Welcome to Noel Michaels’ Weekend Winners, the place to go for weekend best bets and spot plays from veteran handicapper and tournament-play pioneer Noel Michaels. Check back every week for a couple of highlighted selections designed to help you cash a few bets and make some money.
Noel’s selections have been featured just about everywhere horse racing picks can be found, including in print in the Daily Racing Form, The HorsePlayer Magazine and American Turf Monthly, online at DRF.com, Twinspires.com and USRacing.com, from the paddock on-track at Arlington International Racecourse, and on the air on HRTV, TVG, NYC OTB Extra, NYRA’s Talking Horses, and on broadcast TV on WAVE-3 Louisville, ABC KOLO-8 in Reno, Nevada, and channel 72 Long Island Cablevision.
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6 Beginner Betting Tools
- Start simple with an easy guide for how to bet on horse racing.
- Not sure what that word means? Horse racing terminology is a language of its own. Allow us translate for you.
- What the heck is a speed figure? This beginner’s guide to speed figures has everything you need to know.
- Betting on horse racing can be intimidating. Team ABR put together some Dos and Don’ts for the new fan getting started betting on racing.
- We all make mistakes when it comes to betting on horse racing, here are eight lessons learned from experience.
- Figure out how much each bet will cost in advance with our Gambling Calculator, presented by NYRA Bets.
Saturday, June 3
We’re only a week away from Belmont Stakes day, and Belmont Park will be the center of the racing universe for the next week or so, starting now. Belmont hosts a 10-race card this Saturday headlined by the featured Grade 2 Pennine Ridge Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf, which has drawn a couple of absolute killers into its eight-horse field. The Pennine Ridge begins a very playable late double at Belmont Park this Saturday, as well. Here are some picks for Saturday’s featured race and for the nightcap. Hopefully, you can fill your pockets and build bankroll for the big week ahead at beautiful Belmont Park.
Belmont Park, Race 9, $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes, 5:12 p.m. ET
Belmont’s Saturday feature is the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge Stakes going 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course with a loaded field of eight 3-year-old up-and-comers on the grass. As good as the field is, there appears to be a pair of standouts in the bunch starting with #4 Silver Knott, who you might remember as the second-place finisher in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, which he lost by a nose in heart-stopping fashion. As trainer for Godolphin, Charles Appleby has been dominant the past few years in North American graded stakes races with his European shippers, including in 2022 when he won five North American graded stakes, including three Grade 1s, plus three more Grade 1s at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Silver Knott might lose some support today based on his sub-par 11th-place finish in his 3-year-old debut last time in a classic at Newmarket in England, but Appleby has shown time and time again that he means business when he ships horses across the pond and only does se when he expects to win. The other principal contender in the Pennine Ridge is #8 Far Bridge trained by Todd Pletcher. Far Bridge exits a nose loss on the Kentucky Derby day undercard in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes Presented by BMW, which was his first career loss in three outings so far. His speed figures tower over the other North American-based runners in this field. Finally, if you are paying attention to the potential pace of this race, you will notice that there is only one legit front-runner entered in the field and that’s #6 Kalik, who happens to be trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and is coming out of a wire-to-wire win where he was able to slow down the pace. He could get brave on the lead if a similar pace scenario develops today.
The Play: Bet #4 Silver Knott (2-1) to win and play him in exacta and trifecta boxes with #6 Kalik (7-2), and #8 Far Bridge (9-5). Start late daily doubles using the trio of Silver Knott, Kalik, and Far Bridge in Race 9 with #3 War Prince in Race 10.
Belmont Park, Race 10, maiden claiming, 5:44 p.m. ET
Saturday’s get-out race at Belmont is a 1 1/16-mile maiden claiming race for New York-breds on the turf that has drawn a full 12-horse field with plenty of live horses to round out the late Daily Doubles. Today should be graduation day for #3 War Prince, who got rained off the turf two races ago in the return from the sidelines, and then last time got back onto the grass and ran an underrated fourth-place effort after racing too close to a blazing pace in a race that was dominated by closers who finished 1-2-3. He finished the best of the front-runners and now draws a better inside post. #4 Atlanta’s Acuna drops in class after a disappointing return from the winter layoff last time out but could threaten at this level based on some solid efforts last year at a higher level, including a second-place finish at Aqueduct back on Nov. 11. Finally, #8 Silent Running adds blinkers for what will be his second start off a four-month layoff after what looked like a prep last time out. It’s interesting to see Flavien Prat keep the mount on this horse, whose best career speed figure came at this time last year in his only career outing so far at Belmont Park.
The Play: Bet #3 War Prince (9-2) to win and box him in the exactas and trifectas with #4 Atlanta’s Acuna (6-1), and #8 Silent Running (10-1).