Belmont Derby, Oaks Close out Belmont at Big A Meet; Picks, Odds | Horse Racing News (2024)

The final weekend of the Belmont at the Big A meet features two Grade 1 grass stakes, the $750,000 Belmont Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds and the $500,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies, both at 1 3/16 miles on Aqueduct’s outer turf.

Belmont Derby, Oaks Close out Belmont at Big A Meet; Picks, Odds | Horse Racing News (1)

Dwyer, John A. Nerud stakes also on the card

This year’s Belmont Stakes was cut back from 1½ miles to 1¼ miles because of the configuration of Saratoga’s smaller main track. For that same reason, Saturday’s grass stakes will be a sixteenth of a mile shorter than they were last year at expansive Belmont Park.

Despite the purses and Grade 1 designations, neither race drew a standout. The Derby drew only five runners, and no Grade 1 winner. The nine-filly Oaks has four with Grade 1 or Group 1 experience, but only She Feels Pretty has won at the top level.

There’s also a pair of $200,000 dirt stakes on the card: the 1-mile Dwyer (G3) for 3-year-olds (Domestic Product is the 6-5 favorite in a field of four) and the 7-furlong John A. Nerud (G2) for 4-year-olds and up (Mullikin is the 2-1 favorite in a field of five).

Belmont Derby, Oaks, horse-by-horse analysis

For those who bet horse racing, maybe this horse-by-horse analysis will help you put the pieces together. Runners are listed by post position from the rail out, with odds in parentheses.

$500,000 BELMONT DERBY (Race 6, post 3:08 p.m. ET)


Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Jockey: William Buick

Closed well off a slow pace to edge Derby rival White Palamino by a head last out in Big A’s Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile Pennine Ridge. He’s 5-for-7 on grass but only 1-for-3 in graded stakes; ran fifth last month to Trikari, whom he’ll face Saturday.


Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Caught by Legend of Time after setting very slow pace, and speed figures aren’t impressive. Only win came at the distance, and Brown-Prat is a lethal combination. Still, others look better.


Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Third last time behind Legend of Time and White Palomino, and 0-for-2, beaten a combined five lengths, in stakes. Seems up against it.

4. TRIKARI (7-2)

Trainer: Graham Motion

Jockey: John Velazquez

Has the best early-pace figures, and nobody’s better at nursing a speed horse than position-conscious Johnny V. Catch him to win.

5. ENDLESSLY (6-5)

Trainer: Michael McCarthy

Jockey: Umberto Rispoli

Returns to his best surface after failed experiment in the Kentucky Derby. Throw out that race because the owner pressured McCarthy to run in it. Won two stakes on synthetic after going 3-for-4 at 2 on grass. Strong closer looks very tough.

The picks: 1 Endlessly 2 Trikari 3 Legend of Time

$500,000 BELMONT OAKS INVITATIONAL (race 9, post 4:42 p.m.)

1. PIN UP BETTY (10-1)

Trainer: Mike Maker

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Pulled mild upset in Grade 3 Regret after breaking her maiden in grass debut in eighth start. Weak figures; can’t recommend.


Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Rallied to take Grade 2 Edgewood last out at Churchill Downs, and third finisher came back to win a stakes last Saturday. Serious contender.

3. FUN WITH FLAGS (10-1)

Trainer: Jerome Reynier

Jockey: Manny Franco

French shipper has won going 1¼ but has run only on very soft courses. Dangerous if she can handle firm turf but lost her last at 3-5 odds to horse who’d won only once. Mixed signals.

4. BUCHU (10-1)

Trainer: Philip Bauer

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Talented but inconsistent closer runs big or doesn’t fire. Shouldn’t have lost last time to 1-for-8 Pin Up Betty. She’s 2-for-2 in stakes at Keeneland, 0-for-3 elsewhere. Needs fast pace she probably won’t get.


Trainer: Andrew Balding

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Toss her flop in Epsom Oaks on soft ground she hated. Easily won her previous race, a 1 5/16-mile Grade 3 at York, and a return to that form would make her very tough. Must respect.

6. SEGESTA (6-1)

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Speed numbers unimpressive, but Chad has won this race six times, so you can’t throw out recent Grade 2 winner over the course. Let the price be your guide.


Trainer: Cherie DeVaux

Jockey: John Velazquez

She’s a half-length away from being 2-for-2 in Grade 1’s and 4-for-4 on grass. Obvious favorite after 5¾-length runaway at Pimlico. The horse to beat.


Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Jockey: William Buick

Was 4-for-4 before running seventh in Group 1 English One Thousand Guineas. Don’t hold that loss against her. Great distance pedigree, and the main threat to She Feels Pretty.

9. SY B (15-1)

Trainer: Cherie DeVaux

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Broke maiden going 1 3/16 miles at Keeneland. Can stay distance but outclassed on paper

The picks: 1 She Feels Pretty 2 Cinderella’s Dream 3 Dynamic Pricing

Belmont Derby, Oaks Close out Belmont at Big A Meet; Picks, Odds | Horse Racing News (2)

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The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.

Belmont Derby, Oaks Close out Belmont at Big A Meet; Picks, Odds | Horse Racing News (2024)
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