There’s a nice lineup of horse racing on Friday, with several of the more popular tracks offering cards today. Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Santa Anita Park, Woodbine, Pimlico, and Gulfstream are all scheduled to have a racecard. It’s a nice day if you’re a horse handicapper. Next weekend is going to be all about Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes (Gr. 1)is set for next Saturday, which will feature Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic. Tiz the Law will skip the Preakness, but is expected to participate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic
After the final leg of the Triple Crown is completed, we have the Breeders’ Cup in November as our next big event to look forward to. The richest horse race of them all is scheduled for February 28 in Saudi Arabia. If big purses get your juices flowing, then the Saudi Cup will satisfy what you’re looking for. The most recent one was filled with a lot of controversy, as Maximum Security was DQ’d for being juiced by Jason Servis. Servis was ultimately arrested for playing a big role in a widespread doping operation.
Our first stop on Friday is at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. Belmont has ten races on the docket for a total of $478,000. We have three selections planned for Belmont. Head below for our free Belmont Park picks for September 25, 2020.
Post Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Race 1 will get us started at Belmont Park on Friday afternoon. It’s worth $27,000 for 6 furlongs on the dirt. This is a race for horses looking to get back into good form. Several of them haven’t been running well recently, with some dropping in class in an attempt to generate some confidence. Warfront Fighter is actually coming off the best run and he only finished 4th on August 6 at Saratoga.
Warfront Fighter has finished 5th, 7th, 5th, 4th, 4th in his previous five performances. In his most recent outing, Warfront Fighter finished 4th in a $38,000 event on August 6. Prior to that, he was 4th in a $33,000 event on July 5 at Belmont. This is a step down for the $60,000 Warfront Fighter. He should be able to get into the fray and play a role in this less difficult race. I think this 6/1 horse is worth keeping an eye on.
Freedom Force was a $600,000 purchase in 2018, and then sold just two months ago for $45,000. That’s a big loss for his previous owners. We’ll see if they made the right decision in giving up on Freedom Force. He certainly hasn’t looked like a $600,000 horse in his career. Freedom Force’s best effort was placing 2nd in February in a $44,000 race. That was his debut, and he’s finished 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 7th since then.
His last appearance was on August 12 at Saratoga in a $57,000 event. It didn’t go well with Freedom Force finishing 7th. This is by far the biggest class drop in the race and the easiest assignment of Freedom Force’s career. A loss here would be tough to accept for his connections, but I think Freedom Force can get things done.
Post Time: 2:04 p.m. EST
This is virtually the same race as Race 1, with 6 furlongs scheduled on the dirt for $1,000 less than our previous selection. The difference being that participants in Race 3 have won races in their careers. A few horses have recent wins, including Deep Sea, Local Hero, and Business Cycle. Deep Sea is an eight-time winner, with wins in 8 of 34 races throughout his career.
His most recent winning run was on July 19 at Saratoga by a neck over Vineyard Sound. That was for a $32,000 purse, so Deep Sea has proven to run well in higher classes than this. Deep Sea followed up that effort by finishing 4th in a $32,000 event and 5th in a $36,000 event on September 5 in his most recent outing. For a $220,000 horse, you want to see Deep Sea winning races in this class. That was in 2013, though, and Deep Sea hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations.
Business Cycle is coming off a poor showing in a $36,000 event on July 31. This was after Business Cycle was in the top-3 in six straight outings. He was a back-to-back winner in June with wins in a $27,000 and $32,000 event. Business Cycle has proven to win down in this class and thrive. Those wins were by 6 lengths and 2 ½ lengths. Expect Manny Franco to get Business Cycle back in the winner’s circle.
Post Time: 4:42 p.m. EST
Race 8 is the second biggest race at Belmont Park on Friday. This is a mile event on the dirt for $55,000. Eight horses are scheduled to run on the dirt. Bourbon Bay and Blackjack Davey likely run a strong race here and are involved in the stretch. Bourbon Bay has stakes experience with three appearances in Black Type and Listed stakes races. His best effort was in the $150,000 Jerome Stakes (Listed) in January at Aqueduct.
Bourbon Bay finished 7th in his most recent stakes race on June 14 in the $100,000 Mile Lee Stakes (Black Type). There wasn’t much to give in that race. In his most recent outing, Bourbon Bay was 8th in a $64,000 event. That was incredibly discouraging. Down in class and Bourbon Bay didn’t look any different than the wealthier races. He slides down even more for Friday, and should be able to compete here.
Blackjack Davey gets a favorable draw from the No. 1 post position. Since debuting in June, Blackjack Davey has looked great in three straight performances for 1st, 2nd, 2nd. He was a 4 ½ length winner over Microsecond in a $53,000 race on July 2 and then followed up to place 2nd on July 29 and August 19. His most recent race was in good form, with Blackjack Dacey placing 2nd behind Golani Brigade by 1 ¾ lengths for a $64,000 purse. He should be fine down in class against this competition.