Belmont September 18

Well let’s hope the crowd has a couple of brain cramps like they did on Wednesday. After two odds on favorites and a 2-1 choice in the first three races, mud lark Quezon won at 8-1 followed by an Abigail Adsit upset with Rap d’Oro  and another 8-1 horse in First Bid.

Race 1 – Stepplechase

Race 2 – Steeplechase

Race 3

  • 5 Untiltherewasyou – broke her maiden in the mud at SAR for $40K and immediately jumped over her head and on the wrong surface. Showed some interest but was outclassed. Back at the right level today.
  • 1 Clockstopper – was another who broke her maiden on a muddy track. Broke through the gate in her last and tired badly so I’m just pitching the race. Chad Brown drops her to this level and he doesn’t start a horse unless he means business.
  • 7 Ocean Boulevard – was well regarded as a juvenile, but hasn’t looked as good at 3. Last race was better than looked – broke out at the start and was really all over the sloppy track. Track should be tighter today and that may be a help.

Race 4

  • 8 Mama Zee – has a good turn of early foot. Been vacationing since July 30 but has three recent short workouts . Claimed by Bruce Brown last out and dropped to her lowest level in about a year. Last race was game.
  • 7 Bridget Maloney – another last out claim, this one by Joseph Imperio who is fair with returning claimers. Has recently been with State-breds so this is probably the right level. Imperio tries blinkers again.
  • 1 E Z Passer – riding a three race win streak; started three back at this level. Plenty of speed, competitive figures and Rosario riding.
  • 2 Matching Skies – third last time after a stretch fade, claimed by Abigail Adsit who has been sending out live, competitive runners.

Race 5

  • 4 Honor the Kitten – claimed last out by James Klesaris after being fractious at the gate, breaking awkwardly, making a wide move down the backstretch, swinging wider for the drive and making up some ground  to finish 4th by 2. Pace in that race was slow early, so closers get some extra points.
  • 3 Southern Blessing – Another first off the claim by Eddie Kenneally who is 21% off the claim. Closing style, competitive figures.
  • 2 Part – nice jockey switch to Maragh, threw in a clunker last out but broke from the far outside and was never able to get into the race. Looking to regain early season form dropping down to $25K.

Race 6

  • 4 Swell – flipped in the gate last out, still ran and was brave in the stretch while third a length and a quarter. Probably best last race, looks best today.
  • 6 Giantinthemoonlite – was an impressive maiden winner at BEL last May. Bumped at the break in last at SAR but still went to the front, fading in the stretch. Big chance here today.
  • 1 Cuantos – second a nose in that same race as 6. Likely favorite and will be very tough here.

Race 7

  • 1 Harlans Six – missed the break last out and had a big task to finish only five out at the end.  Experience helps her.
  • 3 Battle Axe – getting a little better each start. Has negotiated the distance; pressing style but good stretch courage.
  • 10 Bebop Raindrop – Debut was impressive, going off as the favorite and missing it all by three and a half. Should be in a good spot turning for home.
  • 12 Ack Naughty – is the obligatory Chad Brown starter. Typically nice set of workouts, and Irad gets the call.

Race 8

  • 5 Escapefromreality – gets the nod. In her lifetime 8 races, if you exclude the Gotham she has NEVER lost a race by more than a neck. Looking for her to turn the tables on Sinistra today.
  • 9 Transparent – was a highly regarded three year old but is probably better placed as a four year old in this spot. McLaughlin expert with layoff horses and the workouts look positive.
  • 4 Goddtimehadbyall – Perhaps a tad cheaper than some in here, but has been hard-knocking for a few years. Sound, solid runner that always gives you the best he’s got.
  • 6 St. Moose – claimed by the lately active Eddie Kenneally and claimed the last two races before that  In good shape, competitive figures and Rosario in the saddle.

Race 9

  • 10 Edie – two wins in her last two at BEL, almost identical in terms of running style and time. Just missed at SAR three weeks ago. Looking for her to run back to BEL form.
  • 6 Starship Pleasant – front-runner really hasn’t run a bad race since March. A little tough to push past the field to the wire, but very consistent figures.
  • 2 Swakopmund – claimed two back by Contessa, jumped her up to $50K and brings her back at that level today. Prefers coming from mid-pack. Competitive with these.
  • 4 Sheza Heartbreaker – led until very late in her last at SAR. A mile tests her distance ability, but you have to respect the speed.

Race 10

  • 2 Sakonnet Point – been off 10 months but Sheppard is expert at getting them ready off the bench. Three year old figures were competitive with these and gets Irad as the pilot.
  • 6 Escape to Malibu – didn’t do well at the gate last out, ran more or less evenly after a tardy break. Has to get by the two in this race that beat her.
  • 5 Graceful Gal – another with a start that doomed her. Made a big middle move and sustained to the wire. Impressive for a younger, inexperienced filly. Johnny V returns in the saddle and that is a positive. This race is all but devoid of speed and I’m betting that she gets the front with a good break.
  • 4 Dixie Gem – showed improved interest with blinkers on last out. Should be one of the horses running in the lane.