Horse Betting After Derby Day – Best NJ Horse Betting Opportunities January 2023

Horse betting after the Kentucky Derby usually picks up two weeks after Derby Day. That’s when the Triple Crown moves to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Get in on the action and place your first bet risk-free up to $200 at 4NJBets with this exclusive link. Powered by TVG, 4NJBets is one of the best horse betting platforms in New Jersey. And it offers the best welcome bonus around.

Where Horse Betting Stands After Derby Day

The first Saturday in May was an exciting (if not frustrating) one for NJ horse betting patrons, as live racing was canceled at Monmouth Park due to bad weather. Thankfully, the Oceanport, NJ track stayed open for simulcasting. And those who stuck around were treated to one of the most memorable Kentucky Derby finishes of all time. Rich Strike, a horse that got into the Derby off the also-eligible list, shocked the world with jockey Sonny Leon aboard for trainer Eric Reed.

But NJ horse betting handicappers don’t have to wait until the third Saturday in May to enjoy some exciting stakes action. On Saturday, there are five graded stakes tilts at Belmont Park, featuring the G1 Man o’ War Stakes.

Monmouth Park also cards a stakes race on Saturday, the 26th running of the Spruce Fir Handicap.

Let’s take a quick look at the Preakness probables before discussing this weekend’s stakes action.

Preakness Probables 2022

Immediately following Rich Strike’s improbable Kentucky Derby victory, all eyes focused upon the Preakness Stakes, to be held at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday May 21. Reed has yet to confirm whether Rich Strike will make the trip to Baltimore, but a decision is to be made soon, per Marty McGee on Twitter:

NJ horse betting fans can be relatively certain that some of the beaten Kentucky Derby contenders as well as a fantastic filly will be making their way to the Preakness starting gate. Probables include:

  • Derby runner-up Epicenter
  • Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath
  • G2 Rebel Stakes winner Un Ojo
  • G3 Withers winner Early Voting
  • G2 Fountain of Youth winner Simplification

The two Tim Yakteen runners in the Derby, G1 Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba and multiple graded stakes winner Messier will not be contesting the Preakness, per Horse Racing Nation on Twitter:

No decisions have been made publicly for multiple graded stakes winner and victor of the G2 Wood Memorial Mo Donegal. Rattle n Roll, the “other” also-eligible for the Kentucky Derby is also a possible Preakness entry, but that decision has not been shared publicly at this time.

Stakes Action At Belmont Park This Saturday

The Saturday Belmont Park card consists of eleven races, five of which are graded stakes races. Although the stakes races drew rather lightly, they still feature some outstanding talents, including 2021 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Yibir and multiple graded stakes winner Bella Sofia.

NJ horse betting fans can look forward to the following stakes races at Belmont Park on Saturday:

The G3 Vagrancy (Race 3)

The Vagrancy, a 6-½ furlong dirt sprint handicap for fillies and mares aged four and upward drew only five runners. The high-weight (123 lbs.) is multiple graded stakes winner Bella Sofia, winner of the 2021 G1 Test at Saratoga and 2021 G2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont.

This will be Bella Sofia’s first race of 2022. She was last seen on track finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar last November. She is trained by Rudy Rodriguez and will be ridden by Luis Saez.

Joining Bella Sofia in the Vagrancy is multiple graded stakes winner Frank’s Rockette (120 lbs.). The winner of the 2020 G2 Gallant Bloom is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. She’ll be making her second start of 2022, after finishing second in the Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April.

Assertive Style (116 lbs.), stakes winner Kept Waiting (118 lbs.) and stakes winner Miss Brazil (117 lbs.) round out the field for the $150,000 Vagrancy.

The G3 Runhappy (Race 5)

Contested at six furlongs on the main Belmont Park track, the $150,000 Runhappy drew six older horses, headlined by multiple graded stakes winners Drafted and Officiating.

Drafted, an eight-year-old gelding, broke his maiden at Keeneland in 2016 and later raced overseas (mostly at Meydan) where he became a multiple group stakes winner. In ten races Since his return to the States, Drafted has been able to win only once, capturing the G3 Toboggan Stakes this February at Aqueduct. Trained by David Duggan, Drafted wil be ridden by Jose Ortiz on Saturday.

Officiating, winner of two graded stakes since last December will be making his first start since March. He won the 2022 G3 Tom Fool at Aqueduct on March 5 and followed that up by finishing fourth in a stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs later that month.

2021 G3 Tom Fool winner Chateau drew the rail for Saturday’s Runhappy. Other contenders include Repo Rocks, Answer In and Mr. Phil.

The G1 Man o’ War (Race 8)

2021 Breeders’ Cup Turf victor Yibir squares off against multiple Grade 1 winner Gufo and four others in the G1 Man o’ War, a 1-⅜ mile turf route on the Belmont Park inner turf course.

Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by regular jockey William Buick, the four-year-old gelding Yibir will be making his third start since winning the Breeders’ Cup race last November. He has finished twice both times, first in Meydan, then at Newmarket.

Gufo, who finished a distant tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf race won by Yibir, is making his second start of 2022. He won the G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park in April.

Graded stakes winner Abaan, Easter, Highland Chief and So High complete the field for the $700,000 Man o’ War.

The G3 Peter Pan (Race 9)

For three-year-olds going nine furlongs, the $200,000 G2 Peter Pan drew eight runners.

From the rail out are Set Sail, Electability, Complete Agenda, We the People, Golden Glider, Western River, Cooke Creek and State Planning.

Cooke Creek is the only runner to have won a stakes race in this field. Three horses in the field won their first two races. The Peter Pan should be a contentious race run by sophomores who appear to be on the improve for the most part. It’s anyone’s race.

The G3 Beaugay (Race 10)

The $150,000 G3 Beaugay drew seven fillies and mares four years old and upward. The headliners are multiple group stakes winner Rougir, looking for her first win on U.S. soil, fellow multiple group winner Lemista, and multiple graded stakes winner Our Flash Drive. Chad Brown trains both Rougir and Lemista.

Lemista finished second in the 2021 G3 Beaugay, her first of three tries in America after seven tries overseas. Our Flash Drive has only won in Canada, breaking her maiden and winning a pair of graded stakes at Woodbine in 2021.

The rest of the field in the G3 Beaugay is Stolen Holiday, Plum Ali, Runaway Rumour and High Opinion.

Spruce Fir Handicap At Monmouth on Saturday

For those partaking in NJ horse betting in the Garden State on Saturday, Monmouth Park is hosting the Spruce Fir Handicap, a six furlong sprint for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares aged three years old and upward.

The high-weight horse is #8 Alta Velocita, a stakes-winning five-year-old mare who won the 2021 Eleven North Handicap over the Oceanport main track last August. In that race, #2 Jersey Jewel finished second.

Other runners from the Eleven North Handicap who are entered in Saturday’s Spruce Fir include #2 Roselba (5th), #3 Dantastic (6th), #4 Princess Georgia (7th) and #5 D’Tiger Lilly (11th).

Princess Georgia is looking to repeat, as she won the 2021 edition of the Spruce Fir Handicap last May. Jersey Jewel finished second last year, while Roselba finished 6th.

PostHorseTrainerJockeyWeight (lbs.)
1JERSEY JEWELSweezey, JJ Torres, J119
2ROSELBAHuston, RVargas, Jr., JA118
3DANTASTICRamirez, SLaprida, J122
4PRINCESS GEORGIAJuarez, CJuarez, N119
5D' TIGER LILYWilson, TSantos, A117
8ALTA VELOCITASimoff, ALopez, P124
9BRAMBLE BAYDini, MDe La Cruz, F120
10I'M LISTENINGGonzalez, CHernandez, C117

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About the Author

Ryan Dickey

Ryan Dickey has worked in the gaming industry for parts of three decades, with stints at two Las Vegas casinos, as a journalist covering horse racing, and in the sports betting realm as part of a handicapping service. Once again a Vegas resident, he continues his involvement in horse racing as an owner and public handicapper. He has a penchant for online casino offers as well as finding opportunities on various sports betting platforms.