On your first win wager up to $10, you’ll get your money back if your horse finishes second or third on any race that has at least six starters. So lets find some winners — or at least some horses that can finish in the top 3!
The day is highlighted by 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes (G1). I’ll have a Money Back Special play for that race, but let’s start earlier in the card to get our day rolling. Race 6 is the $400,000 Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes at six furlongs on the inner turf course. A bulky field of 11 is scheduled to line up, so there will be fantastic odds on plenty of the contenders. I’m taking a shot with one of the longshots — #8 Gregorian Chant at 10/1 on the morning line odds. This horse was racing in long-distance races in the earlier stages of his career, but since trainer Phil D’Amato made the decision to cut him back to the six-furlong distance, he has dazzled, winning three straight races at Santa Anita. He will have to take his show on the road today, but I expect him to be motoring down the outside part of the racetrack with his patented wide swooping move.
Race 10 is the $750,000 Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf course. #4 Domestic Spending at 3/1 on the morning line, has been sensational in all six starts for trainer Chad Brown. He’s never been worse than third in any of his races, which includes back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Turf Classic and Hollywood Derby. This hard-trying gelding that brings his A-game every single race makes perfect sense for a Money Back Special bet.
We will finish up with the aforementioned Belmont Stakes. It goes as race 11 on the 13-race card. The grueling distance of 1 ½-miles is what makes the Belmont Stakes the “Test of a Champion”. While the Kentucky Derby (G1) had a field of 19 runners, the Belmont Stakes will have a field of just eight – which should alleviate the amount of trouble that many of the horses exiting the Kentucky Derby encountered on the first Saturday in May.
Five of the eight contenders in the Belmont faced each other in the Kentucky Derby. I was most impressed with the ninth-place finisher, #6 Known Agenda, who checks in at 6/1 on the morning line odds. He broke from the inside position in the Kentucky Derby and that proved to be his misfortune.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., attempting to avoid being trapped on the inside immediately hustled his colt away from the gate and angled out to try to put himself in a good position, but it was to no avail as the outside runners came crashing down on him head towards the first turn and he was badly shuffled back to 17th in the early stages. He remained on the rail and continued to advance before catching up to a wall of horses nearing the wire and having plenty of late run. The distance should suit him well and I feel he is a great candidate as a Money Back Special.
Best of lucky throughout Belmont Stakes day and remember you can stream the races at TVG.com or on the TVG Mobile app and you can watch the Belmont Stakes on NBC. Enjoy!