We had a successful day at Churchill Downs on Saturday with wins in the Fleur de Lis Stakes and Stephen Foster Stakes. That completed a multi-race bet on a daily double for a nice win. It wasn’t much of a question in either race as well. Midnight Bisou dominated and surely deserved the win after coming up a half length in the Saudi Cup in February. Meanwhile, Tom’s d’Etat pulled away with room to spare for a relatively easy win at the wire.
Tom’s d’Etat had to hit the jets down the stretch, but was clear for the win. Churchill Downs has been my biggest money driver, with a few multi-bet wins to speak of. Win you cash a big Pick 5 that will obviously be the case. For those keeping score, the pool win equated to what would have been a +82790 win on a parlay. There isn’t much to be frustrated about, but we were a horse away from hitting the Pick 6 on the same day.
Sunday is a slower day for horse racing, with seven tracks running in the US, with another in Canada at Woodbine in Toronto. We’re back at Belmont Park on Sunday after picking up one win on a straight wager yesterday. There are three more horses that I’m eyeing that hopefully end up in the winner’s circle. Belmont Park is offering $475,000 in total prize money, with four dirt races and four on the turf. The $100,000 Bouwerie Stakes will be the feature race of the day on Sunday at Belmont. Head below for our free Belmont Park picks for June 28, 2020.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
We point to Race 2 to begin our day at Belmont Park on Sunday. A purse of $32,000 is up for grabs here which is 6 furlongs on the dirt. Business Cycle and Deep Sea are both intriguing options for the 6-furlong event. Deep Sea gets the No. 1 post position out of the gate and will be on the inside rail. He is making his fifth start of 2020 and looking for his first win. Deep Sea finished 7th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd.
His most recent performance was strong on May 17 to place for the first time since February 1, 2019. It’s the best form he’s been in for a while. Deep Sea was 9th at the top of the stretch and flew up to finish 2nd, nearly stealing a win away from P R Radio Star. Overall, Deep Sea is 7 for 30 in his career and has finished in the top-3 in 16 of 30 races. He completed 4-furlong workouts at 53.01, 49.99, and 51.10 seconds.
Business Cycle will provide Deep Sea with a strong test. He is in terrific form and has continued to get strong since early this year in January. In four races in 2020, Deep Sea has finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st with Business Cycle finally breaking through for a win on June 3 after coming really close leading up to that event. Business Cycle was a 6 length winner over Javelin. He had a 2 ½ length win at the top of the stretch and then cleared the win with a furlong left and cruised to an easy win.
He has finished in the top-2 in 6 of his previous 7 races and in 7 of 9 races, which includes a trio of wins for Business Cycle. His most recent race was for a $27,000 purse, so he gets a slight uptick for a $32,000 purse on Sunday. Business Cycle’s competition is within the same class for this race. The form that he’s had in 2020 should be enough against this field on Sunday.
Post Time: 3:27 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 5 is set for a $40,000 purse on the dirt across 1 1/16 miles of racing at Belmont Park. Seven horses are scheduled to run, with Lil Commissioner, California Night, and Walkoff going to be very much involved in the event. California Night is 5 for 21 in his career, and has been searching for another win since winning on May 2, 2019.
It’s been over a year for California Night, as he has gone winless in nine straight races. He placed twice, but other than that, California Night has largely been inconsistent. California Night placed two races ago to finish 1 ½ lengths back of Supreme Aura. Following that race, California Night was nowhere to be found on June 7, as he finished 7th for a $57,000 purse.
California Night is down in class for this race, but still has some worthy opponents to deal with in this one. Lil Commissioner and Walkoff are both primed to give California Night all he can handle. Lil Commissioner has gone 5 for 21 in his career as well, but has been in better form recently. He is coming off a win on March 7 after beating Just Kidding by 1 ¼ lengths as a fairly decent underdog. Lil Commissioner has finished in the top-3 in 4 of his previous 5 races following a drop in class.
Lil Commissioner went through a tough stretch from February of 2019 to August, showing in just one race. However, the class drop helped and he has a strong chance in this event as well. Walkoff has gone 3 for 8 in his career and is expected to compete once again today. He is coming off a win on June 5 and is expected to be in fine form.
Walkoff won by 1 ½ lengths over Macha’s Reward for a fairly easy win. This was after 7th at Aqueduct in February, so it was a tremendous return for Walkoff a few weeks ago at Belmont. Walkoff is 3 for 3 at Belmont, with two wins back last summer. He continues to run in good form in the morning, with a recent June 19 4-furlong workout of 49 seconds. If Walkoff continues along the path he’s on, a win should be in the books on Sunday.
Race 8 – Bouwerie Stakes
Post Time: 5:04 p.m. EST
Race 8 is the feature event of the day at Belmont Park. The Bouwerie Stakes comes with a $100,000 purse, and is the biggest stakes race of the day on Sunday in the US. There are a couple of $100,000+ races at Woodbine today, but neither of them are graded events. The Bouwerie Stakes will go 7 furlongs on the dirt, with a couple of horses on my shortlist.
Big Q and Critical Value are included on the list. Risky Mischief is going to have an opportunity as well, but I like the value more on Big Q’s morning-line price. Big Q is 2 for 6 in her career and is a winner of the Key Cents Stakes (Black Type) on November 16, 2019 at Aqueduct.
The toughest race Big Q participated in was probably the Adirondack Stakes (Gr. 2) on August 4, 2019. She finished 5th in that race and quickly discovered Grade 2 events probably aren’t for her. Since then, Big Q has gone 5th, 1st, 6th, 2nd. She won a Maiden Special Wright in her debut on July 11, 2019, and then has the Key Cents Stakes win on her resume.
Big Q placed in her most recent race on January 18 in the Franklin Square Stakes. She lost by 6 lengths against A Freud of Mama. Big Q held 2nd place throughout the race, but wasn’t able to get the extra kick to get any further in the race. She will be tested by Critical Value on Sunday afternoon. Critical Value is 2 for 4 in her career, and is coming off the hardest race of her life in December. After finishing 4th in the Demoiselle Stakes (Gr. 2), it was back to the drawing board for Critical Value.
Leading up to that race, Critical Value was a back-to-back winner on August 29, 2019 and October 19, 2019 in the Maid of the Mist Stakes (Black Type) at Belmont. Critical Value scored the top prize out of a $250,000 purse in impressive fashion. She won by 5 ½ lengths, which prompted a move up to a Grade 2 event. Her workouts have been in fine form in the morning, with times of 48.39 and 48 seconds at 4 furlongs. Despite finishing 4th in the Demoiselle Stakes (Gr .2) in December, that’d probably be enough here.