Belmont Empire Showcase Day picks and plays; 10/19/19

The best of the New York-breds will be front-and-center at beautiful Belmont Park this Saturday. Eight state-bred stakes worth over $1 million combined are on the slate. FanXT will dive into a pair of these races below.

Belmont Race 4 (Post time: 1:59 p.m. ET)

The $200,000 Mohawk Stakes

1 1/16th-miles on turf

#3 VOODOO SONG is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Mohawk despite losing to #7 DOT MATRIX (7-2) in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes over this course last month. VOODOO SONG opened up a sizeable lead that day before fading in deep stretch. He cuts back a 1/16th and has back class to spare (he’s a former Grade I winner), but others appeal more in this spot.

DOT MATRIX is 12-3-2-3 all-time at Belmont and has been competitive at this level prior to his Ashley T. Cole victory. He is plenty versatile, which give Luis Saez options in here.

#6 GUCCI FACTOR (7-2) won three straight starts, including the Grade III Poker over this course, before suffering a disastrous start in Saratoga’s West Point Stakes. He struggled just to work his way back to sixth in that heat. GUCCI FACTOR is 7-4-0-1 over this strip and retains Joel Rosario as he looks to rebound.

The play: $5 exacta box 6/7 ($10)

 

Belmont Race 10 (Post time: 5:20 p.m. ET)

The $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap

One mile on dirt

#1 NEWLY MINTED (5-2, morning-line favorite) is 4-for-5 lifetime and was last seen taking Saratoga’s Fleet Indian Stakes by nine lengths, but there’s a new star on the horizon in this division.

#10 RATAJKOWSKI (3-1) earned the best last-out speed figure in the field with a 10 1/2-length triumph over allowance foes at Belmont last time out. The late-blooming daughter of Drosselmeyer appears to have finally reached her potential. RATAJKOWSKI will shed weight as she steps up in class under Jose Ortiz.

#8 HELD ACCOUNTABLE (12-1) has a case for a share at solid odds in the Empire Distaff. She’s 5-2-1-0 at Belmont and hit the exacta in both career starts at this distance. HELD ACCOUNTABLE drilled sharply for this and retains Eric Cancel.

The play: $4 exacta 10/1, $2 exacta 10/6,8,9 ($10)

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