Scully: All-Stakes Pick 4 play Friday at Belmont Park

June 8th, 2023

The $600,000 New York (G1) for turf distaffers kicks off an all-stakes Pick 4 sequence at Belmont Park on Friday, and I will put together a ticket on a reasonable budget, taking a stand by singling the opening leg.

50-cent Pick 4 (Race 8): 3 with 2,4,6,8 with 2,7 with 1,3,4,5,6,7,8 = $28

Here are my thoughts on the sequence.

Race 8 – New York (G1), 4:41 p.m. ET

Multiple Grade 1 winner War Like Goddess is a 1 1/2-mile specialist, dropping her lone attempt over less ground last year as an odds-on favorite, and she cuts back to 1 1/4 miles in an eight-horse field lacking pace. I will let her beat me.

#3 Didia (5-1) has shown an affinity for 10 furlongs, easily winning the last two starts in her native Argentina over Group 1 rivals in 2021, and the five-year-old mare is starting to discover her best form in the U.S. Winner of a pair of starts at Colonial Downs last summer, Didia remained perfect stateside by opening 2023 with victories in the Tom Benson Memorial S. at Fair Grounds in late March and the Modesty (G3) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs.

She’s steadily improved in every outing, taking the Modesty with complete authority after being given her cue by Vincent Cheminaud in upper stretch, and Didia will get first run on the closers in the New York. I project further progression, tabbing Didia to break through with her first U.S. Grade 1 triumph.

Race 9 – Acorn (G1), 5:14 p.m. ET

The 1 1/16-mile distance appears to be a better fit for 6 Pretty Mischievous (2-1), who held by a neck when stretching to nine furlongs in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and I liked how blinkers moved up the Brendan Walsh-trained filly. She has the tactical foot to keep expected pacesetter Munnys Gold in her sights before reeling in the speed, and I give Pretty Mischievous the edge.

I will play against Munnys Gold, the 9-5 morning line favorite, and spread with three others: #2 Randomized (5-1), #4 Occult (12-1), and #8 Accede (8-1).

Race 10 – Belmont Gold Cup (G2), 5:47 p.m. ET

#7 Amazing Grace (6-1) recorded a pair of top-class performances against male rivals in Germany last year, including a good third to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Rebel’s Romance in late September, and the five-year-old mare opened her U.S. campaign with a Grade 3 score at Gulfstream Park. She didn’t fire behind a ridiculously slow pace in the 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay (G2) last time, checking in fourth, and is set to rebound with a much-improved showing for Christophe Clement. She’ll stay the two-mile trip and appreciate a more legitimate pace.

Along with Amazing Grace, #2 Siskany (8-5) will be leaned upon. Runner-up in the two-mile Dubai World Cup two back, the Charlie Appleby trainee should appreciate the class relief and marathon distance in the Belmont Gold Cup.

Race 11 – Intercontinental (G3), 6:19 p.m. ET

#6 Amy C (5-1) won an allowance optional claimer at Belmont, and the five-year-old mare runs well off the freshening, recording a sharp tally in the 6 1/2-furlong Las Cienegas (G3) at Santa Anita when last seen in early January. She’s my top choice, but I’ll use most of the field in this six-furlong sprint for turf distaffers, including #1 Poppy Flower (9-2), #3 Clitheroe (15-1), #4 Messidor (12-1), #5 Bay Storm (3-1), #7 Bubble Rock (5-2), and #8 Goin' Good (8-1) on the ticket.