Belmont’s Thursday feature is the non-graded, $125,000, Critical Eye Stakes. Horses will run a mile over Big Sandy’s dirt track. We handicap and make free horse racing picks for the Critical Eye Stakes along with two other races on Belmont’s June 18 card. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Belmont Park for Thursday, June 18. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Belmont Park Horse Racing Picks
- When: Thursday, June 18 at 1:15 pm ET
- Where: Elmont, NY
- Weather: Mostly Cloudy
- Temperature: High 77 – Low 65
Belmont Park Picks for Thursday, June 18
Race 7 – 4:32 pm ET – 1 1/16 Miles Dirt – $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming
It’s hard to look past 5/2 on the morning line I Love Jackson. Trainer Linda Rice has yet to win a race at Belmont. No worries. She should get her first victory on Thursday. It might be with I Love Jackson. The Flat Out sired 5-year-old gelding has won 4-of-5. Also, Jackson breaks to outside of the other speed. That gives jockey Jose Lezcano an advantage.
The other speed that Lezcano should worry about is 9/5 chalk It’s All Relevant. Rudy Rodriguez puts the saddle on the 7-year-old Hard Spun sired gelding. Relevant should run great, but don’t dump on the favorite to win. It’s best races have happened at Aqueduct, not Belmont.
Chad Brown trained Proven Reserves is a solid runner. The 5-year-old horse should fill out the trifecta. If you’re not sold on the top two choices, Reserves is a logical contender to get the win.
- Win: I Love Jackson
- Place: It’s All Relevant
- Show: Proven Reserves
Race 8 – 5:04 pm ET – 1 Mile Turf –$56,000 Allowance
Johnathan Thomas does very well with turf runners. That’s why we’re excited to put our win money on 6/1 morning line Summer At the Spa. The Summer Front sired runner won her first race going 6 furlongs over Aqueduct’s turf. Thomas stretches her out and gives her Lasix. She can pull off the upset.
Morning Colors should round out the exacta. Trainer Cristophe Clement wins 20% with runners going against winners for the first time. He wins 19% with his turf starters. Also, Colors picks up great jockey Joel Rosario.
Astoria Kitten is the 5/2 morning line chalk. Danny Gargan trains, which makes this one appealing. But after breaking her maiden, Kitten hasn’t raced that great in a couple of non-graded stakes. We like the favorite to finish third.
- Win: Summer At the Spa
- Place: Morning Colors
- Show: Astoria Kitten
Race 9 – 5:36 pm ET – 1 Mile Dirt – $125,000 Critical Eye Stakes
Chad Brown trained runner More Mischief could score at odds close to the 9/5 morning line. Ratajkowski figures to go off the chalk, which means we get a chance to back a talented Chad trained filly at fair odds. That doesn’t happen often.
The reason Ratajkowski will go off the chalk is because the Graham Motion trained 6-year-old mare has a 4-1-1 record from 7 races. Ratajkowski goes first time for Motion, a 16% winning angle, picks up Jose Ortiz to ride, and races in this stakes after finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Fall City Handicap in her last.
At 15/1, The Great Johana could add some value in the trifecta. Luis Saez rides, which is always a plus. Also, Johana has as much of a chance closing for third as the other runners in this outside of the top two choices.
- Win: More Mischief
- Place: Ratajowski
- Show: The Great Johana