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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Belmont Day

In the 2nd, Love to Run (5-1) seems to have improved at three for the live Kimmel barn, and makes his third start of the form cycle.  Ran a close second in his 3yo debut to the Toddster's Street Brawl, who won impressively in allowance company in his next start; and the race has produced five winners and two seconds overall.  Last effort was a traffic disaster, uncomfortable on the rail throughout before checking and dropping back sharply.  Still gathered his senses and finished with a lot of interest.  Goes back to Alvarado here, and may like the stretchout in distance.  Son of Pulpit is out of a Quiet American mare who's a half to the dam of the multiple graded winner Sassy Image.  Wild Target (2-1) has had his chances for the red hot Kenneally barn.  Money-burner, or ready to break through here?  Escape Artist (3-1) has two good tries this distance for another ridiculously hot trainer in Chad Brown.

In the 4th, I like the form on Moonstock (4-1); don't mind the time between races given the steady series of drills on the Saratoga training track.  Ran second last out to Where's the Baby, who won his next in allowance company; and ahead of Arc Above, 2nd and then 1st in his next two. Two races back, he was way wide on both turns and did quite well to finish third in his first race in ten months.  I'm a little queasy on his chances because Mott has been really cold here lately, but maybe that's too much information.  (He's been really bad though, well-bet horses well beaten up the track.)  Ur (12-1) was carried wide into the stretch in his last and finished OK; could outrun his odds here with a kinder trip from a slightly better post.  Current Design (7-2) moved up on the Keeneland Poly, which bodes well for his turf debut for the aforementioned sharp Chad Brown barn.

In the 5th, Carbon County (7-2) has run well off a layoff in the past, and tries to do so here for Mike Hushion, 30% in the 61-180 day layoff category.  Moved up to allowance company at Tampa in his last, in February, and ran a close second against what's proven to be a very good field.  Under Control, the winner,  moved up in allowance class at Keeneland and just missed; and the 3rd and 4th place finishers won their next tries.  Ramon Dominguez wins at a 41% rate for this barn, so they must mean business here.  Adirondack Dancer (2-1) is the one to beat; will have to contend with an outside post.

In the 6th, Brimstone Island (5-1) continues to improve after being claimed for a mere $16k early this year.   Found himself head and head with Paynter last out; expect Xavier Perez to revert to the stalking style that served him better two races back, as well as in his prior one turn races.  Lots of trouble in his comment lines; think he can be there with a cleaner trip and at a fair price.   Inflation Target (4-1) has burned some money since graduating, and figures to be close again.  Teeth of the Dog (2-1) will get bet because he ran in the Preakness and ran 3rd at 53-1 in the Wood.  I just don't like him.

In the 8th, the G1 Just A Game, Hungry Island (5-2) looks like your typical Shug mare who starts to get really good as her four-year season wears on.  Comes off a career-best effort winning the G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile last out with a powerful brush in the stretch.  Sure to be second choice with Winter Memories (6-5) in the race, but I strongly prefer Hungry Island in this spot.  The favorite was fine winning her season debut against a moderate crew at best.  Think she could be running into a buzzsaw here.  Tapitsfly (3-1) continued gamely for 2nd as the top choice powered by at CD....could be worth a shot using her for second in the exacta if the price is right.

The Belmont lost much of its betting allure along with all its other allure when I'll Have Another scratched.  Favorite role goes to Dullahan (9-5) who, at first glance, may look quite logical at a mile and a half off his close for 3rd in the Derby.  Keep in mind though that, while it may have looked like he was closing fast, he came home in a lethargic 25 4/5 seconds.   I don't see any reason why Dullahan should thrive at this distance anymore than his half-brother Mine That Bird did.  Paynter (7-2) earned a freaky Beyer against a short field of moderate talent (the fact that I picked second place Brimstone Island notwithstanding) at a mile and a sixteenth.  Do you really think he's gonna stay this distance?   I don't.   Don't mean to pick on Michael Matz, but I just don't like Union Rags (3-1) either.  Has shown no sign that he's progressed from his two-year old form.  So, one might think I'd be psyched since I don't like the top three choices.   Problem is it's slim pickens amongst the rest.  So here's a not overly enthusiastic vote for Street Life (8-1), who at least is moving in the right direction, and seemed to like both Belmont and the addition of blinkers in his fast closing third in the Peter Pan.  Room for further improvement in only his 6th career start for Chad Brown.  He's been hot, did I mention that?  Best of luck everyone, and have a great Belmont day!


Figless said...

The beauty of the Triple Crown is its design, accidental as it is, which tests speed, stamina, and soundness.

This horse failed the latter and was not worthy.

Horses used to run in races IN BETWEEN these three races, as preps, its a joke that they once again are using this to argue for change in the series.

Shame of course for everyone involved racing in general but its just another way to not win the triple crown.

gabby said...

Couldn't envision Paynter outdueling IHA down the stretch, but with the latter out, and no world-beaters in here, Paynter may win off his speed advantage. I'll play him over Street Life.

Anonymous said...

Don't quit your day job.

Simply stated, the 'game' is not that easy. Horses that look good on paper must still go around the track.

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing..

Anonymous said...

Did O'Neil have any intention of running IHA in this race because of the detention barn?