The Racing Dudes team continues to stay hot throughout the fall meet at Belmont Park, and we close out the weekend with a 10-race card highlighted by two maiden special weight (MSW) races.
Belmont Meet Statistics (9/6 through 9/12):
|Races||Top 4 Wins||Top 4 Exactas||Top 4 Trifectas||Top 4 Supers|
Race 7: $90,000 MSW for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs) on the inner turf
Mark Casse brings #10 Shennan (2/1) back to the track after finishing a close fourth in his last race at Saratoga. He has the best closing speed in this race and the pace should set up similarly to his previous two starts. He should vie for favoritism and be towards the top of everyone’s tickets.
#9 Overbold (5/1) makes his way back to Belmont Park after a disappointing effort last time out at Saratoga. In his last appearance here, he was a neck away from taking the field gate to wire. The turf surfaces at Saratoga are different due to the tracks’ size differences. The bigger Belmont Park’s turns aren’t as tight, so if given the chance, he can get the job done start to finish.
Mike Maker seems to have found how to get the best out of #8 Tiberius Mercurius (9/5). In his first start under Maker’s tutelage, he was positioned perfectly near the front, but Luis Saez probably made his move a couple of seconds too early, as Value Engineering passed him late. This colt makes a lot of sense here and most likely will be the post-time favorite.
Christophe Clement brings back #4 Mr. Alec (6/1) after he debuted at Monmouth Park, where he had the lead for a brief moment until That Quality took the lead. At that point, it was over. Joel Rosario gets aboard after Paco Lopez rode him in his debut. Rosario and Clement have made a good duo in the past two years, winning 23% of the time. It will be interesting to see how this horse responds in his second start here at Belmont Park.
Ricky’s Picks: 10-9-8-4
Race 8: $62,000 MSW for New York-bred 2-year-olds going 6 furlongs on the dirt
#4 Dream Bigger (3/5) is the clear horse to beat. He broke very sharply from the outside in his lone prior start and established early positioning. John Velazquez took him to the lead in the backstretch and had a nice hold on him, but once Junior Alvarado asked Tiz the Law to go, Dream Bigger didn’t have an answer. He did, however, finish 14 lengths clear of third, so with a similar effort, he should win easily.
Jeremiah Englehart, perhaps the most underrated trainer on the NYRA circuit, sends out #6 Ariesberg (6/1) for his debut. Englehart is winning at 23% with first-timers and 26% at dirt sprints. This gelding has impressed in the mornings; on September 8, he went 4 furlongs in :47.85. His sire, Teuflesberg, won over $600,000 in his career. Englehart has a very good read on his young horses and his colt is primed for a big debut.
Linda Rice took over training duties for #7 Blues City (8/1) when Rising Graph Stable made the switch after his debut. His debut for Rice came after a nearly three-month layoff, and while he takes a step up from the $50,000 maiden claiming ranks, this isn’t the toughest field. He improved from start one to two and will be a nice price to use in the exotics.
Gary Contessa hasn’t had a winner yet so far at the meet, but his runners have looked dangerous. #3 Tapizearance (12/1) comes out of a race that Three Jokers won back on August 23. He was 17/1 but outran his odds by a large amount. After going very wide in the far turn, Manny Franco was able to get him up into second, even though Three Jokers began pulling away late. Assuming he takes another positive step, double-digits odds will look like a bargain.
Ricky’s Picks: 4-6-7-3