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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Belmont Sunday

In the 5th, Duke of Homberg (10-1) goes back on the grass second off the layoff for trainer Tom Albertrani (0 for his last 15 at Belmont), and this is an extremely similar scenario to the one in which he won the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in February (defeating a field of three-year olds which included some pretty nice horses in Lime Rickey, Tamborim, and stakes winner Beacon Hill Road). Then, as now, he'd had a layoff of 2 1/2 months, and was making his second start around a month after his return. In this case, you can throw out his last, which was run on a sloppy main track. This son of Dynaformer showed some sharp speed down at Gulfstream; he faded to 6th in the subsequent Palm Beach after the rider rocketed him out to a large lead with a second quarter of 22 3/5 in the nine furlong race. Back today with Garcia, who rated him kindly in the Hallandale Beach, he's got the rail and not a whole lot of speed outside of him.

Ballast (5-1) takes a drop in class for David Jacobson, who as we know is not afraid to drop them in order to get the purse. Class of the field with eight wins and nearly $500,000 in career earnings has good tactical speed and figures to get a trip behind the leader. Expansion (3-1) was awesome last time, recovering from being checked quite sharply and rallying for second. Thing is though, that he always runs well, but has come up just short four times at short odds since moving to this level. Sette E Mezzo (5-2) moves up in class for Mott; note that three horses from his last race have come back to win....but all switching to the dirt. I don't know what that means. Good luck and have a great Sunday.