The path to the Belmont Stakes is on, as we’re less than two weeks away from the big event at Belmont Park in New York. It’s crazy talking about the Belmont Stakes before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but it has been a crazy year. Nothing has been usual, so why not something a little different for the Triple Crown in 2020.
It’s put some trainers in a difficult position and a different strategy is necessary compared to previous years. Bob Baffert can’t like what’s happening in his stable. Charlatan and Nadal are both out for the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. And Authentic lost to Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. It wasn’t a good weekend for Baffert.
However, I will say there was a diamond in the rough that most people didn’t notice. Remember the name Cezanne going forward. That’s a strong horse that made a stunning debut on Saturday. He ran in the shadows of the Santa Anita Derby, but was awfully impressive. There are seven tracks open for racing on Monday. We’ll take a look at what Lone Star Park has to offer today. Head below for our free Lone Star Park Pick 3 and Pick 4 selections for June 8, 2020.
Pick 3: Race 2-4
Pick 4: Race 2-5
Post Time: 2:07 p.m. CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
We will get started with Race 2 at Lone Star Park on Monday. Race 2 marks the beginning of our Pick 3 and Pick 4 ticket. Thinkitsadonation and Keep America Great are the most likely suspects to get the win in the second race at Lone Star on Monday. Keep America Great is making her debut on Monday in Texas.
While she’s a first-time starter, Keep American Great completed 4 furlongs at 48, 49, 48.20, and 49.60 seconds going into Monday. Unfortunately, the worst workout for Keep American Great was her most recent on May 30. In any event, Keep America Great should run a better race than most of the participants here. Her workouts have been in better form than the majority here.
Thinkitasadonation, who has a clever name I must add, is back at the track after finishing 3rd in her debut on December 27, 2019. She was a sizable underdog in that event and just about pulled it off. Ruby Q and Georgia Clay were both better than Thinkitsadonation on that day, but it was a solid run as a first-time starter. With little competition to speak of in Race 2, this should be a clear win for the 4-year-old filly. We hope that the only donation that will be made with this horse is to our bankrolls.
Post Time: 2:39 p.m. CST
Race 3 should be an entertaining, wide-open event for a $13,000 purse. 12 horses are scheduled to run 5 ½ furlongs for the top prize. Miss Pueblo West, Always Secret, Gypsy Wind, and Curtseytothekitten are all on my shortlist. Always Secret made her debut on February 22 and had an okay run to finish 6th, behind Miss Pueblo West by 2 ½ lengths. She was able to follow up with a much better performance on March 17 to show as a sophomore runner.
Always Secret showed great improvements and was able to beat Miss Pueblo West in that outing by 4 lengths. Her workouts have been rather inconsistent, though. That’s my only concern with Always Secret. In May she made five starts and completed 4 furlongs with times of 50, 54.80, 51, 49.60, and 50.80 seconds. She is a total wildcard and could do just about anything on Monday afternoon.
Curtseytothekitten is a loser in the first eight races of her career, but has been the most consistent up front. She has finished in the top-3 in 4 of her previous 5 performances, and is coming off the best race of her career on March 17. Curtseytothekitten placed in that race for 2nd behind Belle Strike by 1 ¾ lengths.
She protected 2nd throughout the race, but couldn’t find the extra kick to move up. Curtseytothekitten defeated Always Secret by 4 ¼ lengths for 2nd. She has been strong in workouts, having completed 4 furlongs at 49 seconds on June 2. That’s the best morning form out of the entries in this race.
Miss Pueblo West has raced in four races and has yet to show. She has come close in two races, but denied and had to settle for 4th in her debut on December 28, 2019 and her latest effort on March 17. She should be quicker in the morning, but this isn’t the most difficult field and should be involved in the stretch. I think this race comes down to Always Secret and Curtseytothekitten. Always Secret is the inconsistent horse that has the potential to pop, though if Curtseytothekitten runs her usual race, a win should be within reach.
Post Time: 3:11 p.m. CST
Race 4 participants will run 6 furlongs on Monday for a $17,000 purse. Robertino Diodoro is expected to go with a coupled entry with Wrath and Calculating King. You get two for one on those two ponies. Their biggest threat to a win is going to be Gambler and Tight Ten. Tight Ten might be a sneaky play to get the win here. He drops down a class after a porous showing at Oaklawn Park. Tight Ten was 11th on April 10.
This was after a win on February 26 at Sam Houston Race Park. He’s gotten away from stakes racing after finishing 9th in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Gr. 1) and 10th in the LeComte Stakes (Gr. 3). Tight Ten was 2nd in the Saratoga Special Stakes (Gr. 2) and Iroquois Stakes (Gr. 3), but regressed hard thereafter. Since 10th in the LeComte Stakes on January 19, 2019, Tight Ten has finished 11th, 8th, 12th, 3rd, 1st, 11th.
Gambler will likely be more of a threat in this race. He has been in good form to finish in the top-3 in four straight outings, and in 5 of 6 races which includes two wins. Gambler won two races ago at Will Rogers Downs by 1 ¾ lengths over Mystic Link. In his latest performance, Gambler showed in 3rd behind Wonders of Hislove and Empire of Gold. He’s not a horse to be ignored on Monday.
Calculating King has been in good form as well, with top-3 finishes in 8 of his previous 9 races. He placed 2nd behind Grab the Munny by a length in his most recent performance. It has been seven events since a win for Calculating King, but he’s been running up front and might win, and if he doesn’t, is likely going to help Wrath.
Wrath is coming off a win and has 2 wins in 3 races. He was a winner by 1 ½ lengths on April 9, and 7 ¾ lengths in a blowout on November 21, 2019. His success has been dictated by the strength of his competition. This is an easier race and the results should show. Diodoro is in a good position to pick up the top prize in Race 4.
Post Time: 3:43 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
One more race at Lone Star Park as far as our Pick 4 ticket is concerned. This event is 1 1/16 miles for a $20,000 purse. Gray Hope, Matrooh, and Sonic Boom are on my shortlist here. Gray Hope has 5 wins in 14 races, but has struggled against stronger competition than the races he recorded wins in. After winning on January 26, Gray Hope has gone 5th, 6th, 5th. In his previous six races, Gray Hope has finished 3th, 5th, 1st, 6th, 6th, 5th in the last six events.
Sonic Boom has been the more consistent option going into today. He has 7 wins in 30 races and has largely been involved in the stretch over the course of his previous eight races since September of 2019. Sonic Boom has been in the top-3 in 7 of his previous 8 performances. He placed in his most recent race to finish behind Prospector Fever by a half length. His most recent win was on January 31 by 1 ½ lengths over Bonjour Baby. Not a horse to ignore and is either going to win or be near up front.
Matrooh is another Diodoro horse at Lone Star Park that is in all likelihood going to run well here. He has recorded recent wins on February 6 and March 1 for back-to-back victories. Matrooh went through a four-race stretch finishing 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st from October 30 to March 1. After those brilliant results, Matrooh finished 3rd, 7th, 3rd in his previous three outings. All three of those races were against tougher competition than he’s going to see today. Back down at a level where Matrooh should run very well, this is a dobale task for him on Monday from the No. 11 spot.