Belmont April 29

Opening day at Belmont was  a fairly formful day, with one glaring exception. The track also played relatively normal. Tough card again today.

Race 1

  • 6  Z Town
  • 1  Killybegs Captain
  • 4 Dhamaan
  • Z Town is the primary speed in this race and that puts him on top. Killybegs Captain made a big improvement when moved back to the dirt and should be in a good striking position coming into the stretch. Dhamaan looks like the horse most likely to pick up the pieces if the speed breaks down.

Race 2

  • 8  New York’s Finest
  • 5  Astrologist
  • 7  Freud’s Friend
  • Secondary (1, 2, 4)
  • I went back and forth on this race before settling on New York’s Finest. He made a nice run in breaking his maiden in a turf sprint at SAR, and one of my favorite angles is horses that had two year old figures close to the three year old figures of other runners. Linda Rice is better than average off the layoff and in turf sprints. Astrologist had all sorts of trouble in his 2017 debut, but still managed to run a new top. If he continues to improve he’s a contender. Freud’s Finest seems more suited to the turf and he should improve from 2016.

Race 3

  • 1  Tiz Long Gone
  • 6  Tug of War
  • 4  Non Stop
  • Secondary (3, 5)
  • Tiz Long Gone has clearly been over his head in stakes races, but based on the success he had prior to that he should stand above this group. Perhaps the drop can be seen as negative, but it’s hard to discount him here. Tug of War is a veteran campaigner now conditioned by Rudy Rodriguez. He’s been a reliable runner and his last race says he is still a competitor.  Non Stop is another veteran campaigner who could have a say in the outcome off his best race.

Race 4

  • 6  Wanztbwicked
  • 3  Storm Team
  • 4  Shidoshi
  • Secondary (7, 9)

Race 5

  • 4  River Date
  • 2  Hard Study
  • 6  Admiral Blue
  • Secondary (3)
  • River Date should be the speed of the speed and has been in good condition. Shows an affinity for BEL. Hard Study has been a consistent runner. The Pletcher/Velasquez combo usually indicates a serious intent. Admiral Blue has competitive with better and fits well in this group.

Race 6

  • 6  Tricked Up
  • 8  Snap Decision
  • 7  Flying Bullet
  • Secondary (1)
  • Tricked Up goes for Chad Brown who is always dangerous with his turf runners. Brown is actually very good with first time blinkers. Snap Decision raced well in the Palm Beach after breaking his maiden and McGaughey is good off the short layoff. Flying Bullet is moving up a bit but he seems to be on the improve.

Race 7

  • 6  Downtown at Noon
  • 2  Sunset Ridge
  • 9  Kinky Sox
  • Secondary (1, 7)

Race 8

  • 8  Calgary Cat
  • 1  Kharafa
  • 3  Siding Spring
  • 5  Disco Partner
  • Calgary Cat ran commendably in the BC Turf Sprint last year and has a graded stakes win to his credit. Kharafa is a NY bred competitive in these lesser stakes with open company. Last year he made his debut in this race, finishing five lengths behind the winner, but he’s shown the ability to run well off the layoff. Loves the turf at BEL. Sliding Spring should be the front runner here and has wired fields at 7 1/2 furlongs. If he has things his own way on the front he’ll be dangerous. Disco Partner is another one with a liking for the BEL turf and is one for two at the distance. Certainly fits well from the class perspective.  Make no mistake. This is a competitive group and value should be your guide.

Race 9

  • 12  Aktabantay
  • 1  Chamois
  • 10 Monster Mash
  • 2  Power Nap