This is probably the last chance I’m going to give Third Martini before dropping him from the list. He’s disappointed the past couple of times albeit in tougher spots, but if he is not able to win today, I have no more use for him. He drops into this Maiden claiming $65,000 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf which goes as Belmont’s third race. The likely favorite figures to be Barrymore, particularly because of the terrific run that his trainer Christophe Clement has been on at this Belmont meeting. However, Barrymore had a relatively good trip rating behind a fast pace in his debut and had every chance in the stretch. He was second best that day, yet still earned a highest-in-the-field 76 Beyer. If he repeats that number, he will be tough, but I’m certainly not going to expect him to better it, especially since Clement is keeping him in the claiming ranks.
The horse I do expect to take a major step forward is Third Martini (#6). After competing in some tough maiden special weight races at Gulfstream and Belmont, he gets a much needed drop in class today. Furthermore, on at least two occasions (his trouble-ridden debut and last time, over a speed favoring turf course) I believe he could have run faster if setups had been more in his favor. Today there isn’t a plethora of speed, but there should be enough to ensure a fair pace. If Third Martini is taken back and allowed to make one run, he should be very difficult to hold off in the stretch. He also almost certainly will present value with Barrymore and Clement’s other entrant, Platform, likely to be overbet, so I’m making a significant wager:
$15 Win 6
Quick Pick: The other “Horse to Watch” entered today is Tazered (#8) in Belmont’s seventh race. I like his chances to beat everyone in the field expect Strong Impact (#6) who easily handled him last time and has been in career form for trainer Bruce Brown. I’ll lean heavily on an exacta with these two.
$5 Win 8
$5 Exacta 6-8