When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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2018 Belmont Sprint Championship Picks
Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes Preview and Odds
In a small but tough field, the Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes features a pair of runners with previous appearances in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Breaking from the #1 gate, the ultra-consistent Limousine Liberal was fourth in that event in 2016 and will be trying to get back into the field with a win on Saturday. Installed as the slight 9-5 morning line favorite, the six-year-old Ben Colebrook trainee has finished in the money in 10 straight races, with five wins in that span. All but two of those races were at the graded-stakes level including last out when he ran third against a very good field in the (G1) Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap at one mile in early June. Prior to that, he won the (G2) Churchill Downs Stakes.
Somewhat surprising for a top-level horse with 22 lifetime starts, the Metropolitan was his first run over the Belmont Park dirt surface. He's a versatile colt that can come from off the pace, and that could play to his advantage on Saturday as it's expected they will be going very fast early in the race.
Whitmore Looks for Second Breeders' Cup Start
Just outside of him in the gate is Whitmore, second choice in the ML at 2-1, who ran eighth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last year at Del Mar. He was also in the field for the Churchill Downs Stakes two starts back and ran fourth, and like Limousine Liberal he's making his second consecutive start at Belmont, having run second a month ago in the (G2) True North Stakes, where he went inside-outside to get up for the place money in a race that featured a blistering early pace.
Again like Limousine Liberal, he'll be looking for the same kind of early pace scenario to unfold on Saturday, and he's likely to get it.
Expected to be up front setting the early fractions is New York bred Eye Luv Lulu (8-1) who comes in off a win in the Affirmed Success Stakes at Belmont, a race restricted to state breds where he set the pace speeding through an impressive half-mile of just a shade over 45 seconds and then went on to win by 3/4 of a length.
After 44 lifetime starts he'll be trying graded-stakes racing for the very first time, and this is by far the toughest field of his career, but that kind of early speed puts him in the mix and it's just a question of whether he has the class to take them all the way
Rounding out the top four, Shaft Of Light (7-2) is an Ontario bred for trainer Jorge Navarro who has spent the bulk of his 29-race career in the US. A winner of three of five starts in 2018, he made his graded-stakes debut last out in the (G3) Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park, where he led from the outset and then dug in late to only be beaten by a half-length while holding off the very tough graded-stakes winner Sunny Ridge.
The cut back in distance here should help him, and he rates some consideration for the top spot if he's being overlooked at the betting windows.
The Belmont Sprint Champion Stakes goes Saturday, June 7 from Belmont Park and is race #7 on the day, with an expected post time of 5:11 PM Eastern.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Limousine Liberal (9-5)
- Whitmore (2-1)
- Eye Luv Lulu (8-1)
- Shaft Of Light (7-2)
- Lewisfield (15-1)
- Favorable Outcome (4-1)
Belmont Sprint Stakes Picks
- 1) #1 - Limousine Liberal
- 2) #4 - Shaft Of Light
- 3) #2 - Whitmore
- 4) #3 - Eye Luv Lulu
Betting the Belmont Park Races
In yet another excellent day of racing during Belmont Park's Spring Meet, Saturday's card features five graded-stakes races, including the $700,000 (G2) Suburban Stakes with 2017 Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit, and the $1.2 million (G1) Belmont Derby Invitational. Bet all the action with your account at Bovada's online racebook.
Category : Betting Picks
Tag : Horse RacingMore articles...
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