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Pete’s Picks: Royal Delta in The Beldame, Palace Malice in The Jockey Club Gold Cup

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 9/27/2013 6:39:32 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Princess of Sylmar, Royal Delta, Ron the Greek, Orb, Last Gunfighter, Alpha, Flat Out, Palace Malice, Cross Traffic
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Beldame Invitational, The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational
Where: Belmont Park 
When: Saturday, September 28th

On a Saturday loaded with high-class stakes action across the country in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup in early November, two of the most important and intriguing contests will take place at Belmont Park. The nation’s top 3YO filly, Princess of Sylmar, will tackle the mighty Royal Delta in the 75th Running of the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational. Later in the card, a host of Breeders’ Cup Classic hopefuls, including 3YO’s Orb and Palace Malice, as well as hard-hitting older horses such as Ron the Greek, Last Gunfighter, Alpha, Flat Out and Cross Traffic will square off in the 95th Running of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational. Let’s take a closer look at this pair of hugely important races below.

#4-Royal Delta (3-5) appears to hold all the cards over her younger adversary, #2-Princess of Sylmar (2-1) in The Beldame. She’s faster, has vanquished tougher competition over the course of her career, has had great success over the Belmont oval (while Princess of Sylmar has yet to race on ‘Big Sandy’), and spots her rival a mere three pounds. Royal Delta has turned in a pair of top-notch performances since trainer Mott decided to take her off Lasix, and Saturday should be no different. I’m looking for Royal Delta to control the race on or near the lead and win comfortably, with Princess of Sylmar plugging away for the place spot. I’ll bet a straight 4-2 exacta…Royal Delta over Princess of Sylmar. Don’t be surprised if Royal Delta’s connections opt for The Breeders’ Cup Classic if she wins The Beldame easily.

Cases can be made for most of the runners in The Jockey Club Gold Cup…it’s a truly competitive affair. #1-Ron the Greek (12-1) isn’t in career form at the moment, but the two-million dollar earner is a danger from off the pace on his best day. #2-Orb (9-2) returned from a freshening with a sharp third in The Travers. The Kentucky Derby winner will receive the services of jockey Javier Castellano for the first time on Saturday. Orb hasn’t done his best running at Belmont Park, however, finishing a non-threatening third in the Belmont Stakes in his most recent local start. #3-Last Gunfighter (10-1) dives into Grade 1 waters for the first time Saturday. He’s a gem of consistency, winning 7 of his last 8, and his second-place finish in the Grade 2 Suburban behind Flat Out indicates he should handle the class hike. #5-Alpha (8-1) wired the Grade 1 Woodward in the slop last out, but he may be a horse-for-course at Saratoga. Belmont Park’s a different story, as he’s winless in two starts there. #6-Flat Out (3-1), on the other hand, loves Belmont Park, with a record of 6-5-0-1, with local earnings of more than $1.6 million. #8-Cross Traffic (5-2) has yet to run a bad one, and is proven vs. top company. He could lead this group on a merry chase, but will be picking up nine pounds off his Grade 1 Whitney victory, and will be stretching out to a mile-and-a-quarter for the first time on Saturday. I’m going to bet on the ever-improving #7-Palace Malice (4-1). He was an unlucky fourth last out in The Travers, after stumbling at the start and trailing a slow pace. Prior to that, he was impressive in winning The Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy, and has flourished with regular racing. This son of Curlin should enjoy a nice stalking trip, and can finish with any of these when they turn for home. A price in the 7-2 range will be fine with me, but don’t be surprised if he drifts a bit higher.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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