Don’t sell Call Provision short in Belmont Derby

The prestigious Grade I, $1.25 million Belmont Derby takes place this Saturday at Belmont Park and headlines the annual “Stars and Stripes Festival” at the New York venue. Going as Race 8 on an 11-race program, the mile-and-a-quarter Belmont Derby is scheduled to go off at 4:38 p.m. EST. It will represent one of many valuable races in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game, be sure to get involved!

My top selection is #12 CALL PROVISION (10-1). He’ll have elite connections in his corner for this race in Chad Brown (trainer) and John Velazquez (jockey) as he makes just his third ever start. Some may see the lack of experience as a hindrance but it can also be looked at positively, as younger horses tend to improve little-by-little each time they run.

CALL PROVISION won his maiden voyage with an impressive 4-wide sweep at Aqueduct, then came to Belmont to try his luck in the Pennine Ridge. He didn’t win that mile-and-an-eighth race but got awfully close, third beaten a neck. The top two finishers of that race return here, #6 CAMELOT KITTEN (5-1) and #4 HIGHLAND SKY (8-1), but I think CALL PROVISION can turn the tables.

CAMELOT KITTEN got the most favorable trip of this trio that day, and while HIGHLAND SKY was carried widest of all, CALL PROVISION’s superior breeding (by Lemon Drop Kid out of a Dynaformer mare) should help him get the extra furlong required today in order to beat out HIGHLAND SKY. Sitting as the best price of the three on the morning-line, CALL PROVISION appears to be a great bet.

Looking at the “underneath” contenders, HIGHLAND SKY immediately jumps out, as he was actually a nose ahead of the top pick last time out. He seems to be getting better with each start under Luis Saez.

#7 LONG ISLAND SOUND (7-2) adds some international intrigue to this heat as one of two shippers for top UK trainer Aiden O’Brien (the other is #13 DEAUVILLE). LONG ISLAND SOUND won his first three starts (all at a mile) then stretched out to the 10-furlong distance in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. He didn’t win but ran a respectable third behind a next-out winner.

I mentioned CAMELOT KITTEN above but will not be including him in my wagers, as I think the added distance will affect him adversely. I also feel he’s a bit “dressed up,” getting favorable trips in his last two starts.

The play: $2 exacta box 4/7/12, $6 win 12 ($18)

Daily Fantasy Jockey game angle: I don’t like Manny Franco’s mount in this race (#1 TOUGHEST ‘OMBRE), but he is on a handful of live mounts earlier in the card. He also has a chance to pull off a sizeable upset in the Belmont Sprint Championship aboard Joking. Franco’s $9,000 salary could prove to be a bargain.

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