- Happy New York Showcase Day!
In the 5th, the Maid of the Mist for 2 yo fillies, Sneakin Up (3-1) ships in again from Monmouth for trainer Joe Pierce. This daughter of Hook and Ladder has adopted a deep closing style since adding blinkers - unusual - and jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. Her win in the Joe A Gimma (not a licensed plumber either, but a former chairman of the state racing commission) is worth checking out. You're not supposed to be a million wide on the turn at Belmont, and still be able to come home in 12.48 and sweep by the field like she did. Whether or not she'll get sufficient pace in this race remains to be seen, but hard for me to look past her off that race and the stretchout to a mile. Solid half mile work for this too. Our Golden Dream (12-1) showed talent on the grass in her debut for Tom Bush, and tries dirt after floundering on the yielding turf of the G3 Miss Grillo; an ambitious placing there. Daughter of Medaglia d'Oro is a half-sister to Icabad Crane.
Sorry to throw another morning line favorite at you, but Rollers (3-1), a classy $500,000 son of Stormy Atlantic, returns to state-bred company in the 6th, the Hudson Handicap, after polishing off a solid graded stakes competitor in Desert Key at Philly Park for trainer Barclay Tagg. Ferocious Fires (9-2) takes a similar drop after competing well himself in the G1 Forego after a stumble at the start. This strapping chestnut son of Lite the Fuse is three for three at the distance, and trainer Anthony Dutrow is on another of his ridiculous streaks - two in a row at Belmont, and 4-3-1 with his last ten runners here. Dutrow also starts Premium Wine, and it looks like his pair may have worked together on 10/12 with Ferocious Fires getting the edge. I'll try an exacta box with the latter and Rollers.
In the 7th, the Ticonderoga, Nehantic Kat (6-1) returns off a brief freshening, and has shown some solid improvement at the age of five for the Tagg barn. Tough luck against several of these in her last, at Saratoga, when she was shuffled back to last and rallied against the pace grain for 4th, getting the final quarter in 22 seconds. Some concern that she always seems to get herself in trouble; but looks live at a fair price in a great betting contest.
Trainer George Weaver has sure cooled off since those heady days of July and August when he could do little wrong; he's 1 for 24 at this Belmont meeting. In the 9th, the Mohawk Handicap, his My Man Lars (8-1) takes another shot at Banrock (2-1) and Classic Pack (6-1), who he's finished just behind in his last two at this state-bred stakes level. This gelded son of End of the Road (Strawberry Road) has stepped up big time for Weaver at age five. He was four wide into the first turn in the Ashley Cole, and found himself going head to head with Banrock turning for home, still wide, after that one had cruised to the half on the lead in 52 seconds flat. So perfectly understandable that he weakened just slightly at the end after giving Banrock all he could handle in the stretch. Gets the rail, highly advantageous at this route with the short run to the first turn, and seems capable of turning the tables with a little racing luck. But I certainly wouldn't completely ignore the morning line favorite, seeking his 4th in a row for Tom Bush and jockey Kent Desormeaux. Best of luck, especially if you're going after the Pick Six carryover, and have a great day.
- And here's a pick from Santa Anita from DiscreetCat:
Santa Anita - Race 7
#4 All Too Solid (15/1 ml)
First-time starter for Guillot (23% for a huge flat-bet profit in that category) comes in off a heads-up gate drill with E M Squared on Oct 5. That one came out of that drill to win his debut down the hill last week, and wouldn't you know it, All Too Solid debuts down the hill as well. Also of note is that Guillot/Southern Equine's go-to rider Michael Baze gets the call. Remember that Baze flew to New York to ride a winner for these connections just a few weeks ago. Looks live here at a price.