One of the most prestigious turf sprints in North America is the $400,000, Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes, held at three-quarters of a mile on Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets day at Belmont Park. You could make a compelling argument that this race ranks second only to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in division importance.
The 2022 Jaipur has drawn a competitive field of 13 horses, and there are plenty of ways to turn in handicapping the race. Many bettors figure to favor #5 Arrest Me Red (5-2), victorious in four of his five starts since transferring to the care of trainer Wesley Ward. Ward is renowned for his success conditioning turf sprinters, and Arrest Me Red has been a force to reckon with in grass dashes, even winning the Grade 3 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes at this course and distance last fall.
Arrest Me Red was beaten in his 2022 debut, finishing third in the Silks Run Stakes at Gulfstream Park, but the distance (about five-eighths of a mile) was probably too short. Arrest Me Red was closing ground fast at the finish, and he thrived when stretching out over another sixteenth of a mile in the Grade 2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Sysco at Churchill Downs last month, pressing the early pace before edging away to win by 1 3/4 lengths over subsequent Grade 3 Daytona Stakes winner Bran.
#4 Casa Creed (9-2) is another logical contender in the Jaipur. Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Casa Creed was a dominant winner of the 2021 Jaipur, unleashing a powerful outside rally to win by two lengths. He hasn’t won in five starts since, but Casa Creed has run some nice races along the way. He was beaten only a neck when second in the Group 3 stc 1351 Turf Sprint Cup in Saudi Arabia to kick off 2022, and he most recently came home fifth (beaten by only 2 1/4 lengths) against a large field in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments in Dubai.
But what if we think outside the box and support a longshot in the Jaipur? It’s hardly a stretch to think anything could happen in a field this large and competitive, where losing a length or two in traffic can make the difference between winning and finishing eighth.
Case in point? Check out #6 Greyes Creek (30-1). The 6-year-old by Pioneerof the Nile has long shown flashes of significant talent, and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Greyes Creek had received a clean trip in the 2021 Jaipur. After saving ground off the pace, Greyes Creek was advancing strongly along the rail until an opening failed to appear and he was caught behind rivals. Greyes Creek was eager to run down the homestretch, tossing his head looking for room, but nothing panned out and he was forced back to eighth place, beaten by 4 1/4 lengths.
I don’t know if Greyes Creek could have outkicked Casa Creed with a clean run, but I do believe he would have put up a fight for second-place. He’s only run once since, finishing seventh in an April 20 allowance race at Keeneland, but that effort was better than it appeared. The distance was 1 1/16 miles (probably farther than Greyes Creek wants to run at this point in his career), and he was only beaten by three lengths after advancing into contention in the stretch.
There are other positive factors to consider as well. Greyes Creek is reuniting with jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for all three of Greyes Creek’s past victories. Plus, Greyes Creek will race with blinkers in the Jaipur, and trainer Paulo Lobo wins at an excellent 20% rate with horses adding blinkers fort the first time.
Call me crazy, but I’m willing to believe Greyes Creek can challenge for victory if he works out a clean trip in the 2022 Jaipur. If he makes amends for his troubled run in 2021, I want to be on board at his 30-1 morning-line odds.
So how should we bet the Jaipur? Depending on the budget you’ve allocated, I’ll recommend two strategies. Both involve betting Greyes Creek to win and playing him for first- and second-place in the exacta with Arrest Me Red and Casa Creed, which covers for the possibility of Greyes Creek settling for a runner-up finish behind one of the logical favorites.
Wagering Strategy on a $12 Budget
$6 to win on #6 Greyes Creek
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $6 to win on 6
$2 exacta: 4,5 with 6 ($4)
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $2 exacta 4,5 with 6
$1 exacta: 6 with 4,5 ($2)
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $1 exacta 6 with 4,5
Wagering Strategy on a $30 Budget
$14 to win on #6 Greyes Creek
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $14 to win on 6
$6 exacta: 4,5 with 6 ($12)
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $6 exacta 4,5 with 6
$2 exacta: 6 with 4,5 ($4)
What to say at the betting window: Belmont Park, 8th race, $2 exacta 6 with 4,5
Good luck, and enjoy the race!