Belmont September 20

What a chaotic day yesterday. Only one favorite won, and that was the last race.  We’ll look for a little more form today. The late pick-4 unnecessarily has two maiden 2 year old races and may be difficult to play.

Race 1

  • 2 Tiz May West – Claimed last out by Jacobson after just missing on a sloppy SAR track. Has a win and place on fast dirt. Jumps way up today, but Jacobson has a way of placing his horses where they can win first after the claim.
  • 1 Wraith – has been knocking at the door and switches jockeys back to Maragh. In a race with good early speed her pressing style may be  the right formula.
  • 5 Angel Code – broke her maiden at Parx last out and figures to be the pacesetter here. Izzy Rodriguez looks to get another win at BEL.

Race 2

  • 4 Steve – Phil Serpe drops the horse to the lowest level he’s ever been in an attempt to get a win. Threw in a clunker last out, but that was in the mud and the race can be discarded. Race prior at this level was first on a fast dirt track in a while and he nearly wired a field.
  • 6 Betweenhereandcool – another Jacobson claim and he wheels her back at this level. Was highly regarded at a 3 year old in the Assmussen barn; betting that Jacobson gets him back on the winning track.
  • 7 Silver Morgan – claimed last two and now in Michael Maker barn. On his best he could handle this field.

Race 3

  • 4 Stage Name – puts the blinkers on for Patrick Reynolds who has had no success with that move from a limited sample. Drops down to $25K for this race. Has shown some interest after switching to the turf his last two.
  • 1 Barbara’s Smile – has run creditably her last two and should move forward today for Sciacca.
  • 3 A P Johnson – showed good speed in sprints and should get to the front in this field. One stakes race on the BEL turf was a good effort considering the troubled start.

Race 4

  • 3 Big Business – better than 1/3 of his starts have resulted in wins. Last in a Grade 1 outran his odds to finish second to the highly regarded Palace. Plenty of tactical speed.
  • 6 Saratoga Snacks – ran evenly in the Morrissey coming off an 8 month layoff. Mott horses often need a race so expecting improved performance today.
  • 2 Eye Luv Lulu – been running decently in state bred stakes. Drops down to winning level and should be competitive today.

Race 5

  • 5 Cheyenne Nation – won for $40K last out at SAR and once he gets going he can string them. Not sure how to read the price drop today but if he is in top form he is a major contender. Rodriguez barn has been cranked for this meet and Franco riding well for them.
  • 3 Abilio – has been showing good speed but not a great proclivity to win. However, this will be the second off the claim for Jacobson and if anyone can get the horse pointed in the right direction he can.
  • 6 Emkanaat – was a middling horse in Europe and about the same here. Tries hard and can be there with a top effort.
  • 9 Karakorum Legend – Already started at the meet and looked good in both 2014 runs at SAR. Should be close at the wire.

Race 6

  • 1 Lady Lavery – was a little short last out but was never going to close on a dawdling pace, especially after getting bumped in the stretch. Has plenty of tactical speed and eligible to move up.
  • 2 Forensic – just missed last time at SAR. Has a decidedly closing style and has only been out of the money once. Solid if not spectacular.
  • 4 Love and Marriage – one start where he closed furiously, only to fall short. Probably needs to break a little better and stay out of trouble; should be fine with the slightly extra distance.
  • 6 Miz Lee – three in the money finishes at GP and KEE. Back off 5 months rest; not Tagg’s best move but the horse did run very well first out.

Race 7

  • 5 Sky Painter – hard to take a favorite in this super competitive field but this horse barely missed in the Miss Grillo and ran a bang up race first out of 2014, losing to Invading Humor who came back to win a stakes on Sunday. Like her chances here.
  • 6 Seda Francesa – ran two disappointing races at BEL earlier this year. Was rank in her last which compromised her chances, and Clement has been working with her since then. Betting she’s learned her lessons and will be ready for this start.
  • 12 Distorted Beauty – has been dominating state bred optional claiming fields and moves up to take on open allowance company. Can never discount the chances of horses that like to win.
  • 4 Cash For Ever – easily defeated a maiden field at Longchamp in the puzzlingly slow time of 2:03 for a mile and an eighth. Kenneally has had success with first time Euros, she gets Lasix and go-to jock Lezcano.

Race 8     The Gallant Bloom

  • 1 Artemis Agrotera – two powerful races in a row at SAR, one in the grade 1 Ballerina. Has dominating figures plenty of tactical speed and looks like she couldn’t be coming to the race in better shape. Two eye catching workouts since last. Will be a solid favorite and figures best on paper.
  • 2 Merry Meadow – has been solid in graded events, although at best looks like a grade 3 horse. Double the number of places as wins. Chances here.
  • 3 Bridgehampton – lots of early speed but looks a cut below these horses.
  • 4 Classic Point – looks in over her head. Only win this year came at OC $62.
  • 5 Willet – useful horse in state bred stakes, but couldn’t handle Artemis Agrotera last time and not a lot of reason to think she can today. Bobbled at the break in the Ballerina and with a better break should be the second best horse in the race.
  • 6 La Verdad – set the early fractions in the Ballerina and should be winging today. No reason to expect her to get a soft early lead. Depending on how the track is playing, could fade or hang on for a piece.

Race 9

  • 5 Skill Not Luck – Chad Brown firster and all his horses are live. Solid workout pattern.
  • 7 Whateveryouwant – Bumped at the start first out and went wide around the turn as a result. Should improve today.
  • 2 Frosted/First Down – Frosted is a second time starter that figures to improve after getting punished by Bayerd. Probably not going to have that issue today. Stablemate First Down is a first timer coming in off a series of slower works. Albertrani horses usually need a start.

Race 10

  • 6 Dubai Sky – puts the blinkers on and everyone knows Mott horses always need a start.
  • 7 Escondido – Pletcher returns the horse after a two month break. At this point you have to believe the $370,000 purchase is a keeper and will be ready to run this time.
  • 9 Andalusite – closed with gusto after not showing much interest in the early going first out. Looking for improvement this start.