Best Horse Racing Bets for Saturday, June 5, 2021 – Belmont Stakes and Other Top Races Today

| June 5, 2021 4:00 am PDT

As I’ve done with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness this year, I’m featuring the multiple stakes races at Belmont Park for Saturday.

Nearly six million dollars are on the line in the nine stakes races at Belmont Park Saturday leading up to the 153rd running of the third jewel of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.

While you’ll see plenty of morning line favorites among my picks, you’ll find several solid underdog prospects, as well.

Before you leap into the fray, however, make sure you check out all the Saturday races at Belmont, including the horses, the jockeys, the morning line odds, and most importantly, the wagering options, at one of our recommended online racebooks.

Good luck!

Race 3 – Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade I)

For this seven-furlong main track run for three-year-olds, I’m betting on the morning-line favorite: Jackie’s Warrior.

This Steve Asmussen-trained colt moneyed six of his seven career starts, winning five, including two Grade II and two Grade I stakes runs. His most recent win was at Churchill Downs on Derby Day (May 1) in the Pat Day Mile Stakes (Grade II).

Asmussen, who trains Jackie’s Warrior for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison, has Joel Rosario in the irons for this run; Rosario has been aboard for all but Jackie’s Warrior’s maiden victory.

Race 4 – Brooklyn Stakes (Grade II)

For this 1-1/2 mile main track race for four-year-olds and upward, I’m buying a win ticket on the second-favored (at 4/1) Moretti, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

This five-year-old finished in the money nine of his 11 career starts, winning four, which gives him a slight statistical advantage over the morning-line favorite.

Moretti is trained by recent Hall of Fame inductee Todd A. Pletcher for owners Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.

Race 5 – Acorn Stakes (Grade I)

This one-mile main track run for three-year-old fillies looks to be a fiercely competitive run, but I’m going with the 4/1 third-favored Dayoutoftheoffice, ridden by John R. Velazquez.

Trained by Tim Hamm for himself and co-owner/breeder Siena Farms LLC, Dayoutoftheoffice moneyed all five of her career starts, winning three. And while the morning line favorite has posted slightly better speed figures, Dayoutoftheoffice has faced—and beaten—slightly tougher competition.

Race 6 – Jackpocket Jaipur Stakes (Grade I)

Moving to the turf for a six-furlong run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m going to call this for the 2/1 morning line favorite, Bound for Nowhere.

This seven-year-old finished in the money for 11 of his 15 career starts, winning seven.

Owner/trainer Wesley A. Ward has tapped Joel Rosario to saddle Bound for Nowhere for this ride.

Race 7 – Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade I)

Back on the main track, this is a 1-1/16 mile race for fillies and mares four years old and upward. My money will be on the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Letruska.

I should point out that I think the fourth-favored Valiance will give her some serious competition, but I believe Letruska will prevail.

Letruska moneyed 15 of her 18 career starts, winning 13, and her speed figures are regularly in the triple digits. Her most important win was, inarguably, her latest: The Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade I) at Oaklawn Park.

Fausto Gutierrez has trained for St. George Stables since 1986, and he has top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. saddling Letruska for this run.

Race 8 – Just a Game Stakes (Grade I)

This is a one-mile turf run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. My money will be on an 8/1 sleeper—Regal Glory.

This five-year-old mare finished in the money for ten of her 12 career starts, winning seven. Her two most recent races (both wins) were the Plenty of Grace Stakes (Black Type) in April at Aqueduct, and the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes (Grade III) last September.

Chad C. Brown—who trains Regal Glory for owner Peter M. Brant—has tapped Jose L. Ortiz for this ride. Ortiz was aboard for Regal Glory’s two most recent races. Did I already mention those were both winning runs?

Race 9 – Metropolitan Handicap (Grade I)

In this one-mile main track handicap for three-year-olds and upward, I’m betting on the third-favored (at 7/2) Silver State.

This four-year-old colt moneyed nine of his ten career starts, winning six, which gives him the upper hand in this six-horse field.

Brad Cox trains Silver Star for the Korea Racing Authority, and he has veteran jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons for this race.

Race 10 – Manhattan Stakes (Grade I)

For this 1-1/4 mile turf run for four-year-olds and upward, I’m buying a win ticket on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Colonel Liam, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

This four-year-old colt finished in the money seven of his eight career starts, winning six.

Trainer Todd A. Pletcher works with Colonel Liam for owners Lawana L. and Robert E. Low. Pletcher has had Ortiz aboard for Colonel Liam’s four most recent victories, including the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (Grade I) at Churchill Downs in April and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (Grade I) at Gulfstream Park in January.

Race 11 – Belmont Stakes (Grade I)

You have to love a horse race with a million-and-a-half bucks on the line—and that perfectly describes this 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes. A 1-1/2 mile main track run for three-year-olds, this year’s match features a very tightly-ranked eight-horse field.

I’m betting on the 2/1 morning line favorite, Essential Quality. This colt finished in the money five of his six career starts, only missing the mark with a fourth-place finish in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. The other five starts ended in victory.

Adding to my confidence are Essential Quality’s triple-digit speed figures for his most recent four runs.

Brad H. Cox trains Essential Quality for owner/breeder Godolphin. He has put veteran jockey Luis Saez in the irons for the colt’s last five races, and he’s sticking with that for this run, as well.

One last note: Our own Noah Davis takes a look at what he considers the top sleeper picks for the 2021 Belmont Stakes. Well worth a read before you make your betting choices.

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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