Race 1-Claiming $25,000N2L, 1 1/16 miles turf, F/M 3 & up
The record of #11 Wet One (4/1) (16-1-3-3) makes me leery to pick her on top, but many competitors have similar records. She owns the fastest total & late pace figures in the field, so she is the tepid selection. #7 Night Brigade (3/1) is always in the hunt every time she goes to post. Trainer Dominic Galluscio is 23% off the claim & 33% over the last 60 days when Javier Castellano rides for him. #2 Silent Joy (10/1) retains red-hot Corey Nakatani in the saddle, should be up close to a slow early pace and in the mix turning for home at a price.
Race 2-Md. Sp. Wt., 1 mile, 3 & up
#3 Tiz Yankee (4/1) looks like a great candidate to go wire to wire in a very deep maiden heat. A cut back from 2-turn racing should do him well. #1/1A Won Kool Kid/Distorted Dream (6/1) are both working steadily for their debuts and are bred to handle a route of ground. Trainer Michael Mareina is 24% with first time starters as well. #8 Reflecting (12/1) cuts back in distance, adds blinkers and should gets a fast track while sitting a tactical trip from his outside post.
Race 3-NY bred O/C $14,000N1X, 1 mile, 3 & up
#8 Ruffino (4/1) loves Belmont Park (11-4-3-2) and 8 furlongs (14-8-2-1). Last time he was at this class level he scored by 7 lengths. Ruffino is a must use in all multi-race exotics. #9 Windswept (7/2) also loves Belmont and the distance, but getting back with NY breds may be just what Windswept needs to get back in the winner’s circle. #1 Diamond District (5/1) won at this level last out, and should sit a nice stalking trip from the rail in a race with plenty of pace.
Race 4-Md. Sp. Wt., 1 1/16 miles turf, 3 & up
#12 Third Martini (10/1) goes off the layoff for turf training guru, Linda Rice and her main jockey, Cornelio Velasquez. Though he showed a big closing kick in his debut, it appears Third Martini was too close to the pace last out. From his outside post, expect him to be placed near the back of the pack, save ground, and display an explosive stretch run. #4 Define (20/1) stretches out, adds Lasix and has been working every 7 days for his grass debut. Define’s dam, Evil, has produced 1 grass winner, as well as graded stakes winner Tiz Wonderful. Don’t be fooled by the horrible performance of #1 Dervish Prince (20/1) in his debut on dirt. He is bred for turf by being sired by Cozzene and out of a mare that has already produced a grass winner.
Race 5-NY bred $62,000 Alw. NW1X, 1 mile turf, 3 & up
#10 Adirondack Dancer (2/1) transformed his career when moved to the grass. Expect him to get a great stalking trip with his outside post draw. #6 Carbon County (7/2) gets Dominguez in the saddle for trainer Mike Hushion, who is 29% with newcomers to his barn and 21% with horses off 46-90 days. #1 Quiet Power’s (20/1) only turf start was dismal while on a yielding course. His dirt figures are just as good as his competitor’s turf form. If he can translate those figures to firm turf, Quiet Power can light up the tote board at a big price.
Race 6-$100,000 Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, 3 year olds
What #9 Inflation Target (4/1) lacks in class compared to some of these, he makes up for it in speed figures. He expects to be forwardly placed in a race without much early speed, and has been working well for today’s race. #6 Teeth Of The Dog (2/1) was overmatched in his last 2 efforts (Preakness & Wood Memorial) and is a logical contender with these second-tier 3-year-olds. #3 Politcallycorrect (6/1) comes off a runner-up effort to Belmont Stakes entrant, Atigun on the Derby under card. The race on 5/5 appears similar to today’s group, so expect another good effort.
Race 7-$400,000 Gd. II, 6 furlongs, 3 & up
Though his last race left little to be desired, #3 Smiling Tiger (5/2) was stuck on the rail at CD and returning off a 9-month absence. He is the only legitimate Grade 1 sprinter in the field and relishes the 6-furlong distance (6-3-1-2). Though he hasn’t raced at Belmont, Smiling Tiger fired a 5-furlong bullet over the surface on 6/1, so he’s had time to acclimate to his surroundings. #7 Caixa Eletronica (4/1) is in great form after winning the $1 million Charles Town Classic and running 4th in the Met Mile (the year’s toughest race thus far). He enjoys the 6 furlong distance as well. I’m just hoping those 2 efforts didn’t take too much out of him for today’s race. #8 Justin Phillip (10/1) captured the Gd. II Woody Stephens on Belmont Day 2011 and is 4-3-0-0 at the track overall. He should enjoy a stalking trip behind the expected quick early pace set by #1,2,5 & 6.
Race 8-$500,000 Gd. I, 1 mile turf, F/M 3 & up
#1 Tapitsfly (3/1) has learned how to rate later in her career, but hopefully she can revert back to the early speed freak she was in her youth. There is no early speed here, so with her beneficial rail draw, look for Tapitsfly to take them wire to wire. #4 Winter Memories (6/5) will be well bet, but she is a over-hyped closer in a quality field with no early pace. Look for her to make her move but fall short like she has before at low odds. #3 Wallis (15/1) has been off since January, but has been working well for her return for trainer Christophe Clement. She will have the benefit of being close to the slow early pace.
Race 9-$400,000 Gd. II, 7 furlongs, 3 year olds
#2 Hardened Wildcat (12/1) has faced pedestrian early paces in his last 2 races, which dampened his furious late rallies. In his last race, Hardened Wildcat ran his final 3 furlongs in 34 4/5 seconds but couldn’t catch the winner who was allowed to get away with a soft 47-second opening half mile. With a handful of speed balls in the race, look for Hardened Wildcat to finish with a flourish. #7 Power World (8/1) was highly thought of as a juvenile while running in 4 graded stakes as a 2 year old. He returned from a 7-month freshening to easily capture an allowance race here last month, an effort he should build off of today. #1 Hierro (5/2) took the Gd. 3 Derby Trial last out while defeating Belmont Stakes contender, Paynter. Hierro has frequent trouble breaking from the gate, so today’s rail draw did him no favors.
Race 10-$500,000 Gd. I, 1 1/4 miles turf, 3 & up
#1 Omayad (12/1) has a great chance to go wire to wire in a field lacking early speed and working steadily for legendary trainer, Neil Drysdale. #4 Desert Blanc (6/1) should be in peak condition today after running a respectable 2nd in his first race in the U.S. while coming off a 8-month layoff. Trainer Chad Brown is hitting at 30% with horses 2nd off a layoff & 50% with jockey Ramon Dominguez over the last 60 days. #6 Brilliant Speed (3/1) appears to be racing himself in to shape after his 3rd place effort in last fall’s BC Turf. He is grade 1 placed twice when running 3rd off the layoff, an angle he is using today, so expect a top effort.
Race 11-$1,000,000 Gd. I, 1 1/2 miles, 3 year olds
#3 Union Rags (3/1) was my pick in the Derby and in the Belmont before the scratch of I’ll Have Another, so there’s no reason to switch now. I thought he was the best horse going into the Derby & all the traffic he encountered didn’t sway me. The jockey switch to Velasquez should have him closer to the early pace, which can only help his chances. #4 Atigun (15/1) is lightly raced as a 3 year old, looks to be improving as distances increase and is bred to handle the distance. Look for him to get a piece at a price. #9 Paynter (7/2) owns the top BRIS figure in the field, but it was when beating up on tomato cans in an allowance race on the Preakness undercard when going 1 1/16 miles. Today is a much different ball game, so don’t expect that effort to be duplicated, but he is a contender on raw talent alone.
Race 12-$20,000 Clm., 6 furlongs turf, 3 & up
#5 Slew Big Finale (10/1) & #3 Pegasus Tommy D (5/1) both return off layoffs for Linda Rice, who is 19% with her layoff runners, so expect both of these to fire fresh. I’ll give the nod to #5, who tends to be a win machine (17-7-1-1) and shows a victory off a layoff in his running lines. #2 Recharged (8/1) is second off a layoff and cuts back from 7 furlongs. Expect an improved effort at his optimal distance.
Race 13-NY bred Md Sp Wt, 1 1/16 miles turf, 3 & up
#9 Sneaky Kitten’s (3/1) owners, Ken & Sarah Ramsey, love to win races on big racing days, especially with horses out of their prize-sire, Kitten’s Joy. Sneaky Kitten has been working great for his debut, so expect a prime effort in the day’s finale. #12 Gossip Column (7/2) owns the best figures in the field, retains Dominguez and stretches out 2nd off a layoff. A win by Gossip Column would be no surprise. #1 Sam’s Buck (5/1) closed well into a moderate pace when returning from a 5-month break. Trainer George Weaver is 18% 2nd off the layoff & keeps jockey Eddie Castro, so look for him to progress off his 5/12 effort.
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