Jockey Trevor McCarthy Shares Belmont Picks

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Friday, May 7, 2021
He's becoming a regular, Trevor McCarthy tells us what to look for when a jockey is trying to get his/her horse to change leads and why it is and isn't important. He also lets us in on  how jockeys handle different track quirks and racing surfaces and more.

Of course, he joins Shawn, Terry, Tom and Rich making picks for races, 3, 5, 7 and 8 on Saturday afternoon's Belmont card. Trevor has a ride in each of the four and fills us in on which he horses he likes and doesn't. There's one horse that he really likes.

It a fun show and you'll learn something for sure, we did.

Make sure you follow Trevor at:

Terry "Hollywood" Hay's Handicapping

Race 3

Race scenario:  #13 Marias Gift and #7 Sweeter will go to the front. #10 Captivating Cara and #2 Happy Hill Lil will try to catch the leaders down the stretch. I think #10 Captivating Cara will be successful.

#10 - Captivating Cara just missed at this level on a sloppy track in January with a career-best figure despite getting bumped at the start.

#13 - Marias Gift has finished in the money in three out of four races this year. She has won more money per race than any horse in the race.

#6 – Ob La Di drops back to the $25,000.00 level where she ran a good 3rd despite being bumped at the start.

#7 – Sweeter drops to $25,000.00 level after showing early speed in the last two races.

Race 5

Race scenario: #4 Viking Zim and # 7 One Whirlwind Ride will rush to the lead and try to go all the way. # 5 Sinful Dancer and #9 Cotton will be in mid pack and close and try to catch the leaders at the end. I think #5 Sinful Dancer will complete that task.

#5 – Sinful Dancer ran two good races finishing second both times. He has the best Beyer number in the race and has won more money per race than any horse in the race.

#9 – Cotton has finished in the money in three out of four races last year. He is trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Irad Ortiz.

#3 – Danzigwiththestars ran well in all three turf sprints last year. He starts back as a new gelding with Lasix going on and he has tactical speed.

#12 – Noble Journey has two bullet works and will be closing at the end.

Race 7

Race scenario:  #2 Sadie Lady will go to the front with # 2 Victim of Love. #7-French Empire will stay close to the leaders with #6 Pacific Gale and make a move right along with her.  #7-French Empire will win the rush to the lead to win.

#7 – French Empire is going for a 5th win in a row. She has been working steadily for today's race. She is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Castellano. She just loves to win.

#5- Honor Way Loves the distance and is very consistent always right there at the end. She just ran a close 3rd in a G3 race.

#6 – Pacific Gale loves the track and distance. She is two for two this year and is going for a hat trick.

Race 8


Race scenario:  #12 Bonkers go to the front and try to lead all the way. #5-In Italian and #7 Infinite Potential will both close coming into the stretch and catch the leaders.

#5 – In Italian comes in from Tampa Bay where she ran a great second missing only by a neck for the win. She is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz. She had a great bullet work on the turf on April 24th.

#8 - Palamos has the breeding to continue to get better with age and distance, and she showed some talent in her two starts last year winner, and she earned a solid figure while second-best to recent Grade 3 winner Counterparty Risk. McCarthy is in the irons.

#7 – Infinite Potential was an expensive purchase from a strong female family, and she makes a bit of a belated debut here for top connections. She is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Castellano.

Play: $1.00 Pick 3-Cost: $32.00

·         Race 3:   6, 7, 10, 13

·         Race 4:   2, 4

·         Race 5:   3, 5, 9, 12

Race 7-$5.00 Exacta #5-6-8-Cost: $30.00

Race 8-$10.00 Exacta #5 with #7 & #8-Cost: $20.00

Race 8-$9.00 Exacta #7 & #8 with #5 -Cost: $18.00

Shawn's Selections


Race Summary: There are 3 horses for sure that is going to try and get the lead from the beginning #6 Ob La Di, #11 Know It All Red, and #13 Maria's Gift. I think the hot pace will set up for a horse off the pace like the #5 Tremayne.

#5 Tremayne – This horse should get a good pace to run into. He gets a major jockey upgrade to Jose Ortiz. Has run 6 furlongs and last race ran a mile could really like the distance of 6 and half furlongs. He's at least hit the board in 2 of his 4 starts better then some in this field.

#6 Ob La Di – Lightly raced and if a speed horse was going to get away and win this race it's this one. Jockey Kendrick Carmouch is one of if not the best speed jockey around. Did jump up in class last race but got the slop and couldn't get to the lead from the beginning. Now back to the same class he got a 3rd in his debut.

#9 Bustin Stones Up - Comes down in class hopes to catch a fast track and avoid a troubled break. All things that got him his first start.

$20 win #5
$1 Exbox 5,6,9


Race Summary: I expect the #2 Thunderbird Cafe, #4 Viking Zim, and #7 One Whirlwind Ride to try for the lead. The #5 Sinful Dancer will sit off of them and go by before the finish line to win the race.

#5 Sinful Dancer - Has run against better than this on the dirt. Has the best finishes and beyers in here as well and it's not even close. Trainer George Weaver does well on turf with his horses hitting at 18%.

#10 Dressedforthefifth -1st time starter for trainer Christopher Clement who excels on turf hitting at 19 %. Also, hits at 22% with first time starters.

#2 Thunderbird Cafe - 2nd time starter who had a troubled start his first time out on a yielding turf. He closed really well to get 4th. I would think the strategy would be to be close to the front.

$3 exbox 5,10
$1 exbox 2 /5,10
$1 Tri 5/2,4,9,10/2,4,9,10


Race Summary: Looks like #2 Sadie Lady will go right to the front with #1 Piedi Bianchi applying pressure. I would expect the #3 Victim of Love, #5 Honor Way and #6 Pacific Gale to be sitting in the catbird seat right behind the leaders The #3 eventually make his move and will go by the leaders to win this race.

#3 Victim of Love - The defending champ of this race will defend her title and win. Will get a nice trip close to the pace right behind the leaders. Last start came back after a 6-month layoff and had a tough trip but still finished 2nd at Laurel. She has been working out really well since then. She likes the distance winning 2 of 3.

#5 Honor Way- 2nd start back after a 4 month layoff. Got a decent 3rd and lost by less than a length in that start. She loves Belmont as she has finished in the exacta 8 of 10 starts. She also loves the distance in the exacta 6 of 8. Finished in front of the ML favorite #6 Pacific Gale three straight times late last year winning 2 of those races.

#6 Pacific Gale - A very usable horse for the exotics but I think over bet to win. She should not be the ML favorite.

$20 win #3
$2 exb 3,5


Race Summary: Not sure what the pace will be as there are a lot of first-time starters in here. Out of the ones that have run looks like the #3 Lilly Simone and #10 Bonkers would be the closest to the pace. I expect the #8 Palamos to be about mid pack or right off the first couple horses and make her winning move from there.

#8 Palamos - The most proven horse in here. two 2nds in 2 starts. Has been off for over 5-months. Last start lost a grade 3 winning horse in Counterparty Risk. Gets Trevor McCarthy for the first time and he will make his 1st impression and guide this horse to the winner's circle.

#5 In Italian- Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz is a winning combination. She missed out by a neck in her 1st start at Tampa Bay. She should come from about mid pack.

#10 Bonkers- The most experienced horse in the field. Not typically a good thing and it isn't if you are looking for this horse to win. However, is very usable for the exotics as she has finished in the trifecta in 3 of 7 races.

$10 win #8
 $2 ex 5,8/10      
$1 trifecta 5,8,10

22 to 1 Tom's Tips

The current forecast for Saturday's racing is rain. With this in mind, I will be handicapping the races for a muddy/sloppy track but will have fast track picks too.


A full field of 14 (plus 2 also eligible) going 6 and half furlongs. If you are a HHR contest player, always checkout the A/E's and if like one, put it as your top pick. The speed appears to be on the outside with Maria's Gift, Know It All Red and Captivating Cara and there are 3 horse from in inside who may want the lead, Pb La Di, Vive Le Liberty and Tremayne. Who gets it? I think Maria's Gift with Vive Le Liberty will battle it out. The balance on this large field with be sitting behind getting muddy splash in their faces. I think the outside horses have the advantage, if they can establish position in the first quarter of the race. Who wins?

#15 Hey Red – if she draws in, I like her chances. The breeding doesn't suggest that the horse will like the muddy, but she showed speed before backing out of her last race. She was 4 and 5 wide in the race but raced within 2 lengths of the leader. She is dropping down in class from 40k to 25k and has experienced the muddy because her last race that was scheduled for the turf and moved to 1 mile on the dirt (muddy) at Aqueduct. She won't be on the lead but will be close and wide and should have enough to pass the leaders to win. My guess is there will be scratches if it rains but I have also seemed races at this level retain all the starters.

#6 Ob La Di – is my top choice if the top one doesn't draw in. Has speed to get position early and raced last time in the sloppy at the 40k level. The drop helps with adding blinkers. She will be looking to get position early or even the lead. Breeding suggests she should like an off track. David Duggan has had only 17 starters this year with 24% winning with a positive ROI. I think the addition of blinkers will make the difference.

#9 Bustin Stones Up – didn't have the best of it in his first start. Bumped hard and never got into the race. Wayne Potts record with 2nd time starters to win isn't good but has finished in the money 29% of the time. She is dropping from a 40k races. Breeding suggests a liking for the off track and her sire Bustin Stones has been referred to as the king of sires in New York for low end claimers with many winners. She's got her first race in and see if she gets off to a better start and finishes in the money.

#11 Know It All Red – should be the favorite on either a fast track or an off track? Drops for a maiden special weight to maiden claimer but raced in a maiden claimer before.  She has shown speed and finished 3rd with some trouble 2 races back in the 40k race. Will the drop be enough to get her to win?

# 8 Honorable Dreams – must be mentioned. She is the only 5-year-old in the race. Her first race, she was off a half a step slow, took up and was never in the race. I don't know the trainer or jockey and neither have won a race this year. But what I found interesting was the breeding and the time and effort that has taken with get this horse a chance to run. The breeding is by a Thunder Gulch mare who has produced 8 starters 7 winners 1 stakes winner and 67% of her horses won as 2-year-old. This is her lone non-winners and maybe a late bloomer. If you want to take a longshot in this race, she should be your horse.  Big odds and if she hits the board, this will make for some nice payoffs.

Fast Track

1 – Hey Red – must draw into the race

2 – Ob La Di

3 – Know it All Red

4 – Bustin Stones Up

Wet Track

1 – Ob La Di

2 – Bustin Stones Up

3 – Maria's Gift

4 – Tremayne

Race 5

I am look at this race with an off track. Another big field of New York State breds going 6 furlongs on the turf. Well, I think if will be the dirt which means there will be a few scratches and the AE's may get in. There appears to be little speed in the race except for one of the AE's Frat. I do think that Danzigwiththestars will break on top and go for the lead. The followers will be Viking Zim, Sinful Dancer, Cotton, Noble Journey and The Great Gazoo (if he draws into the race). The rest will either be scrambling for position or get a poor start. Who wins?

#2 Thunderbird Café – Kendrick Carmouche chose to ride this horse for Linda Rice over the #3 horse which is rode in the first three starts. Last race was eventful with the start and improved in the race running. Why do I like this horse for the dirt? Breeding. The mare has produced 7 starters 6 winners and 1 stakes winner. None of these horses have won on the turf. Kendrick rode this horse in his first start.


#3 Danzingwiththestars – the reason why I think the trainer leaves this horse in the race if moved to the dirt is because of his last work of 47.3 breezing at 4 furlongs which is by the best of his listed workouts going back to September of last year. With adding the blinkers and I assume the trainer did this in training, may have made all the difference. His turf races are good and now he draws post 3 and I think they are looking for speed from the gate. I think either surface should suit this horse but not sure about an off track.

#9 Cotton – should show some speed from the gate and has tried of surfaces with seconds twice on the dirt. The change of jockey to Irad Ortiz Jr doesn't hurt this horse's chances either. Newly gelded and 4 very good workouts including a 59.3 breezing from the starting gate is a nice work. He hasn't raced since October 2020 but that's ok with the works and the fact that the breeding suggest he should like the off track. He could be the winner.

Firm to Yielding Turf

1 – Sinful Dancer

2 – Cotton

3 - Noble Journey

4- Danzingwiththestars

Wet Track

1 – Thunderbird Café

2 - Danzingwiththestarts

3 – Cotton

4 – One Whirlwind Ride

Race 7

There is speed in this race and all the horses will be within 4 lengths at the first quarter of the race. Sadie Lady should be on top and has shown in the past she wants the lead or could battle for the lead. Who will be in running position 2 during the race could be any of the remainder of the field? Last year's winner Victim of Love was sitting second to win (she also likes an off track going 2 for 2). This should be a battle with all horse with a chance. Who wins?

#7 French Empire – she is the now horse. Claimed for 20k at Churchill in September 2020 by Cipraino Contresas. She finished second in her first start for Cipraino and then has won 4 in a row at 2 different tracks, on 2 different surfaces. The owners transferred her to Brad Cox, and they are thinking better things ahead for this former claimer. She's 6 years old and has won or placed in 12 of her 16 starts. Granted, this is not at the grade 3 level but her speed numbers keep getting better. Maybe a little age and a few minor changes has made the different. Moving to the dirt at 6 furlongs instead of longer distances on the turf/dirt too helped. Her workouts are good since her last race including a :59.3 on April 25th at Churchill. She is going for 5 in a row wins and getting for grade 3 black type on her CV. The only question I have right now is will she run to her form on an off track?

#6 Pacific Gale – won her last 2 races and both were graded 2 and 3 races. She will sit behind the leader and bounce out to be closing. She must be a frustrating horse to work with because she has run in the money 11 times against good company before she started winning again. She was won once at the distance and placed 3 times. I like her to finish in the money here. Pacific Gale finishes in the money on an off track but has never won.

#5 Honor Way – in her first start since December, she finished strong battling all the way to the finish. She run 42 races and finished first 13 times with 16 place or show runs. She has won or placed 7 times out of 8 runs at the distance and has won at Belmont 4 times. Her only lost was to the very fast Franks Rockette in a grade 2 race last year, she finished second to the hot horse at the time beaten 7 lengths. Honor Way has won 4 times on the off track. You must include her in the exacta and trifecta tickets.

Fast Track

1 – French Empire

2 – Pacific Gale

3 – Honor Way

4 – Victim of Love

Wet Track

1 – French Empire

2 – Victim of Love

3 – Honor Way

4 – Piedi Blanchi

Race 8

For the turf. we have a collection of first-time starters to ones that have tried but the most starts is 7. This is basically a big price group of horse from the auction ring and homebred. Speed should come from In Italian and the first-time starter Tetella and Palamos. The balance of the field will be strung out as they move through the backstretch with Bonkers in last. As the front runners give way, Flaming Rouge and Infinite Potential will be moving forward with the others trying to keep up. The winner on the turf is...

9 – Flaming Rouge – raced in France 5 times and did ok. She faced her sex only twice and finished 3rd and 4th. Her best race was at a minor track and she missed by a nose. All of these races were at a greater distance than today's race. She was purchased for $650k from the Keeneland September sale but has only pocketed $9,000. Her works are even and the last 3 are on the turf in Florida. Joel Rosario has the mount. On the breeding side, you can see why she was so expensive. The mare has produced 9 starters with 8 winners and 3 of them have won stakes races. All foals have won on the turf except this one.

7 – Infinite Potential – as in the name, this could be a good one. She has good breeding and was purchased in October at the Tattersall sale for $414k. The mare has produced 3 starters and all of them have won but only 1 on the turf. I like the works with a combination of dirt and turf. This Chad Brown runner should be ready to start her career.

2 – Traffic Song – had issues in her first start with a better start and trip she should be close to the leaders at the end. Her breeding is a mare that has 9 starters 5 winners and 2 winners on the turf. A little more distance will help.

Firm or Yielding Turf

9 – Flaming Rouge

7 – Infinte Potential

2 – Traffic Song

4 – In Italian

Wet Track

1 – Now Yus Cant Leave – this horse is a first time starter and should love the off track. Tonalist has produced many wet track runners. A good work on the dirt on April 24 showed speed. The distance is not an issue.

2 – Colombe D'Oro – another firster who is bred for both surfaces. A couple of good works and has worked on both surfaces. A $510k purchase appears to be ready for her first start.

3 – Bonkers – raced ok on dirt at lesser tracks. Has dirt experience and should pick up a share of the purse.

4 - Tetelia – another firster who should like an off track and has one good work on the dirt. A WinStar bred horse so my question is, why did they sell this horse? A $200k purchase from a mare that was stakes placed with 3 runners all winners and none of them on the turf. Dirt horse and should like a wet track.

Rich's Rankings

Race 3

11 – TREVOR's horse – Know It All Red early pace figures are as good as the "speed horses'" numbers but has top late pace figures and is running at her lowest level. Should be close to the lead and have the legs to get by those in front of her at the wire.

7 – Sweeter was decently bet in debut and ran an OK fourth as a late starting two-year-old. Has been in the barn since late September, should come back bigger and stronger. She, too, is running at the lowest level if her short career. Expect her to be on/near the lead from start to finish.

6 - Ob La Di ran third in her debut at this level. Horseplayer have taken a moderate interest in her two starts. Her fractions improved in her second career effort and her last Belmont work was OK.

13 - Maria's Gift will likely try to be the pacesetter as she's been first or second at the first and second calls in her last three outings. Late fade in one of her faster races last out. There might not be a lot of speed here and she cuts back in distance.

Race 5

5 - Sinful Dancer is dropping in class and just missed as the favorite in his last on track listed as good. Sometimes, a wet track can be a decent predictor of how a horse might run on grass.

3 – TREVOR's horse – Danzigwiththestars start his three-year-old campaign and has some of the best works in advance of this outing. He comes back to the track after being gelded and gets Lasix for the first time. Mid-pace figures should put him in position to win.

9 – Cotton is making his three-year-old debut and has put some string workouts on paper in preparing for today. He has a third-place trip on grass and is making his first start after being gelded, poor guy, which can be an overlooked, yet solid betting angle.

2 - Thunderbird Café is making his second career start for trainer Linda Rice, a 29% angle for her. Thunderbird Café was pinched at the start of his debut and still tied for the second best, debut speed figure for this bunch.


7 - French Empire has won six of her last eight races, including the highest last race speed figure in her first start following a short rest. Her resume says she should be the same or slightly better in second start off the bench.

5 - Honor Way is a horse for the course and distance. She has four wins, four seconds and a third in 10 Belmont efforts and hit the board in seven of eight at the distance (8: 4-2-1).

3 - Victim of Love's jockey, Joel Rosario is off to a blazing start at Belmont, winning six of 14. As for the horse, she won her lone Belmont start and it was one of two wins in three tries at the unusual distance.

2 - Sadie Lady won her last race, two in row, six of 12 on a fast track. She's likely to be the one pressing the pace and might not have much company. Lookout if she can shake free and get away with an opening half in 47 seconds or more.

Race 8

5 - In Italian – trainer Chad Brown wins at 46% with horse in their second run of 1-mile or more. IN ITALIAN was he chalk in his debut at Tampa, has worked well since and pedigree numbers for turf smokes the rest of the field.

8 – TREVOR's horse – Palamos tied for the career high speed figure with BONKERS but is more lightly raced, meaning she has more possible potential. She should be able to put up a bigger number in this spot, stronger in her four-year-old debut.

One of number 1 Tetella or 7 Infinite Potential, or maybe both, should fire in their first career starts for trainers Brad Cox and Chad Brown, respectively. Both trainers hit at a solid rate with first time starters.

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