Horse Racing Betting Report - 2016 Futurity Stakes Picks

Horse Theory during a race

David Schwab

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

Horse bettors all across the nation are gearing up and getting their horse picks ready for the sport’s biggest two-day event of the year with the 2016 Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita Park on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5. To add to the excitement and anticipation is a key race for up and coming juveniles at Belmont Park this Saturday afternoon.

 

The 2016 Futurity Stakes is the first look at few two-year-old contenders looking to climb onto the 2017 Kentucky Derby Trail with a victory in the first major graded stakes race of their young racing career. The following are my top three horse picks for Saturday’s main event at fabled Belmont Park that should come together perfectly for a winning trifecta play.

 2016 Futurity Stakes- Belmont Park

The Futurity is a Grade 3 stakes race for two-year-old thoroughbreds with a total price purse of $200,000. It will be contested on the dirt track at Belmont over a distance of six furlongs.

There are only five entries for this year’s Futurity, but there is a trio of juveniles that have the ability to work their way onto the 2017 Kentucky Derby Trail starting with a strong showing this Saturday at Belmont. The two-year-old at the top of most bettors’ list including mine would be trainer Todd Pletcher’s Kentucky-bred Theory. He has already caught the eye of Horse Racing Nation with an early 6.92 rating and he will be making his major stakes debut with top jockey Javier Castellano slated to get the ride breaking out of the No. 2 post.

Theory is a pedigree of Gemologist and Gem Sleuth. In his only race this season on July 30, he posted a victory at Saratoga in a Maiden Special Weight race over a distance of six furlongs so this Saturday’s distance should be right in his wheelhouse. His odds to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile are +1400 at Bet365.

 

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Reckling finished second to Theory in that MSW race on July 30 before claiming the top prize in a six-furlong Maiden Special Weight race at Saratoga on Aug. 27. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., this two-year-old Kentucky-bred colt is also rated by HRN at 5.06. With a much better showing in his second outing as a juvenile, it will be interesting to see these two up and coming contenders battle it out at six furlongs in a graded stakes event.

Breaking from the No. 4 post in Saturday’s race, Reckling comes in as a pedigree of Dialed In with a progeny that can be traced back to 1992 Belmont Stakes winner AP Indy.

My third choice for the Futurity is trainer Wesley Ward’s Star Empire. Look for jockey Tyler Gaffalione to be onboard breaking out of the No. 5 post. This two-year-old English-bred colt has the most racing experience of my top three choices with a pair of victories in a Maiden Special Weight race at Belmont and an Allowance race at Presque Isle Downs before placing third in last month’s Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Pack over a distance of seven furlongs.

One interesting note is that this will be Star Empire’s first start on dirt since his first race as a juvenile with the last two events run on synthetic turf. He is a pedigree of Foxwedge and Celestial Empire.

The other two entries in Saturday’s Futurity are trainer Jeremiah Englehart’s Moves Like Ali and The Walk, who is trained by Thomas Albertini. Both of these two-year-olds are coming off victories in a Maiden Special Weight race their last time out, so it is always a good recommendation to check the list of best sportsbooks and the betting odds before placing your bet.

 

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