New Jersey bettors gain the best of two hallowed horse-racing establishments this weekend.
The Meadowlands and Belmont Park, stalwarts in the harness and thoroughbred industries, hit full throttle. New Jersey bettors can gain access to these, and a plethora of other tracks, via 4NJBets, powered by TVG.
Meadowlands, the Big M, resumes its regular Friday and Saturday program with harness-racing cards at 7:15 p.m. It started the campaign with panache last weekend, securing betting totals of $5.5 million over two nights, even without live spectators.
Belmont, which runs Wednesday-through-Sunday this week at 1:15 p.m., has the $300,000 Ogden Phipps event Saturday. It’s the biggest race of the day in the thoroughbred racing industry. Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, and Churchill Downs are among the major tracks joining Belmont’s weekend thoroughbred cards.
Horse Racing Bets: This Week’s Breakdown
New Jersey bettors have much to choose from for this week when it comes to horse racing bets. One success key is honing in on patterns at individual tracks. The tracks are like individual casinos. Some just bring you more luck.
For harness racing players, hot drivers at the Meadowlands include:
- Dexter Dunn
- Yannick Gingras
- Corey Callahan
- Tim Tetrick
Veteran Dave Miller produced a nice upset in the opening race of Saturday’s card, guiding Alexis’s Beach home at 21-1. Golden Quest N was second and the $2 exacta paid $235.40. So Rude completed a $1 trifecta return of $338.
The biggest longshot of the night was Highalator, who stormed home at 42-1 in the ninth race. A New Jersey bettor made nearly $3,000, parlaying his hunch on the horse with pre-race comments made by Meadowlands handicappers.
When the bettor heard “Highalator may never be this price again,” he pounded it for $70.
Fate does not always work that way and there are many comments people make that can lead bettors astray, but this time it worked.
Belmont: Seeking Financial “Candy”
The Ogden Phipps-race favorite is Grade 1 winner Ollie’s Candy. Trained by John Sadler, she won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch last July at Del Mar. Since then, she is 0 for 4, most recently running second to Ce Ce in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn.
It was a great race detailing the importance of pace. Ollie’s Candy set blistering fractions and was pressured by other horses throughout. She wilted just enough down the stretch for Ce Ce to nip her at the wire.
The pair were scheduled for a rematch last month at Santa Anita, but it didn’t occur. That put Ollie’s Candy in a strong position with this field of six. It is unlikely she’ll get caught in the same type of speed duel. If she doesn’t, she will be tough to beat.
Point of Honor, who finished third in the Apple Blossom, is expected to run in the Ogden Phipps.
The winner of this race gets an automatic entry to the Breeders Cup on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.
This is a good race to spot talent. The 2019 winner, Midnight Bisou, finished a strong second to Maximum Security in the $20 million Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race, early this year.
- Belmont’s Saturday card starts at 1:15 p.m. and has large fields.
Top early jockeys for the Belmont meet include:
- Irad Ortiz, who will now focus more here instead of Gulfstream Park.
- Javier Castellano
- Junior Alvarado
- Joel Rosario.
Belmont has become the land of Cha-Ching, registering $76 million in all-sources handle in its first full racing week. A considerable chunk most likely came from Garden State bettors, as the races unfold without spectators.
This has become a pattern in the industry. Online bettors have bailed it out.
The 51-race Opening Week slate returned an all-sources handle of $76,264,891.
In 2019, the first five full days of the meet generated an all-sources handle of $41,376,401 over a combined 50 races.
Bettors on mobile apps, buoyed by live streaming, make an important statement about the future of horse racing. If this type of popularity exists without live fans, imagine the impact once spectators return. Bettors with apps will become the next wagering dynamic, joining tellers and machines that take vouchers.
Around the Circuit – Horse Racing Bets
Gulfstream operates Wednesday and then Friday-through-Sunday with the first post of around noon.
Longshots have been performing well in recent horse racing bets, combining with favorites to present nice payouts. Bettors have been grasping the idea of combining two favorites with a couple of longshots in $1 trifecta or superfecta boxes.
When longshots secure the first two spots and the favorites run third and fourth, the superfectas are paying extremely well.
Gulfstream Park has big fields.
There are 12 races slated for Saturday’s card.
- Santa Anita runs Friday-Sunday with the first post at 4 p.m. ET
Top jockeys there so far are Flavien Prat, Abel Cedillo and Umberto Rispoli. Santa Anita has been routinely clearing $1 million handle in many races.
Churchill Downs bettors are loading up on the Pick 3’s, Pick 4’, Pick 5’s and Pick 6 wagering pools.
In the last race on Saturday, June 6, more than $700,000 of the 1.1 million pool came simply from that category.
This realm is enticing to bettors because the takeout percentage is far less than what exactas, trifectas and superfectas demand.
- Churchill Downs runs Thursday-Sunday at 1 p.m. ET
And just in case you can’t get enough, there is the West Virginia connection. Charles Town runs Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m. Mountaineer picks up the slack Sunday-Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Charles Town has an interesting selection of 4 1-2-furlong races, which have been favoring speed from the middle of the track in recent performances.
Mountaineer has low-level maiden and claiming races, making it more palatable to bet against favorites.