Belmont July 9

Race 1

  • 5  Bobby on Fleek  3-1

  • 9  Ruckus  4-1

  • 6  Altito  9/2

This is the first race in a day full of tough races. While Chad Brown seems to specialize in first time turf fillies, Bobby on Fleek looks live. His June workout pattern is strong and he’s well bred for the distance. Ruckus is another with some eye-catching works and breeding that says sprint. Altito has five bullet works in a row which suggests talent.

Race 2

  • 10  Feeling Bossy  3-1  **HORSE TO WATCH

  • 7  Wild About Harry  7/2

  • 11  My Kinda Gal  4-1

  • 6  Eloweasel  5-1

Feeling Bossy didn’t break sharply in his last, was well back down the backstretch, worked his way outside, took the lead in the stretch and drew away by many. Wild About Harry is making her 2016 debut after showing decently last year. Her two year old numbers suggest talent and Rice is usually effective with horses coming off the layoff. My Kinda Gal had a strong win at BEL opening week in a NW1X and has had plenty of time to recover. Eloweasel just won at BEL at big odds. Seems to be a horse on the improve.

Race 3

  • 2  Adulator  2-1  **HORSE TO WATCH

  • 3  Ekhlaas  4-1

  • 1  Dreamsdocometrue  4-1

Adulator took up at the break last out and wound up last by six early. He looked to make a move up the rail around the turn, switched outside but did not have enough to get by the leader, losing the whole thing by a diminishing two lengths. Ekhlaas ran a quick race last out. Since it was his first of the year, a repeat could put him first to the wire.  Dreamsdocometrue hasn’t been out of the money in his last eight starts and looks solid to hit the board.

Race 4

  • 7  Revved Up  2-1

  • 3  Defiantly  3-1

  • 1  Decisive Triumph  4-1

  • 4  Richmond Street  5-1

Revved Up looked good just missing at this distance a month and a half ago, and while I think the ML overrates the horse, he’s a major contender. Defiantly hasn’t been the distance but does have the best last race figure. Decisive Triumph is proven at the distance and has a powerful closing kick. In a race with almost no speed Richmond Street may have the pace advantage.

Race 5

  • 9  Disco Partner  5/2

  • 4  Captain Gaughen  3-1

  • 6  Speeding Comet  4-1

  • 7  Zandar  5-1

This is a tough race because the second, third and fourth place finishers in the June 2 race at this price and distance are coming back today. I couldn’t put them all in, but I did use Speeding Comet and Zandar today. Disco Partner just missed in the G3 Jaipur a month ago. Has had success at the distance and favors the BEL turf. Captain Gaughen shows elements of improvement since moving to the RuRod barn. Has three seconds in five tries at the distance and has shown a liking for the BEL green. Speeding Comet  and Zandar (along with Changewilldoyagood) both ran well in the aforementioned June 2 race. In fact they all ran a similar race. Perhaps the post position advantage will help the two I selected.

Race 6

  • 4  One True Kiss  3-1

  • 9  Coppa  3-1

  • 8  Lost Raven  4-1

One True Kiss already has a second in a G3 and may be the one to pick up the pieces if the race breaks down. Coppa ships in from SoCal. She’s definitely got talent, but I can’t see her as the favorite in this race given all the quality speed. Lost Raven just won a G3 at PIM. Another with speed and potential.

Race 7

  • 6  Economic Model  2-1

  • 4  Laoban  3-1

  • 8  Fish Trappe Road  4-1

The Dwyer attracted an interesting field of 8 three year old colts and geldings. Economic Model was on the Triple Crown trail but threw in a clunker in the Tampa Bay Derby and took a couple of months to re-tool..  Chad Brown brought him back in good shape and he’s on a two race winning streak. Seems to have really picked up his game in the last couple of months. Laoban ran well in a weak Gotham and showed good speed in the Blue Grass. The Preakness race can be dismissed due to the sloppy track. He should be the one to catch. Fish Trappe Road has run well at BEL and has a top last race figure.

Race 8

  • 7  Long Island Sound  5/2

  • 4  Highland Sky  3-1

  • 10  Humphrey Bogart  7/2

  • 6  Camelot Kitten  7/2

The Belmont Derby came up tough enough that one of my HORSES TO WATCH (Toughest ‘Ombre) didn’t make the top three after running a a top effort in the Pennine Ridge. Long Island Sound is the first of the Aidan O’Brien horses that shipped over for this race. He’s Group 3 placed, proven at the distance, and has been in with some tough three year olds. Highland Sky just missed in the Pennine Ridge  and was strong in the Woodhaven and the Cutler Bay. He seems to have matured as a three year old and may be the best of the American runners. Of all the horses at all the racetracks in the world,  Humphrey Bogart had to show up at Belmont.  Actually, he’s been an active three year old in Europe that’s been close in group events but hasn’t cracked the top three. His Euro numbers are good, perhaps a step behind the top choice, but he can’t be dismissed. Camelot Kitten won the Pennine Ridge and is looking for three in a row for Chad Brown. Certainly one of the contenders. Airoforce and Deauville might have been bet in a different field, but in this group they didn’t crack my top choices. Still, they are contenders and could be used in the horizontals and verticals.

Race 9

  • 5  Effinex  3-1

  • 3  Shaman Ghost  4-1

  • 2  Mubtaahij  4-1

This is another race with a quality field. Solid graded horses like Noble Bird, Eagle, Turco Bravo and Samraat didn’t crack my top three, although any of them might run a top effort today. Effinex started the year with a third in the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap, then won the Oaklawn Handicap before faltering in the Stephen Foster after breaking poorly and racing wide. He’s a year older than he was last year when he finished second in the BC Classic to super horse American Pharoah, but he still looks like the most talented runner in the race.  Regular jock Mike Smith re-mounts for this effort. Shaman Ghost comes off a win in the G2 Brooklyn. The switch to trainer Jimmy Jerkens seems to have reinvigorated the horse. Mubtaahij tried the Derby and Belmont last year with little success. He’s back here after running a strong second to California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup. He’s had plenty of time to recover and may be the one who races closest to Noble Bird early.

Race 10

  • 12  Catch a Glimpse  3-1

  • 7  Ballydoyle  4-1

  • 2  Decked Out  5-1

  • 5  Noble Beauty  5-1

The Belmont Oaks is another of the competitive races on the card, with graded winners like Pricedtoperfection, Harmonize, and Auntie Joy didn’t make the cut but certainly have a chance, as well as the improving Time and Motion, Last Waltz, Land Over Sea, Magnanime, and Coolmore. Catch a Glimpse should be all the speed and has a seven race win streak going. Hard to pick against in this spot. Ballydoyle is another of the Aidan O’Brien shippers. She’s a Group 1 winner and is a major contender off her best. Decked Out ships in from SA where’s he was competitive in a series of Graded events. Should do fine with the stretch out. Noble Beauty is a lightly raced horse for Chad Brown. While she doesn’t have the resume of some in here, her nice second place finish in the Regret shows her to be an improving horse. Castellano/Brown hits at a 33% rate.

Race 11

  • 2  Private Zone  9/5

  • 9  Marking  3-1

  • 8  Ready for Rye  4-1

Private Zone missed his scheduled start in the True North due to trainer trouble, but given his last work he should be on edge today. Loves BEL and the distance. Marking ran well in the Metropolitan after shipping here from Dubai, but nobody was beating Frosted that day. Has a lot of speed to contend with, but he doesn’t need the lead to win. Ready for Rye was a strong third in the Jaipur and is multiple graded placed. He’s back on the dirt at a track and a distance he relishes.

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