By Matt Pappis
Tracksideview Staff Writer —-
As the 2017 Belmont Spring/Summer meet heads into deep stretch, handicapper Matt Pappis offers his take on the five Graded Stakes races and the Late Pick-4; let’s have a look at his selections.
Race 6) 1 Mile. Dwyer S. Grade III. Purse $400,000 FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS Post Time: ( 4:38)/ 3:38/ 2:38/ 1:38 ADVANCED FORECAST: Slight Chance Thunderstorms, High 77 Low 67
Giuseppe the Great (5): His last race was impressive; he had a lot to over come and still ran on for a huge second; a step forward here makes him a solid wager at 5-1.
Practical Joke (3): Fits much better at one turn then he did at two when on the Derby trail; let’s hope the connects are smart and keep him at one turn.
Battalion Runner (2): Todd Pletcher has big numbers off of layoffs heading into Graded Stakes and this is the one they will have to run down late.
Race 7) 7 Furlongs. Belmont Sprint Championship S. Grade II. Purse
$350,000 FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS AND UPWARD Post Time: ( 5:13)/ 4:13/ 3:13/ 2:13
Unified (7): Should sit a perfect stalking trip off of Green Gratto from the outside post. He has already beaten the morning line favorite and we expect it to happen again.
Awesome Slew (5): Has really turned a corner since entering the Casse barn and has enough tactical speed to stay close to our top pick.
Mind Your Biscuits (2): Will be way over bet based on his Dubai performance where he really didn’t beat much. Trainer Chad Summers has only one win since winning with this horse in Dubai and will have to prove to me he is a capable trainer before I take a short price.
Race 8) 1‚ Mile. (Inner Turf) G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational S. Grade I. Purse $1,000,000
Uni (7): Very talented Chad Brown runner comes in off a win in France, a prep for this race.
Key to my Heart (5): Aidan O’Brien looks to be bringing his “B” team over for these races, however his “B” team is more than capable to win here.
Sistercharlie (12): Steps into the Chad Brown barn for the first time and is the one to beat off her over seas form.
Race 9) 1‚ Mile. Suburban S. Grade II. Purse $750,000 FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS AND UPWARD
Shaman Ghost (6): A stand out in every meaning of the word; he looks like the most likely winner on the card.
Follow Me Crev (5): Ran a good race in defeat to Cupid in the Santa Anita Gold Cup and is coming into good form.
Keen Ice (1): He does not like to win as his record 2/21 shows but he always shows up and gets into the money.
Race 10) 1‚ Mile. (Inner Turf) Belmont Derby Invitational S. Grade I. Purse $1,200,000 INNER TURF
Good Samaritan (1): He has been up against it in his two races since coming back from the Breeders’ Cup. He will finally get more pace and a better post to try and notch his first win as a three year old.
Ticonderoga (2): The Penny Ridge was a perfect set up for him into this race and the addition of Javier Castellano is a big plus; he is the best turf rider in the country.
Homesman (3): Looks to be the best of the Euros coming over.
.50 Pick-4 Race 7 -10
5,7 / 4,5,7,10,12 / 6/ 1,2,3,6,10 = $25