Belmont Park: September 17, 2017, The Value & The Vulnerable, By Paul Hundley

Welcome to the Sunday edition of the V & V! I’m your Master of Ceremonies, and I will be guiding you, hopefully, to some horses who provide value while trying to steer you away from horses who will be bet far higher than their realistic chances are.


RACE 1: 6-John’s Island is 9/5 favorite and will be tough, if he’s 100%. His last vs much tougher, he closed well into a very quick pace but was vanned off. However does have 2 works since so everything appears okay with him. Won by 5 lengths the last time in for $16K. However, the one in here who could go off under the radar at a square price is 2-ARE WE NOT MEN(6/1), who is 1st off the claim for John Tuscany(22%), which this is actually a trainer re-claim Tuscano had him just 2 races back. The last time at Belmont on a fast track won by almost 6 lengths in a $20K claimer. Had shown good early speed last few races except for the last race out.  $5 Win, $10 Place


RACE 3: A lot of speed signed on here, which so far at the meet has been dominant at 6 furlongs, and could very well today. However, willing to take a flyer on 7-NOMINAL DOLLARS (12/1), who was a very close 5th last out at today’s level at the Spa last month chasing slower pace than it should be today. Is 3 of 4 ITM at Belmont and is 1 of 2 horses in here for David Cannizzo. $5 Win, $10 Place, $1 Exacta Wheel Box 7/ALL

RACE 5: There are 2 in here whom I think offer good value, should they go off at their morning line. 2-Dr. Edgar(6/1) has been within a length and a half last 3 vs this level and returns to track where he has scored both his career wins. However I think the play here may be 8-MOHICAN(10/1) who broke his maiden last out at Saratoga, but ran very well in his only start at Belmont last year as a 2 year old, running a figure here even then that competes today. Irad Ortiz rides. $5 Win, $10 Place


RACE 8: Oh man, these NY Bred Optional Claimers on turf are always like trying to figure out a way to balance the federal budget(btw, National Lottery, incentives to privatize certain government programs is a start), should note 5-Dot Matrix in here, owned by Ten Strike Racing, whom we interviewed co-founder Marshall Gramm (@truxtonstable) a couple of months ago on here. This Freud gelding shocked at Saratoga, scoring at 27-1, and does have a good record at Belmont (8-2-2-2) Also, 15-1 morning line is enticing as well. But, even though not as big s morning line, I like 8-WITH EXULTATION better. Has been a closing 2nd each of last two starts at today’s level and gets a lot more distance today to display closing kick. First start for Rob Atras(5 of 12) and is 4 of 9 at today’s distance. $5 Win, $10 Place. $ Exacta Key Box 8/1,2,4,5,7,9,10,11


RACE 9: 2-Gucci Factor is an iffy favorite here, not ready to declare a VFA, but there are certainly more reliable to put on top. Has really only ran 1 figure that puts him in the picture today. Looking at 5-BENEVOLENCE(6/1) who puts Blinkers On for Kiaran McLaughlin (27%), has 4 second place finishes at Belmont in same amount of starts, and 4/4 ITM at distance as well. $5 Win, $10 Place

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