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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Babies at Belmont

- The second at Belmont on Friday is a two-year old maiden race with just five entries, all of whom are fillies making their debut. They are racing for a whopping $52,000, as purses have been hiked for the last three weeks of the meeting. Good move by NYRA to try and head off the short fields that are usually pervasive over the last couple of weeks of this meeting as the focus turns to Saratoga. In general, be wary of horses racing here now, as they may really be prepping for a larger objective upstate.

Back to the second; Pletcher has the 7-5 morning line favorite in Crosswater. This is an Overbrook homebred by the mighty Storm Cat, 17% with first-time starters. Crosswater is out of a Forty Niner mare, and is a half-sister to stakes placed El Nino. The dam is a half to the juvenile champ Boston Harbor; and the second dam, by Vice Regent, is a half to the great champion sprinter Groovy. You know the drill with the Toddster and first-timers; and his percentage of 29% with debut juveniles at Belmont over the last two years betters his overall average of 24%. So don't be surprised if he's bet down to his 7-5 morning line.

But keep an eye on Phantom Income. Here's one of those juvenile sales horses who far exceeded his sire's stud fee after a quick breeze. This daughter of the Florida sire Montbrook ($15,000), sold for $200,000 after flying a furlong in 10.1, a tick off the show's best. She's trained by Richard Violette, hardly a big first-time guy like Pletcher. But last week, Violette sent out Fed Watcher to win his debut at 5-1, earning a sparkling Beyer of 98 after getting his five furlongs in 56.10. Fed Watcher came out of the same sale as Phantom Income, selling for just $60,000 after working a quarter in 21.2.

Montbrook is a 12% debut sire, and Phantom Income is out of Catch the Ghost, a half-sister to the champion Ghostzapper. So she also certainly has a license to be fast, and could be some value as the 3-1 third choice in the morning line.

Namaste's Wish (5-2) is a $600,000 yearling purchase making her debut for Bill Mott. The trainer is only 13% with first-time two year olds over the last two years; but at Belmont, that average goes up to 26%, 10 for 38. Namaste's Wish, by Pulpit, is a full-brother to the Grade 1 winner (Cigar Mile) Purge, standing at Vinery for $20,000.

Shining Sea debuts for Mark Hennig, two for 44 with first-time two-year olds. This filly, by Stormy Atlantic, is out of a half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner Keeper Hill.


Warstone said...


Be wary of Overbrook sale horses they are always culls from that opperation (although they someti). This may be a good race to bet against Crosswater. My pick is Phantom Income.

ljk said...

I'll be surprised if you can get 7-5. Crosswater looks well meant, and only 4 to beat. Maybe a 3-1 cold exacta.

Perhaps we'll get 7-5 on her in The Adirondack...

Valerie Grash said...

Boy, you nailed it with Phantom Income! Nice payout.