2018 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Betting

2018 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Betting

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Saturday afternoon from Belmont Park in New York is expected to live up to its name, with a field of multiple graded-stakes winners going 1 1/2 miles chasing a purse of $500,000. You could make a case for several of the eight starters to get the win, making the Joe Hirsch a real handicapping challenge.

When you consider that half the horses in the field for the Joe Hirsch finished within a length of each other in the (G1) Manhattan Stakes at Belmont back in June, you get a sense of how closely matched the top ranks of racing for turf horses is in North America. 

One of the most important final prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 3, the Joe Hirsch is part of an excellent betting card on Saturday from Belmont, including the (G1) Jockey Club Gold Cup, which serves as a ‘Win And You’re In’ race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The full schedule of races form Belmont on Saturday can be bet through your online racebook account.  

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Betting tips

Chilean-Bred is Liking US Turf

After starting his career last year with six consecutive wins in his native Chile, Robert Bruce (2-1 in the morning line odds) didn’t miss a step in his first US start when he won the (G3) Fort Macy Stakes at Belmont in May. Next up he was part of that blanket finish in the Manhattan and then stepped up to win the (G1) Arlington Million in August.

You have to have a lot of respect for a horse that is eight-for-nine in his career and he’s getting a stretch out in distance here over his last race that should suit him. At the same time, you don’t want to take too short a price in this tough a field.   

Spring Quality Will Be Coming Late

The winner of that eight-horse photo finish is in this field as well, with Spring Quality in the morning line at odds of 4-1. Last time out he ran third in the (G1) Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga, a race where he found a bit of traffic trouble as they came through the top of the stretch. 

Although it took Spring Quality awhile to graduate to graded-stakes racing, he’s won exactly half of his lifetime starts and has been in the money in 10 of 12.  

Finding Value in Exotic Bets

With not a lot of other speed in the race, don’t be surprised if jockey john Velazquez decides to take Carrick (8-1) right to the front out of the gate and try to hold on for as long as he can. With only four races to his name, this horse just seems to be learning how to race and being on the lead out of trouble and controllng the pace would seem to be his best shot at stealing it. 

After finishing on the fringes in his first three starts of 2018, Channel Maker (9-2) broke through two starts back with a win in the (G2) Bowlng Green Stakes and followed that up with a good second in the (G1) Sword Dancer Stakes. He was sixth in this race last year.

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic goes Saturday, September 29 from Belmont Park in New York. Post time is 4:42 PM Eastern. 

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Picks

  • 1) #1 – Robert Bruce
  • 2) #6 – Spring Quality
  • 3) #4 – Carrick
  • 4) #8 – Channel Maker