Friday, September 25
Race 4: Maiden Special Weight at 6 furlongs on the turf for NY-bred fillies and mares
1 – Donatienne
I have to go back to Donatienne (#1) one more time because I actually really like the turnback for her. She runs like a horse that isn’t mentally capable of handling two turns. She gets rank when the pace slows down and ends up making a middle move into her races. Today, with a quicker pace ahead of her, she should be able to sit back and make one late run. She’s also bred to be much more effective going shorter since she’s a half to BC Sprint winner Trinniberg as well as a turf sprint winner.
$25 Win 1
$5 Exacta Key Box 1 with 4,7,9
Race 8: Claiming $32,000 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
4 – Bigger Picture
I suppose that Tattenham is the horse to beat as he drops in class, but it does kind of feel like his best days are behind him. Mills also figures off the intriguing claim-back by Bill Mott, since this is the only horse Mott has claimed in the past 5 years.
However, I went to Bigger Picture (#4) as my top selection. Just draw a line through his last race. Cornelio Velasquez’s saddle slipped early and the horse basically ran off with him before being eased. Prior to that Bigger Picture was in excellent form and was running races that could beat this field. The drop off the claim is of slight concern, but he does love Belmont Park and Castellano takes the mount.
$15 Win 4
$4 Exacta Key Box 4 with 1,6 (Payout: $58.40)
Race 9: Optional Claiming $80,000/N3X at 6 furlongs
2 – Gombey Dancer
I do believe that Mewannarose is the horse to beat, but it’s hard to fully trust horses like him off long layoffs.
Obviously I’m hoping for a little better than his 4/1 morning line, but my long shot idea in this race is Gombey Dancer (#2). Gombey Dancer has really come to hand for the new connections this summer. He was impressive two back and even better last time battling through solid fractions before holding off a pretty nice horse over a distance that is farther than he really wants to go. I like that they’re turning Gombey Dancer back to six furlongs off that route effort. Today he should be able to sit a great trip stalking the two main speeds and can get the jump on the closers. Robert Dibona doesn’t ship too many to New York, but he’s 3-for-10 doing it over the past couple of years. Gombey Dancer looks to be over the issues that were bugging him when last seen in NY. He’s dangerous here.
$10 Win/Place 2
$5 Exacta Box 2,7
$2 Exacta Key Box 2 with 1,3,5,6