Shapazian’s Belmont picks – July 15

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The last Saturday card of the Belmont Park spring-summer meeting is on tap and The Saratoga Special’s John Shapazian scoped it out and offers his selections right here.

The 11-race program features a pair of stakes – the $150,000 Forbidden Apple for older horses going 1 mile on the grass and the $100,000 Rockville Centre for New York-bred 2-year-olds at 6 furlongs.

Check out John’s picks below and get revved up for Saratoga in less than a week. Take care and good luck.

Race 1
TASUNKE WITCO picked up his game June 11, a repeat of that effort makes his tough to beat, must be able to rate off the early pace setters.  W. GILES appears the speed of the speeds; he’ll have to deal with NO HIDING PLACE to his inside.  1-5-2

Race 2
SUPER MAMA makes her 2017 debut, will be a handful with any improvement from last season.  TIZZA TEMPER shortens up to 7 panels after a couple encouraging turf efforts.  SHE’S DREAMING will appreciate any pace meltdown.  10-6-2

Race 3
MORNING BREEZ showed ample talent in his debut for Carlos Martin, a post-position toward the outside may prove advantageous.  WHAT A CATCH romped for Gary Barber-Todd Pletcher, can move forward.  MORRISON loved the Belmont slop, any moisture in today track will be a plus.  5-4-3

Race 4
FIRE KEY does her been running on less than firm turf, may get that today with rain in the forecast.  BARRIER TO ENTRY seldom wins but always puts in a solid effort.  LAKESIDE SUNSET becomes the pick if moved to the main track.  5-4-6

Race 5
NOVIQUE fired a bullet for Michelle Nevin June 28, drops in for a tag, gets seven pounds off from her rivals.  HOLD ON MOMMA did not care for the sloppy going in her last.  E WARFARE will try and take them gate-to-wire.  5-2-3

Race 6
LUMINARY LIGHT (MTO) becomes the horse to beat for Jim Ryerson if moved to the main oval.  Otherwise, STORMIN MACLEAN was charging late to miss narrowly in his last. ABBOT had a rough trip at Monmouth, takes off the blinkers. BASELINE was caught wide in his last attempt, will also run well if moved off the turf.  13-4-7-5

Race 7
BATS CLEAN UP drops in for a tag, draws the hedge, Dylan Davis is having a solid meet.  U ROCK IT needs to control his speed, but could light up the tote board if able to rate.  DANNY’S RUSH has to improve to contend for top honors.  1-9-5

Race 8
WEEKEND HIDEAWAY is the horse to beat if washed off the turf, 5-for-8 in the off going.  On the lawn, DISCO PARTNER has been spectacular in his last two, stretches out to 8 panels.  OFFERING PLAN has put in some solid performances on less than firm turf.  GET JETS is in peak form, faces tougher today.  5-9-6-1

Race 9
MR. PETE, by Shanghai Bobby, adds blinkers after a tardy start in his debut.  COLLECTIVE EFFORT flashed his speed in his first attempt, check out the paddock to see if the front wraps come off.  THERESA’S BOY worked well July 9, could a runner for Gary Contessa.  2-4-3

Race 10
SPRING FOLLY crushed state bred maidens in her debut at odds on, takes on winners but can repeat.  MISS FREEZE moves to the lawn for David Cannizzo, maybe the horse to beat on dirt.  LOVER’S KEY missed in her last, would be no surprise.  9-3-6

Race 11
RED KNIGHT ran well in an off-the-turf event in his debut, an obvious threat on turf or dirt.  APPEALING BRIEFS returns after a six-month freshening, adds blinkers, adds Johnny V.  THERE HE GOES could come out running for Danny Gargan, nice drill July 2.  8-4-5