Belmont September 19

A lot of favorites came in on Thursday, highlighted by a new track record by Transparent. The track generally played fairly. Of the four dirt races two were won by horses on the front end, one by a pace presser, one by a sustained runner. Of the four turf races, one was won wire to wire (the 10th where Resolutely was the only real speed), one by a presser, and two by sustained runners. The dirt obviously had not only dried, but got very firm, and I expect track maintenance will work to slow it down a bit for Friday.

Race 1

  • 2 Dr Disco – claimed 2 back by Contessa and back at the level of his claim; plenty of tactical speed and the highest recent figure of any. Another race where the favorite is a must use in the pick-3/5.
  • 5 Say Mr. Sandman – dropping from state-bred NW1X, but he was pretty much at the $20K level until Chris Englehart found a NW3X that he dominated at FL. Another with good tactical speed and a proclivity to run well.
  • 1 Star of New York – seems to have a tendency to finish in the money more often than win, but could get a piece of this pie.

Race 2

  • 3 Maximus Mike – puts the blinkers on after being claimed by Scott Schwartz last out for $16K. Has been running longer so well see if he has the right combination of tactical speed and closing kick to run by this field.
  • 4 Master Yank – I’ve said this three days in a row, but everything Abigail Adsit has been putting on the track is live and competitive. First off the claim she brought the horse to FL and won a MSW and brings him back to BEL in a $25K NW2. Leave him out at your own peril.
  • 8 Q Two – Claimed by Terranova for $25K, jumped up to $40K, and placed back down at $25K today. His last race was totally uninspiring but prior to that he had been front running effectively.
  • 7 Ice Wagon – has been knocking around at this level a while. 6 of 9 in the money, but only one win.

Race 3

  • 5 Sunny Desert – Massive pace figure in the slop at AQU earlier this year, came back on the slop at SAR and just missed by three quarters. Not just a mudlark – 6 of 11 on a fast dirt surface. 8-5 on the ML and looks like it.
  • 1 Girlaboutown – defeated Blithely in her last and that one came back to win here two days ago. Given the poor start in her last and the patient ride from Ortiz, she should give Sunny  Desert all she can handle.
  • 4 Carameaway – has been looking for the right spot and I’m not sure this is it. Slightly slower than the top two, but did win a state-bred stakes last out at SAR.

Race 4

  • 8 Blue Collar Cat – finished last season by being crushed in the NY Breeders Futurity at FL, but prior to that was developing nicely. Michael Dilger takes over training duties and he is 20% first time out. Good 2 year old figures could translate well in his first of 2014.
  • 7 Discreet Kaz – goes first time out for Peter Kazamias who is 1 for 6 with that move. He has a limited workout tab and will be long odds, but given this field of professional maidens, he might be worth a wager.
  • 4 No Nukes – 19 starts, 4 seconds and 5 thirds, so not inspiring for the win slot, but this field is fairly week and he can’t be completely discounted as a win prospect.
  • 1 King Gettigan – another maiden with a dozen starts and 8 seconds and thirds.

Race 5

  • 6 Monument Hill – ran lights out at SAR last time and does show some good BEL races. George Weaver good off the layoff. Should be in a pressing spot with run left in the stretch.
  • 4 Helm – recently got through his NW1X race. Nice starts, eight in the money. Looks very competitive for Graham Motion.
  • 3 Dangerous Lad – ran well last out against slightly higher and has been in good form this year. Good at the distance.
  • 7 Admiral Perry – does his best running in the stretch. Ships in from PID but has shown a liking for the BEL turf. Definite chances here.

Race 6 

  • 1 Hundred Percent – ran a good race first out. He battled hard for the lead and was beaten by runaway winner Skerkis. As long as there isn’t another monster lurking out there
  • 12 Jacapo – Hushion was the king of NY at one time and he can still get it done. He’s hitting at a 24% clip this year overall and 23% with his 2 year olds. Has a nice workout pattern including a bullet 12 days ago.
  • 7 Watergate – a bit of a puzzle. Ran well first out on the slop, came back on the turf and performed poorly. Back on the dirt today and plenty of tactical speed. We’ll see if he’s learned his lessons.
  • 4 Eddie Boots – goes first time for Gary Gullo who has a good ROI with first timers. Nice blowout work two weeks ago. Probably will show speed in a race with a lot of horses who like traveling toward the front.

Race 7 

With Ziptronic out of the race Billy the Bull inherits the front running spot. This makes him dangerous and worth using in the verticals and horizontals.

  • 10 Ziptronic – is riding a 3 race winning streak including two races at this level. Horse is definitely “zippy” and Bruce Levine is good at keeping horses on their toes.
  • 6 Hear the Footsteps – didn’t fare so well at SAR but prior to that was competitive at this level and above. Hard knocker rarely runs a bad one
  • 7 Dowse’s Beach – is riding a two race winning streak. His last was a hard drive  and Clement gave him six weeks rest. He has a few good works for this race.
  • 5 Isn’tlovegrand – Did not break well in his last at SAR but prior to that was very competitive. Seems to hang a bit in the stretch but is good enough to get a minor award.

Race 8

  • 5 McIlroy – in a race with minimal early speed, McIlroy represents the best of the group. Winner of his last at this distance; has been steady and working  well.
  • 4 Middleburg – goes for Clement. He’s another that hasn’t run a bad lifetime race (after his maiden debacle. Two seconds in two tries on the BEL turf. Pressing style so should be close enough to get into the hunt early.
  • 10 Mills – an interesting horse at long odds. He switched to the Bill Mott barn in August and Mott has been working him steadily. Takes the blinkers off, and frankly other than the first time he ran with blinkers they haven’t made a difference. Something of an angle play but will be good odds.
  • 1 Barrel of Love – has been running well this year and likes the BEL turf. Coming out of slightly better races.

Race 9

With the scratch of Nellinger Path makes it into the top four. Path did not break well last out in the mud and can be excused for that race. McGaughey does well with 2nd time starters.

  • 3 Ocean Foam – jumped to the front last race and gave it up in the stretch. Excellent out for her first try ever. Fastest of the horses that have started before.
  • 9 Nellinger – looks like she has been crying for distance. She didn’t embarrass herself in the Colleen which was run on a fast pace. Could be the value horse today.
  • 6 My Senses – drew the dreaded rail first out, broke in the middle of the group and was basically pinned there the entire trip. Has a better post today and one race of experience. Dangerous.
  • 2 Twist ‘n Bake  – first timer for 18% trainer George Weaver. Nice steady work pattern. Should be ready to run.