Here are stakes picks for Friday’s Belmont Stakes-eve card. Update after some major scratches.
Race 3| Grade III Bed ‘o Roses Invitational | 7 furlongs
2. American Gal
3. Divine Miss Grey
4. Lewis Bay
Comment: Cairenn scratched from a Preakness week stakes at sloppy Pimlico and enters here with a 20-1 morning line that offers sufficient value to justify this flier. American Gal is the most logical winner off of a Grade I Humana Distaff win and has a graded stakes win over this course — although she offers little value. Divine Miss Grey has three wins in four Belmont dirt starts and wouldn’t surprise.
Race 5 | Tremont Stakes | 5 1/2 furlongs
1. Sir Trubadour
2. Mae Never No
Comment: This looks to be a two horse race. Sir Trubadour gets the nod on the thinking that he’s proven he can win in the slop, and he might improve if the track is fast. Mae Never No Never won at Belmont beating Abyssinian, who won at next asking.
Race 8 | Grade II True North Stakes | 6 furlongs
1. Bobby Abu Dhabi
3. Imperial Hint
Comment: Bobby Abu Dhabi leaves his left coast comfort zone where he’s shown he can win on the front or just off it.
Race 9 | Grade II New York Stakes | 1 1/4 miles turf
2. Fourstar Crook
3. Daddys Lil Darling
4. Holy Helena
Comment: Sistercharlie is the best bet of the day stakes-wise. She had lots of upside in her second start of the year coming off a win in the Grade I Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Fourstar Crook has only been out of the money twice in 16 career starts and isn’t likely to make that three here. Daddy Lil Darling is a Grade I winner, but looks a step slower than rivals.
Race 10 | Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes | 2 miles turf
2. Funny Kid
4. Call To Mind
Comment: Rocketry offers value and has shown an ability to bide time and make his move. Funny Kid is a son of Lemon Drop Kid who has won at the distance and won at nearly the distance in group-stakes company — a big player. Nessy should be able to handle the distance.