I’m only writing analysis of three races today since I’m getting a late start, but they happen to be the three that I like most on the card. We’ll end with the Peter Pan Stakes, the local prep for the Belmont, which is just four weeks away.
Belmont, Race 5: Allowance N1X at seven furlongs for NY-breds (off the turf)
Despite the fact that this race has come off the turf it’s still a fascinating affair. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly who is going to be favored, but I think that I’ve smoked out a couple of decent prices with excellent chances to upset. “Horse to Watch” Big City Boy (#5) has been terribly unlucky in his recent races. Last time, he never had a chance to get involved at any point after breaking slowly and racing wide the entire way over a strip that was favoring inside speed. Before that he was asked to go too far and three back he was hindered by a very slow pace and another wide trip. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get back to some of his better races from 2012, most of which were contested here at Belmont, and that sort of form will make him very tough to beat.
I’m also interested in Wise Guide (#16) who I think may really appreciate the turnback to seven furlongs. He’s a horse who gets very rank early in his route races and usually ends up making a premature move either down the backstretch or around the far turn. I’m hoping that the quicker pace of today’s sprint may allow him to settle and make one run. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of this horse yet.
$10 Win 5
$5 Win 16
Belmont, Race 8: Allowance N1X at one mile for NY-breds
If Quiet Power repeats his last effort, his first in the barn of Rudy Rodriguez, then he’s going to be very tough for this field to handle. However, I have some questions about his wet track form and his rider has not exactly been distinguishing himself since racing moved across town. I’m going to take a shot against him with Mississippi Duel (#6). I know this horse looks slower, but keep in mind that all of his prior races were run during his two year-old season. He’s already won over a muddy surface at Belmont and may have improved since then. Dale Romans actually has pretty good numbers bringing horses back off layoffs of over a year and I think there’s a strong possibility that Mississippi Duel may have improved enough be as good as any of these now.
$10 Win 6
Belmont, Race 9: The Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles for three year-olds
We have a couple graduates of my “Horses to Watch” list contesting this graded stakes race in Freedom Child (#1) and Incognito (#10). I originally was going to pick Incognito since I love that he’s finally getting to run as far as nine furlongs, a distance that he should really relish. However, the Belmont surface may be slightly speed favoring today with all the rain it’s taken and I think that is going to make Freedom Child extremely dangerous as the main pace player from the rail. I realize that he has to run the best race of his life to win today, but I think he’s a lot better than he looks on paper. He ran very well in his second start to split Orb and Revolutionary and then was certainly best the day he lost to Saint Viguer when Gulfstream’s rail was the place to be. His frontrunning maiden score going this distance was powerful and he was confidently stepped up into the Wood Memorial for his stakes debut. Everyone saw that things just didn’t work out for him that day from the start, but I think it’s worth giving him a second chance here.
I’ll also box those two in the exacta with Abraham (#5), who is very logical off solid stakes tries in the Sunland and Illinois Derbies and has shown an affinity for a wet track.
$10 Win 1 (WINNER; Payout: $46.00)
$2 Exacta Box 1/5/10