Dan's Double: Stakes Selections at Belmont Park

Gambling
Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

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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Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016 but was in the red for 2017. How will he do in 2018? To find out and to play along, come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Sept. 29

Belmont Park, Race 8, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

#8 Channel Maker: Sometimes a horse will show you more in defeat than others do in victory. With Channel Maker, his runner-up finish to Glorious Empire in the Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga was extremely impressive. He simply sat off of a loose leader who was loaded that day, yet Channel Maker was game to the wire, holding off all other challengers including the returning Spring Quality. This is a horse who can run all day. Disregard the 0-for-2 at Belmont — he caught undesirable trips both times and wasn’t as good a horse back then as he is now. He again figures to be forwardly placed here.

$10 Budget
$2 win, place, and show on #8 Channel Maker ($6)
$2 exacta box 2,8 ($4)

$25 Budget
$4 win, place, and show on #8 Channel Maker ($12)
$2 exacta box 2,6,8 ($12)

$50 Budget
$8 win, place, and show on #8 Channel Maker ($24)
$2 exacta box 2,6,8 ($12)
$1 trifecta 2,8 with 2,8 with ALL ($12)

Belmont Park, Race 10, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup

#2 Gronkowski: This horse obviously ran his best race here in the Belmont Stakes, finishing second to Justify. He had been off for so long though and closed from well out of it. That same approach wasn’t going to work last out in the Travers at Saratoga, where the track was playing favorably to horses with speed. He never really had a shot there. But here, we might find Mendelssohn looking to show off that early foot that he rediscovered in the Travers. It would seem like that’s his best shot here too — it’s not like they’d want to let Diversify just walk away with it on the front end. I think that dynamic, along with a fairer surface that’s more suitable to Gronkowski’s running style, make the Gronk a decent play. Plus, the price on him should be nice too.

$10 Budget
$2 win, place, and show on #2 Gronkowski ($6)
$1 exacta 2,6 over 2,4,6 ($4) 

$25 Budget
$4 win, place, and show on #2 Gronkowski ($12)
$1 exacta box 2,4,6 ($6)
$1 trifecta box 2,4,6 ($6) 

$50 Budget
$10 to win, $6 to place and show on #2 Gronkowski ($22)
$1 exacta box 2,4,6 ($6)
$1 trifecta box 2,4,6 ($6)
$2 exacta key box 2 with 3,4,6,8 ($16)

YTD BANKROLL: -$1,256.40

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