While the connections of Justify went home with a new, sparkling three-foot-tall Triple Crown trophy, handicappers who dove into a sensational Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets card had a chance to enjoy some rather golden moments of their own.
After the chalk-fest at Pimlico, the 13-race card at Belmont Park featured a nice mix of seven winning favorites and three horses who paid at least $28 to win.
In particular, the Pick 5 that ended with Justify’s win as a 4-5 favorite in the Belmont, had a pleasing blend of two favorites and two of the 13-1 and higher winners that generated some great horizontal or sequence wagers.
Even the verticals or exotics in the Belmont paid off nicely thanks to European shipper Gronkowski crossing the goal line second at 24-1. That triggered an $89 exacta for $2, which was a huge increase over the $3.60 win price on Justify.
Considering that the trifecta involved the two betting favorites and the superfecta had the three betting choices in the four slots, once again a single longshot held the key to making the Belmont Stakes a highly worthwhile betting experience.
Getting back to the horizontals, there were some great payoffs despite the free square with Justify.
Helping the cause was that Spring Quality prevailed in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan and paid $38 to win, keying an $89 double for a $2 bet. Going backward, the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap went to the favored Bee Jersey ($8.50) and sandwiching the two favorites around Spring Quality created a Pick 3 that paid $537 for $2. If you singled the two favorites and used all 13 horses in the Manhattan, a $26 investment turned into $537 while you were celebrating the 13th Triple Crown winner.
Now, add in A Raving Beauty ($9.30) in the Longines Just a Game and the Pick 4 payoff was $2,557 for $2.
Finally, with the help of Still Having Fun, a $28 winner of the Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun, the Pick 5 paid $5,684 for just 50 cents, and if you were confident enough to make $2 wagers the return was an astonishing $22,736.
Yes, you needed some astute handicapping to collect on some of those wagers, but those prices surely reinforced a key notion about wagering on a big day of racing. Even if there’s an odds-on favorite out there in the featured race of the day, don’t waive a white flag. Dive into the pools with some longshots as your life preserver and you just might head home with something more than some great memories.
Let’s face it, what’s better than great memories and a wallet stuffed with cash?