Sunshine is 11 for 32 in his career, with plenty of graded experience on his resume. He’s ran in eight stakes races, and has finished top-3 in five straight outings, including three wins. Always Sunshine most recently won on January 24 over Stroll Smokin by 1 ¼ lengths in a $51,371 event. In his last outing, Always Sunshine showed 3rd in a $49,491 race on February 15.
He took a break after that performance, and will be back on the track Thursday afternoon. Always Sunshine has looked amazing in morning workouts in prep work for this assignment. He has been timed at 47.80 seconds twice and 47.60 seconds at 4 furlong since March. Always Sunshine also completed 5 furlongs in 1:00.80. He should be tough to beat.
Post Time: 3:07 p.m. EST
For a $94,000 purse, nine horses are scheduled to participate on the turf across 6 furlongs. Maxwell Esquire and Battle Station are circled on my shortlist. Battle Station is 6 for 31 in his career, with his most recent win September 6 in the $85,000 Lucky Coin Stakes over Pulsate by 1 ¼ lengths. He’s gone 6th, 2nd, 7th since then.
Battle Station finished 7th most recently in the $100,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship on November 28. After a layoff, Battle Station is scheduled to return on Thursday. He completed 4 furlongs in 51.25 and 49.90 seconds in April. Nothing special, but certainly decent form.
Maxwell Esquire is 4 for 11, and is coming off a meeting against Battle Station in the Aqueduct Turf Sprint. Maxwell Esquire was up on Battle Station by 1 ¼ lengths and a neck for 5th. That ended a streak of two straight wins, and 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st for Maxwell Esquire. Prior to losing, Maxwell Esquire won by 2 ¼ lengths for a $65,000 purse. I lean with Maxwell Esquire to win.