I have to be out for the early part of the day so I’ll just post these quick thoughts early.
Belmont, Race 4: Maiden Special Weight at seven furlongs on the turf for NY-breds
Ballybrit (#4) made a very encouraging late run in his turf debut after breaking slowly. Next time was stretched out to a distance that may be a bit beyond his scope yet he still ran well to save second versus a runaway winner at this level. He only needs slight improvement off those two races to be a major player here and I like the jockey switch to Alex Solis. The price will be large, but I’m not sure that it should be.
I’ll also put a few dollars on Cielo Soleggiato (#2) since he showed some ability in his debut and he has some pedigree for turf on his dam’s side. Her only win came over turf and she’s a half-sister to a turf stakes winner.
$10 Win 4
$5 Win 2
Belmont, Race 7: Maiden Claiming $50,000 at six and one-half furlongs for NY-breds
I thought both Joe Mooch (#8) and Thingamajigger (#9) ran pretty well last time on May 11th, a day when inside speed was really holding, especially later in the card. Joe Mooch in particular raced wide all the way around the far turn that day while Thingamajigger was able to tuck in briefly before angling out four-wide for the stretch drive. Each of these horses were more trip-compromised that Ed’s Magic, who rode the rail the entire way and, in my opinion, have more room for improvement than One Red Cat. I’ll bet each to win and box them in the exacta.
$10 Win 8
$5 Win 9 $2 Exacta Box 8/9
Belmont, Race 8: The Hill Prince Stakes (G3) at one mile on the turf for three year-olds
Perhaps this is too obvious, but I see plenty of speed in this race and it just appears to set up perfectly for Infinite Magic (#2). His allowance win at Keeneland two back was legitimately good since Admiral Kitten has since proven himself against stakes company. He obviously had no chance in the Peter Pan last time, but if he can run back to his prior effort he will be very tough to hold off here.
I’m also mildly interested in Play It Loud (#3), a well-bred son of Unbridled’s Song, who ran too well in his debut to believe he ran so badly against Fire Guard and Jack Milton in his next start. Something apparently happened in that race since he’s been off for four months since then, but Michelle Nihei spots him very ambitiously for his return. I’m intrigued so I’ll put a few dollars on him as well.
$15 Win 2
$5 Win 3
Belmont, Race 9: Starter Optional Claiming $35,000 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
I love “Horse to Watch” Money in Motion (#8) in this spot. He ran very well two races back when he would have won if not for severe traffic trouble in the stretch and then last time he was a very respectable second behind the classy Exclusive Strike over going that was similar to what he’ll encounter today. There’s plenty of pace for him to sit off of and I expect him to win this.
$15 Win 8 (WINNER; Payout: $84.00)