Belmont Park Picks for Saturday, September 26, 2020

| September 25, 2020 11:44 pm PDT

Belmont gets rolling for Saturday with a ten-race card that includes a Grade II and a Grade III stakes race—the Vosburgh Stakes and the Noble Damsel Stakes, respectively.

But let’s not waste any time—read on for my Belmont Park picks and tips for Saturday, September 26, 2020.

Pick for Belmont Park Race 7

This is an allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds and upward running a distance of six furlongs for a purse of $67,000.

Two of the MTO scratches from yesterday’s race 9 at Belmont are in this race, and I find that I like the fourth-favored (5/1) Pete’s Play Call, with top jockey Joel Rosario in the irons, even more than I did yesterday. This seven-year-old gelding moneyed 26 of his 42 career starts, winning 12 of them. More importantly, he’s been winning races in 2020.

Incidentally, I think I overstated the chances of Mount Travers yesterday, and while he’s second-favored (4/1) in this race, with Jose L. Ortiz aboard, I don’t think he’ll finish better than third.

Since three of the top four morning line choices are very likely to fill the first three finishing positions, I don’t think any of the long-odds entries have a chance, so let’s save our long money for later.

  • Win: Pete’s Play Call 5/1

Picks for Race 8 – Noble Damsel Stakes (Grade III)

This is the Noble Damsel Stakes race for fillies and mares three years old and upward running a distance of one mile on turf for a purse of $100,000.

I don’t see the MTO also-eligible entry (8/5) making a difference at the finish line here, so I’m going with the on-turf lineup’s second-favored (7/2) horse—Sweet Bye and Bye, ridden by Jose Lezcano. This five-year-old mare moneyed 13 of her 16 career starts and won seven of them–and she earned much of her money in stakes races.

I know you want me to tout one of the two 30/1 longshots here, but no can do. The longest odds I see with a chance of an ROI is the 15/1 Atomic Blonde, with  Mannie Franco aboard. This four-year-old filly moneyed five of her seven starts, winning three. Not an across-the-board wager in this field, but certainly a value show bet.

  • Win: Sweet Bye and Bye 7/2
  • Show: Atomic Blonde 15/1

Pick for Race 9 – Vosburgh Stakes (Grade II)

This is the Vosburgh Stakes race for three-year-olds and upward running a distance of six furlongs for a purse of $150,000.

The 2/1 favorite in this race hasn’t competed since last November so I’m a bit skeptical of the morning line’s belief in his chances for this highly competitive race. I prefer the second-favored (5/2) entry—Funny Guy, with Joel Rosario in the irons. This four-year-old colt has the same record as the favorite—nine money finishes in 13 career starts, with five of those wins. But Funny Guy has won stakes races this year.

This is going to be a tight race, with the talent on the ground matched by that in the irons, so I’ll leave picking a value show bet to the Ouija board crowd.

  • Win: Funny Guy 5/2

More Racing Tips for Today

I’ve picked winners, underdogs, and surprise longshots for Saturday at these other two tracks:

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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