- I know that all of you who are able to see their moms will be doing just that instead of playing horses today, right? My mom decided to host a brunch this morning, so I may actually be able to do both (in between that and playing Head Chef for the night). So I gotta go, but here's a quick look at a few races coming up on a mediocre, and state-bred dominated card at Belmont today.
- I'm not too crazy about either of the top morning line choices in Race 2. Inda (AP Indy-Queena) is listed as the 5-2 second choice for Shug, but she's never really been that close to winning in her seven starts at various distance on turf and dirt. Could be overbet as was the barn's Hedge Fund on Saturday. Imagistic (Deputy Minister) (2-1) is a bit of a plodder who has raced better around two turns. So it could be Todd Time; Unenchantedevening (Unbridled's Song) has run fairly well in sprints against a couple of tough fillies in Ghost Dancing and graded stakes winner Dream Rush. This half sister, by Unbridled's Song, to champion juvenile Favorite Trick should appreciate the added distance, and could control matters from the outside post.
In Race 3, Kiaran McLaughlin, who on Saturday had his third winner in two days and sixth for the meeting (from ten runners), sends out No Reply (Deputy Commander) for Darley. I think you have to consider anything from this barn right now, especially a consistent sort like this. We can likely forget the last effort by Three In the Bag on the grass; and note that he ran a close second to Reverberate on this track before that one went to win the Peter Pan. His wins since then have been against far weaker, but he could find himself on the lead in a paceless race. Hunting could be another overbet entry for Shug; his maiden win came against an awful field. And I mentioned Pulpiteer yesterday; he scratched for this spot which, at a mile, suits him far better.
In Race 4, The Ag figures to take money making her debut on the grass for Pletcher; this NY-bred three-year old is a half-sister (by Bahri), to Pletcher's graded turf stakes winning J'Ray. But she has to overcome the ten post on the inner turf with the start perilously close to the first turn. Spinnaker Run (Include) rallied up the rail for second in her grass debut in her last, and goes to the post for Pat Kelly, who had two longshot winners during the week.
Race 9 is a maiden turf sprint, and Enchantal is the 2-1 morning line favorite for Stan Hough. Extremely well-bet in her two career starts, she ran second on the turf at Saratoga last July, a head in front of eventual stakes winner Pay Wright. But this is her first effort since then, and the outside post won't help. Dixie Rainbow makes her debut for Asmussen, and is by a good first-out sire in Dixieland Band. But note that this barn is 1-for-32 with first-timers on grass; and 20% on the dirt. Anascaul tries the grass for the Clement barn, off to a hot start; she's by Seeking the Gold out of The Seven Seas (El Gran Senor), a graded stakes winner on grass. And watch to see if Fancy Fusaichi draws in to debut for Mott. She's by Fusaichi Pegasus, out of a mare by Rahy, and has a full sister who's won on the grass. She's also related to the BC Juvenile winner Arazi; they have the same second dam.
- Teuflesberg is out of the Preakness, and instead will be pointed to the Grade 2, $250,000 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day. [DRF] So I think a little common sense prevailed there. On the other hand, you have Wayne Lukas, who will run Flying First Class, ugh! Street Sense and Hard Spun continued their preparations.
Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, Street Sense galloped 1 1/4 miles under the watchful eye of trainer Carl Nafzger, who said, “He went great.”
Meanwhile at Delaware Park, trainer Larry Jones reported Hard Spun galloped 1 1/2 miles.
“He went pretty strong,” Jones said. “Everything is good in our camp. We could not be happier.” [Bloodhorse]