Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, July 9, 2022

| July 8, 2022 11:33 am PDT

Saturday brings us a fresh batch of graded stakes races along with some other big-money competitions at my three selected horse racing tracks.

Belmont Park leads off with four graded stake runs, while Gulfstream Park and Monmouth park each contributing a ungraded stake race to the wagering mix. I rounded out the latter two tracks with some big-dollar allowance races, and wallah (as the French say): Plenty of betting opportunities for us all.

Don’t forget to check the full race-cards for all three tracks at our best sites for horse racing betting.

Good luck!

Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Belmont Park

Race four — Suburban Stakes (Grade II)

This is a $400,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles dirt track race for four-year-olds and upward. The first four finishers will have their nomination, entry, and starting fees waived for the 2022 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

I’m betting on the one horse in this short field of five with real numbers in the win column—the second-favored (at 8/5) First Captain, ridden by Luis Saez.

This chestnut four-year-old finished int eh money six of his seven career starts, winning five. Among his wins are the Pimlico Special Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico in May, and the Dwyer Stakes (Grade III) here at Belmont last July.

Hall of Famer and 50-year-horse racing veteran Claude R. McGaughey III trains First Captain for owners West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm LLC, Bobby Flay, and Woodford Racing, LLC.

Race seven — Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (Grade I)

This is a $700,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles turf course run for Fillies foaled after August 1, 2018 and before July 31, 2019. My money’s on the 5/1 underdog, Haughty, with top jockey Flavien Prat in the irons.

This bay filly moneyed all four of her career starts, winning two, including her second maiden attempt back in October and the Penn Oaks (Listed) in June.

She notably finished a tight third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade I) in November.

Even in this talented ten-horse field, Haughty is the one with the goods.

Longtime Breeders’ Cup veteran Chad C. Brown trains Haughty for owners Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding, LLC, Cambron Equine, LLC, and Team Hanley.

Race eight — Victory Ride Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $150,000 purse, 6-1/2 furlongs dirt track run for three-year-old fillies. I’m going to agree with the morning-line foin this race and bet on the 2/1 favorite, Pretty Birdie, piloted by veteran jockey Joel Rosario.

This gray roan filly finished five of her seven career starts in the money, winning three. Those wins include her initial maiden attempt at Churchill Downs last year, the Schuylerville Stakes (Grade III) at Saratoga last July, and the Purple Martin Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn Park in March.

Norm W. Casse trains Pretty Birdie for Marylou Whitney Stables (Hendrickson).

Race nine —Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (Grade I)

This is a $1,000,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles turf course run for three-year-olds foaled after August 1, 2018 and before July 31, 2019. I’m going with the 6/1 underdog, Tiz the Bomb, with Dylan Davis aboard.

Just because Tiz the Bomb finished mid-pack in this year’s Kentucky Derby is no reason to discount his abilities.

For the record, the three-year-old bay colt moneyed six of his nine career starts, winning five.

Those wins include the Bourbon Stakes (Grade II) last October at Keeneland, as well as the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (Black Type) in March and the Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes (Grade III) in April—both at Turfway Park.

Thirty-year horse racing veteran Kenneth G. McPeek trains Tiz the Bomb for Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek).

My Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Gulfstream Park

Let’s start on the dirt track with race seven, a one-mile allowance optional claiming race for Florida-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars son the 8/1 sleeper, Positively Awesome, ridden by top jockey Jesus M. Rios.

This chestnut five-year-old finished in the money six of his nine career starts, winning three. Those wins include his initial maiden run in June of 2019 the subsequent Kodiak Island Stakes (Black Type) in June of 2019—both here at Gulfstream Park.

He suffered a slump for the first few months of 2021 after taking a COVIDcation in 2020, but was soon moving at his previous speeds. In this otherwise lackluster field of eight, he’ll do.

Ranked among the top 100 for wins, earnings, or both for the past six years, Ralph E. Nicks trains Positively Awesome for owner-breeder Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.

Race nine is a one-mile and 70-yard run on the all-weather track for Florida-bred three-year-olds and upward. I like the 9/2 underdog, Venezuelan Triumph, piloted by Miguel Angel Vasquez.

This three-year-old dark bay gelding moneyed eight of his nine career starts, winning four, which gives him the best stats in this ten-horse field.

Victor Barboza, Jr. trains Venezuelan Triumph for owner-breeder Orlyana Farm.

Race ten — Carry Back Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, seven-furlong dirt track run for three-year-olds. I have to back the morning-line here—bet the 5/2 favorite, Octane, with Emisael Jaramillo in the irons.

This three-year-old bay gelding won all but one of his four career starts (he finished second on his initial maiden attempt). Since his graduation run last July, he’s gone on to win the FTBOA Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes (Black Type) last August and the FTBOA Florida Sire In Reality Stakes (Black Type) last September—both here at Gulfstream Park.

Despite the fact that it’s been a few months since his last race, his workout stats say he’s tanned, rested, and ready.

Carlos A. David trains Octane for owner-breeder Arindel.

My Saturday’s Picks for Monmouth Park

We’ll start on the dirt track with race two, a six-furlong starter optional claiming race for three-year-olds. My money’s on the second-favored (at 3/1) Raise a Speights, with Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. aboard.

This chestnut gelding moneyed all four of his career starts, winning one (his second maiden attempt).

While there are a few entries in this eight-horse file with more experience, none have Raise a Speights’ record for knowing how the rent gets paid.

Ranked among the top 100 in both earnings and wins in 2021, Brittany T. Russell trains Raise a Speights for Designated Hitters Racing, LLC.

Race eight is a six-furlong allowance race for three-year-old fillies. I’m betting on the third-favored (at 9/2) Li’l Miss Camille, ridden by top jockey Paco Lopez.

In comparison to her competition, this bay filly has shown the most improvement, finishing in the money for all but the first two of her six career starts. Winning her fourth maiden attempt, she went on to money her two most recent races.

Maybe not Breeders’ Cup material, but in this inexperienced ten-horse field, she’s a stand-out.

Fifty-year horse racing veteran Gerald S. Bennett trains Li’l Miss Camille for Averill Racing LLC.

Race nine — Jersey Girl Handicap

This is a $85,000 purse, one-mile turf run for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward.

If the record of the morning-line favorite—Bramble Bay—had shown more consistency in her success on the turf, I’d be touting her. Instead, I’m backing the second-favored I’m Listening, ridden by Angel A. Rodriguez.

This dark bay eight-year-old mare finished in the money 20 of her 38 career starts, winning eight. More pertinently, she moneyed all four of her 2022 starts, winning two.

Even more importantly, I’m Listening won her most recent race, the Smart N Classy Handicap (Black Type) here at Gulfstream last month. Bramble Bay finished that race in seventh place. Sure, it was a dirt run, but seventh place?

Ranked among the top 100 for wins, earnings, or both for the past eight years, Claudio A. Gonzalez trains I’m Listening for Magic Stable, LLC.

More Betting Predictions

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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