Let’s close out this tough luck week for my “Horses to Watch” with one probable favorite and one massive longshot running at Belmont Park.. And in addition, throw in one of my personal favorite horses, Dreaming of Cara, who is probably going to go off at a bettable price once again:
Race 1: Claiming $25,000B at six furlongs on the turf
Fisherman’s Wharf (#1) would have won an optional claiming $25,000 over this same trip last time if he wasn’t stuck down on the inside for the entire race. Now he’s dropping into this easier $25,000 beaten claimer, and the class relief should spell a win. While this spot isn’t necessarily easy since he will have to run down the quick Count Catamount, there is plenty of early speed to set up Fisherman’s Wharf’s late kick and to soften up that rival. He should be very tough to hold off in deep stretch with a clean trip.
$10 Win 1
Race 6: Optional claiming $35,000/N1X allowance at 1 1/8 miles on the turf
Dreaming of Cara (#8) is one of my favorite horses because I’ve won with her a couple times at nice prices and I love her pedigree for going long on turf. Today she stretches out to 1 1/8 miles, the longest distance she’s seen yet, but I believe she can eventually excel at distance of 1 1/4 miles and beyond, so this extra sixteenth of a mile should only help her. I can’t believe that an in form horse like her who was won her last three races is listed at 10-1 on the morning line so I doubt we’ll get that at post time. This is a step up in class, no doubt, but I think she’s improving and Mitchell Friedmann’s horses have been consistently running well. I’ll take her to win.
$10 Win 8
Race 10: Maiden claiming $25,000 at seven furlongs on turf
Chubbalita’s Joy (#10) is a bit of a guess in here. She has some pretty nice turf breeding and I liked her a bit last time in her first start over the surface. She was a gigantic price that day and, after breaking a bit slowly, was rushed up through a hole on the rail into contention. Her rider then continued to push forward into a very tight spot and Chubbalita’s Joy apparently hit the rail and dropped her rider. It seemed as if she was handling the turf just fine up until that point and I wonder if she might have some grass ability that is completely hidden from her past performances. I think it’s at least worth a shot:
$5 Win/Place 10
Other quick opinions
Barocci (JPN) (#8) badly outclasses the field in Belmont’s seventh race as he makes his first start in the U.S. for Cristophe Clement. I want him to win at 5-2 or higher:
$10 Win 8