Two Horses to Watch are entered on today’s card at Belmont, plus there are a couple of other races I’d like to discuss:
Race 1: Optional claiming $25,000/N1X allowance at one mile for 3-year-old fillies
Book Review and Garnet Street loom as favorites here after coming off big Beyer victorioes, one versus maidens and the other against claiming company. I’m going to take a stab against both of them and pick Questing (#1). She has only had one dirt race, but that came in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she finished fifth. I know the figure came up light for that race, but still, she beat eight of the best two-year-old fillies in the country and may just be a much better horse on dirt. Her pedigree–by Hard Spun out of a Seeking the Gold mare–certainly suggests that may be the case.
$10 Win 1
Race 2: NY-bred optional claiming $25,000/N2X allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf
Majestic Raffy (#8) is the “Horse to Watch” running in here, and while I like his chances, there are a few others I’m afraid of. He put him on the list in the hope that he would show up in a race with a decent early pace and it looks like this could be the spot. Deciphering Dreams, Wishful Tomcat, and Piano Star have all shown speed on occasion. That will help Majestic Raffy, but it will also help another horse I’m a big fan of, likely favorite Ampersand (#5). I’ll bet Majestic Raffy to win because I think he’s better than his recent form suggests, but I’m also going to use him in the exacta with Ampersand just in case the pace heats up enough that they both can swallow up the leaders in the stretch.
$10 Win 8
$4 Exacta Box 5-8
Race 4: Starter optional claiming $50,000 at one mile on turf
Decennial (#8) went on a real tear last year during the summer of her 3-year-old campaign. After winning three straight races, her connections understandbly stepped her up into stakes company for the rest of year. Facing much better horses, she did not disgrace herself, but could only muster one in-the-money finish for the rest of the year. She returned last month in an off-the-turf race where it looks like trainer Carlos Martin kept her in to just serve as a prep for this. Now she’s back on her favorite surface and back with a level of competition she should be able to handle. Furthermore, there is plenty of speed in the race and Decennial is a mid-pack closing runner. I’m hoping for anything close to her 6-1 morning line because she just looks too good for these.
$10 Win 8
Race 10: Claiming $20,000B at seven furlongs (off the turf)
The second and final “Horse to Watch” on today’s card is Sasta Go Lucky (#4) in today’s finale. I would have given her some tentative support if this race were still on turf, but on dirt, I think she has a bigger chance. I put her on the list after she broke slowly and closed very well in a race in which the two speeds just ran around the racetrack together. Today, she should have no problem handling the extra furlong and seemingly gets a hot pace to run into.
$10 Win 4