Dan’s Double: Seeking Stars and Stripes Festival Score

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Fans inspect the horses in the Belmont Park paddock on a nice day at the racetrack. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

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Saturday, June 7

Belmont Park, Race 9, $700,000 Suburban Stakes, 6:18 p.m. ET

#5 Dr. Dorr: He’s been a completely different horse this year, as evidenced by the 112, 116, 115, and 114 Equibase Speed Figures he’s posted — better than anything he posted in eight starts prior to this year. He can also be forgiven for his loss last out in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita. He didn’t break well in that race, maybe had to work just a bit harder than usual to take a clear lead, and then had City of Light on his heels. Although Accelerate went by him, Dr. Dorr impressively held off City of Light for second. Pavel finished fourth and then came back to win the Stephen Foster.

The only other speed in this race is Diversify, but I wonder if he’s lost a step this year. That said, I think there’s a good chance Dr. Dorr may have things his way on the front-end. Utilizing STATS Race Lens research tools, I uncovered a statistic for trainer Bob Baffert. He’s shipped in 16 horses to Belmont for graded stakes routing on the dirt over the past five years. He’s won with a remarkable 50% of those starters and 10 of 16 have finished in the money.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$2 win, place on #5 Dr. Dorr ($4)

$1 trifecta key: 5 over 4,7,8 ($6)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$4 win, place, show on #5 Dr. Dorr ($12)

$1 trifecta key: 5 over 2,4,7,8 ($12)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$6 win, place, show on #5 Dr. Dorr ($18)

$1 trifecta key: 5 over 2,4,7,8 ($12)

$6 double: 5 with 4,7,8 ($18)

Belmont Park, Race 10, $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, 6:50 p.m. ET

#8 Hawkish: It’s hard to split the top few in here but I’m going a little with my heart — I’m fairly close to the owners of Hawkish — and a little with my eyes. If you watch Hawkish run, there’s no doubt that he’s extremely talented and that he hasn’t yet hit his ceiling. In winning the Grade 2 Penn Mile Stakes, he was still green in the stretch and clearly hasn’t figured it all out yet. Still, he won that race easily, and his stiffest challengers in this race enter with spotty form and/or distance questions. Hawkish, himself, is the son of a sire who has produced just one winner from 12 starters going a mile and a quarter, while progeny on the dam’s side haven’t excelled past a mile either. That said, Hawkish has posted two big numbers back-to-back and no one has been close to him in those two races. If he gets any pace at all to run into, he’s going to be extremely tough to hold off.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$2 win, place on #8 Hawkish ($4)

$1 exacta box: 4,7,8 ($6)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$2 win, place, show on #8 Hawkish ($6)

$1 exacta box: 4,7,8 ($6)

$1 trifecta: 4,8 with 2,4,7,8 with 2,4,7,8 ($12)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$5 win, place, show on #8 Hawkish ($15)

$1 exacta box: 4,7,8 ($6)

$1 trifecta: 4,7,8 with 2,4,7,8 with 1,2,4,7,8 ($27)

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