|Samstag, 20. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 8 – Acorn Stakes||Weiterlesen|
|Samstag, 20. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 10 – Belmont Stakes||Weiterlesen|
|Freitag, 19. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 7||Weiterlesen|
|Donnerstag, 18. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 2||Weiterlesen|
Samstag, 20. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 8 – Acorn Stakes
GRADE 1 – $300,000
Belmont Stakes Day features 5 stakes on Saturday, including the kickoff to the 2020 Triple Crown in the main event. But the 3-year-old fillies will set the table in the 1-mile Acorn in Race 8, which kicks off the day’s late pick 5 and also is a part of a middle pick 5 from Races 6-10 that includes 4 stakes.
PERFECT ALIBI is the field’s only Grade 1 winner and also has won at the Grade 2 level. LUCREZIA is Grade 2-placed. The rest are rising in class. Given that PERFECT ALIBI’s form all came against juveniles in 2019, declaring a discernible class edge isn’t as obvious as it might seem. Class won’t be the handicapping tool here.
GAMINE brings rail speed from California, while GLASS CEILING, LUCREZIA and CASUAL should be in the next flight. The pace looks fair, but not fall-apart fast.
PERFECT ALIBI certainly has the credentials from her freshman campaign. But the Mark Casse trainee has been away since her fourth in the Nov. 1 Breeders‘ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She’s 4: 3-1-0 in 1-turn races and no doubt will be tough if she delivers on her 2019 form (which included a second in Belmont’s Astoria). But according to 1/ST BET stats, the Casse barn is 9: 0-1-0 since 2014 with horses off 6-8 months in graded stakes at a mile or more. PERFECT ALIBI never ran particularly fast at 2 and her workouts now don’t indicate a blaze in the works. I’ll take a shot against her.
GAMINE has won both starts, a Santa Anita maiden sprint and an Oaklawn route allowance, with varying degrees of difficulty. She beat 3 rivals in her unveiling at 1-9 odds and was never in doubt as a $1.8 million purchase is supposed to look in that situation. The Oaklawn test was more stern against 11 runners. She wired the field and held on by a neck to defeat Speech, who since returned to finish second in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks.
GAMINE hasn’t dazzled the eye in the morning since her Oaklawn trip, studying her XBTV.com library in training against an overmatched LA-bred maiden named Dodger in recent weeks. But Baffert has put her behind that runner and has tried to teach her some patience. Baffert runners who exited Oaklawn races returned to go a rousing 4: 3-1-0 at Santa Anita, including 2 stakes wins. From the rail under Belmont star John Velazquez, I suspect those morning patience lessons will be tossed to the wind. She should set the pace. Intra-race, I’ll try to beat her. But if playing multi-race exotics, you’ll want to include her and not be so brazen to lose a pick 4 or pick 5 by taking a big stand.
CASUAL has a monster Steve Asmussen legacy pedigree, sired by 2-time local Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Curlin and out of 2003 Acorn runner-up and eventual local Gallant Bloom winner Lady Tak. Like Gamine, she’s 2-for-2 in her career over 2 different tracks, a maiden sprint at Oaklawn and a May 22 Churchill Downs allowance. She was very strong on the back end of 7 furlongs most recently, netting a 102 BRIS late pace figure. If she can track the speed, give his unbeaten filly a big chance to punch past in the stretch. Her millionaire mama started her career 5-for-5, and her $10 million-earning papa began 3-for-3 winning the 2007 Arkansas Derby in this spot in his form cycle.
Also with pedigree to play is the Shug McGaughey legacy filly PLEASANT ORB. She’s merely sired by the barn’s 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb and out of its Breeders‘ Cup Distaff-winning mare Pleasant Home, who won her signature race at Belmont Park no less. But PLEASANT ORB doesn’t campaign for McGaughey; she’s in the Barclay Tagg barn. And that outfit has Belmont Stakes heavy favorite Tiz the Law on the launching pad Saturday. I love when a barn gets all of its major players on time for the same major race date like this. PLEASANT ORB exits a better-than-it-looks third in a tougher-than-it-looks listed stakes at Gulfstream, which was won by multiple graded winner Tonalist’s Shape. PLEASANT ORB checked into the clubhouse turn, then was stopped cold on the far turn before making a third run in the race. She flattened out in the lane once unable to reel in the heavy 1-to-2 favorite and hung late. A rider change to Manny Franco and a cleaner trip might do her wonders.
LUCREZIA was runner-up in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks, a race that looked even better when its winner Swiss Skydiver traveled west to add the Grade 2 Santa Anita Derby to her resume. LUCREZIA has a pressing running style and from post 2 likely will have to work hard to keep up with GAMINE to her inside. She hasn’t missed a beat training at Fair Hill in Maryland for Arnaud Delacour since that runner-up in March. She’s come home very well in her last 2 routes, and patient Julien Leparoux suits her well.
The field also includes 17-1 Busher Stakes upsetter WATER WHITE for Rudy Rodriguez and class-rising GLASS CEILING for Danny Gargan. Neither trainer ever is an easy toss on the NYRA circuit and both exit victories.
Most Certain Exotics Contender: CASUAL is perfect so far, has a pedigree for greatness and should get a great trip just behind the speed with a chance to pounce.
Best Longshot Exotics Contender: PLEASANT ORB was 19-1 last out when third in listed company and probably won’t draw any more than fifth-choice in the field of 7. But she’s a contender.
Sending it in ($100 bankroll): $90 win CASUAL. $10 exacta CASUAL over PLEASANT ORB.
Samstag, 20. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 10 – Belmont Stakes
GRADE 1 – $1,000,000
1. Tap It to Win M. Casse/J. Velazquez 6-1
This son of Tapit approaches the Belmont in great shape. He’s sharp, off a five-length first level allowance win at Belmont just 16 days ago. That was his second consecutive win, following a six-furlong state-bred allowance triumph at Gulfstream in May. He broke maiden at Saratoga in his second start and then turned in a pair of clunkers in stakes at Keeneland and Churchill. They were almost too bad to be believed. Rested from October to May, he returned for the Gulfstream win. He probably will use his speed from the rail to gain an early advantage. There also doesn’t seem to be an abundance of other speed in the race. How good is this guy? Don’t really know, but he’s sharp and could have enough of a pace advantage to hang around for a while at the finish.
2. Sole Volante Biancone/Panici 9/2
This son of Karakonite returns in the Belmont Stakes just 10 days after impressively winning an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. That’s a rapid turnaround for the modern quality racehorse, but such moves often produce good results. Makes sense. He’s fit, sharp and on his game. Why shouldn’t he not run well? Sole Volante’s resume isn’t too shabby either. He’s won four of six starts, with a second and a third. He won his first two starts on turf, then moved to dirt and since has a win, a second and a third in stakes company. He comes from off the pace and would appreciate an early meltdown up front. On paper, we don’t see that happening. Still, he’s sharp, honest and the only runner in the field with as many wins as heavy favorite Tiz the Law. Sole Volante is an exotics must use.
3. Max Player Rice/Rosario 15-1
A mere half-length from being unbeaten in three starts, Max Player has been on the bench since winning the Withers at Aqueduct in February. At that time, his connections had no idea the racing schedule would be upended and that a shortened Belmont Stakes would be the first leg of the Triple Crown. They had planned to give him a rest and then prep for the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Now, he’s had lots of rest and, according to connections, that’s done him a world of good. They say he’s grown mentally and physically. If that’s the case, he could have something to say about the outcome of this race. He’s a mid-pack early type of runner with a solid kick. No telling how much he might improve in here and worth using in exotics at a big price.
4. Modernist Mott/J. Alvarado 15-1
Running, not running. A :59 1/5 bullet workout June 14 finally sealed the deal: Modernist was entered in the Belmont Stakes. This son of Uncle Mo won the Gr. 2 Risen Star in February and was third in the Gr. 2 Louisiana Derby in March. He also has an Aqueduct maiden tally to his credit. In fact, he parlayed that January maiden score into the surprise Risen Star victory at 12.80-to-1. He’ll need to step up his game a bit to act with these, but Hall of Fame trainer Mott’s horses generally improve. Still, he’s a longshot in here.
5. Farmington Road Pletcher/J. Castellano 15-1
This is one of two Todd Pletcher runners in the Belmont and, like stablemate Dr. Post, he’s by Quality Road. However, there are significant differences between the two colts. This guy has raced six times with just one win—a maiden victory at Tampa Bay Downs going a mile and seventy yards. He closed stoutly to just miss by a half-length in the Oaklawn Stakes to Mr. Big News over a sloppy track. The biggest challenge for Farmington Road is that there’s not much speed in this race and he needs a hot pace to do his best. Connections have considered him a ‘Belmont horse’ for a while, but they had no idea the race would be at one mile and one-eighth instead of a mile and one-half. He deserves respect as a late threat, but the bottom of exotics is the best we see from here.
6. Fore Left O’Neill/J. Ortiz 30-1
He’s won four of nine races, including his last out—the one-mile UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan in Dubai. Other scores include the restricted Sunny Slope sprint at Santa Anita and the Tremont for 2-year-olds at Belmont, also a sprint. He should add a bit of early pace to the race. He’s been training well at Santa Anita, so connections decided to take a shot at this shortened Belmont Stakes that boasts a strong favorite, but an otherwise wide-open field. He will need to do much better than he has in the past to threaten here.
7. Jungle Runner Asmussen/R. Gutierrez 50-1
A late addition to the field, he’s got to step up his game to be a threat in here. Owner Calumet Farm often enters overmatched runners in stakes and sometimes pulls off upsets. A Jungle Runner triumph would be a real surprise.
8. Tiz the Law Tagg/M. Franco 6/5
In the annual game of musical chairs that is the 3-year-old road to the Kentucky Derby, Tiz the Law remains as one of a few of top-ranked players still with a seat when the music stops. According to the official May 23 list of Kentucky Derby point earners, out of the top five horses only Tiz the Law remains currently active. Santa Anita Derby one-two finishers Honor A.P. and In the most recent update, Authentic and Honor A. P. joined Tiz the Law among current top-five ranked runners, however, Nadal, Wells Bayou, Charlatan and King Guillermo are currently out.
Tiz the Law made three starts at two, winning two of them and just missing in the Gr. 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Connections opted to skip the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and aim for a Feb. 1 start in the Holy Bull, which he won impressively. Management continued a conservative path and passed on a return in Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth to train directly up to the Florida Derby for another powerful victory. All systems were on ‘go’ for the main event on the first Saturday in May. Unfortunately, the big race that day turned out to be the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn instead of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill. Tiz the Law remained on the bench, waiting for the right opportunity.
And, finally, here it is in the form of a revised Belmont Stakes—first leg of a unique Triple Crown. He’s trained superbly for the race and is supposed to win. One quirk of his is that he, apparently, prefers to be outside of other horses. Keep an eye on that during the race. It might be the only thing that can beat him.
9. Dr. Post Pletcher/I. Ortiz, Jr. 5-1
He’s a lightly raced son of Quality Road with two consecutive wins out of three lifetime starts. Both victories came at Gulfstream Park in a seven-furlong maiden race and in the one mile and one-sixteenth Unbridled Stakes. He’s attracted serious wagering support as favorite in all three races–$.50, $1.00 and $1.00-to-1. That kind of backing suggests that he’s always been highly regarded. Clearly, this is the deepest field he’s ever faced, but his trainer has won three Belmonts and knows where and when to place his horses. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. helps his cause, too. Look for him somewhere in the middle of the pack in the early going. He’s got a chance to be part of the exotics at a square price.
10. Pneumatic Asmussen/R. Santana, Jr. 8-1
This son of Uncle Mo has two wins in three starts, including a mile allowance/optional claiming race triumph at Oaklawn Park. His Beyer Speed figures have improved with each start for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and the barn’s ‘go-to’ jock is aboard. Last out, Pneumatic was a fighting third to top-rated Maxfield and Ny Traffic in Churchill’s Gr. 3 Matt Winn Stakes. He’s an example of an improving 3-year-old that could wake up in here. He drew an outside post and might lose ground early, adding to his challenge.
#8. Tiz the Law is strictly the one to beat in here. He’s coming off a long layoff and history says that’s the time to go against heavy favorites. However, he’s just plain better than this group on paper and should get the kind of trip he needs to win. It will be interesting to watch opposing jockeys attempt to keep him trapped inside where he doesn’t want to be. He’s got enough talent and quickness to overcome some of that gamesmanship, though.
There are a couple of ways to go underneath the favorite. #2 Sole Volante returns just 10 days following a Gulfstream prep race and he’s the most accomplished of the second tier in here. He comes from off the pace, but he’s got to be considered in exotics.
#3 Max Player is an interesting option. He really hasn’t proven that he’s not a good horse. With just three starts (just one of those at three), he’s got room to improve and trainer Linda Rice is solid with runners off a layoff. He shouldn’t be too far behind whatever early pace develops.
#1 Tap It to Win has speed and will use it from this rail draw. He’s sharp, fast early and a winner at Belmont. Those factors add up to a positive expectation for him. If he’s pressured early, he may not have the fortitude to hang around, but he should be in front early and that’s usually a great place to be.
1: #8 Tiz The Law
2: #1 Tap It to Win
3: #2 Sole Volante
4: #3 Max Player
Freitag, 19. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 7
#1 Fetching – Has been running at this level for the last 3 races, and hasn’t recorded a top 3 finish yet. She is now cutting back in distance, and she has more upside than most of these in here. Also, I like the fact she has won at 7 furlongs over this turf course. With today’s race being at that 7 furlong distance, and drawing the rail hopefully she can sit closer and have a shot.
#4 Collegeville Girl – Is stepping up in class and trying turf for the first time which is not a great combination. She will likely go off at long odds, and she probably should. She does have 4 wins in 10 starts including a win last time out by 9 lengths in March.
#5 Vip Nation – Three starts back going 7 furlongs over the Belmont turf course Vip Nation absolutely dominated her competition, and that included a few of these in here. She should be forwardly placed, and is certainly a player in here under jockey Kendrick Carmouche. There is not a lot of early speed so she may try to steal this one on the front end.
#7 Out Of Trouble – Has been racing against tougher competition recently, but also hasn’t been able to get a win since October of 2019. That win 2019 was at this level going a mile. She should be sitting mid pack around 4th or 5th and trying to make one sustained run down the stretch. I don’t know if she’ll be able to catch Vip Nation though if she is loose on the lead.
#8 First Appeal – Was one of the horses who lost to Vip Nation, and once again this race just doesn’t set up for her. There are plenty of horses who will likely have the jump on her. At best she is to be played for 2nd and 3rd, but I just don’t like her in this spot.
#9 Lovely La La – Has 4 consecutive top three finishes, and will sit a great trip just off the pace. There are a few things not to like here though. She was just claimed from the Chad Brown barn, and Chad Brown is the top turf trainer in North America. The new trainer Michelle Nevin is very good in her own right, but wins just 7% of her races first time off the claim. Also, this horse has run at this level the last 4 times and just can’t get home first. She shouldn’t be ignored, but I prefer others to win.
#11 A Little Faith – Has 2 wins in 5 career starts, and like the #1 Fetching has a lot of upside in comparison to the others in this race. She went off the favorite against similar company last time out, and finished 3rd beaten just a length. The issue here is this horse hasn’t run since November and will likely need a race to get fit before being a danger.
1: #5 Vip Nation
2: #1 Fetching
3: #9 Lovely La La
4: #7 Out of Trouble
Donnerstag, 18. Juni, Belmont Park Rennen 2
#1 Luxury Suite – Went off as the favorite last time out, and ran an even 6th place beaten by 5 lengths. He was never really in that race as he broke last, and never got going til the very end of the race. He does have a closing style, but I think he will be sitting closer than the 16 lengths off the pace he was last time out. Jockey Joel Rosario stays aboard which is a plus. There is a little bit of speed in this race as well. I look for Rosario to ride the rail most of the race, and pick off horses late.
#3 Prince of New York – Just missed in his first try against winners last time out. When he won 2 starts back he was able to stalk the pace. He just missed trying to take the field wire-to-wire last time out. I expect he will sit off the pace. The worry for me is he hasn’t raced since March, and others in here have had a comeback race since.
#5 Invest – The likely favorite is taking a very large drop in class. He also is running for the first time under new trainer Brad Cox who wins at 25% with first starts off the claim. Jockey Jose Oritz and trainer Brad Cox also do very well when they are paired together winning 23% of their races. He will be forwardly placed, and should be the one to beat in here.
#7 Violent Delights – Is another horse that will be forwardly placed, but he has been running against similar competition and still hasn’t been able to get it done. There are a few others I prefer in this race. It doesn’t appear as though this horse likes to win as he is just 1-14 lifetime.
#9 Sneads – Won 2 starts back for his first win in 13 tries. Next time out after that he was beaten a distance 18 lengths. Now he is coming off of a lay-off, and I don’t quite understand why he will be taking play, but it looks as though he will. He is maybe a candidate to play for 2nd and 3rd, but not on top for the win.
#11 The Joke’s On You – Won wire-to-wire by 13 lengths last time out, but that was in just a 5 horse field against very soft competition. He may find himself on the lead again here, but breaking from the 11 post and against tougher might make this tough. With that being said a lot of the horses who will be forwardly placed want to stalk the lead so he could find himself all alone up front.
1: #5 Invest
2: #3 Prince of New York
3: #11 The Joke’s On You
4: #1 Luxury Suite