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NYRA Preview: Belmont Park 9/18

NYRA Preview: Belmont Park 9/18

On the heels on the Pennsylvania Derby, thoroughbred racing has flourished throughout the country post-summer meets. It was no different this past weekend when Blowout dominated the Pebbles Stakes. A new week of racing is upon us as we have a packed eight-race card, highlighted by a pair of maiden special weight (MSW) races.

Belmont Meet Statistics (9/6 through 9/15):

Races Top 4 Wins Top 4 Exactas Top 4 Trifectas Top 4 Supers
17 14 9 6 3
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Race 5: $62,000 MSW for New York-bred 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile on the outer turf 

#2 Waynes Footsteps (2/1) has gotten closer and closer to the finish line with every start. Against the same group last time out, he led the entire way around until the final few strides. Luis Saez gave this horse every opportunity to win and didn’t have any excuses. In saying this, he is the most talented of the bunch and should win at a short price.

Christophe Clement will try the turf once again with #4 Quiet Out East (4/1). The last time that he saw grass came on June 2 when he missed by a head at this level. His deep-closing style makes him very dangerous in here. Waynes Footsteps will want to be out front and establish the pace early, so if the he gets caught up early with other front-runners, watch for this one to pick up the pieces.

#1 Jimmy Jazz (3/1) sat just off Waynes Footsteps’ heels last time out before finishing fourth, beaten a total of 1 length. Interestingly, his last race was the only time that he was forwardly placed. The switch to Joel Rosario indicates that a different running style might be implemented in this spot. Rosario has been on fire so far in the early stages of the meet, winning at a 28% clip. Jimmy Jazz certainly has what it takes to win at these conditions, but coming from off the pace might be the best way to get it done.

Two starts back, #5 Klickitat (7/2) passed Waynes Footsteps and almost got Saltking at the wire. Junior Alvarado tried the same thing with him next time out, but the results were drastically different. The switch to Javier Castellano should be a positive one, but he will need to improve to beat this group. If he does, then he can be in the winner’s circle when all is said and done.

Ricky’s Picks: 2-4-1-5

Credit: NYRA

Race 8: $62,000 for 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the outer turf

#2 Fame to Famous (8/5) makes his way back to the track after a pair of close efforts at Saratoga. He struggles mightily out of the gate, resulting in him coming from off of the pace. He has shown that he can pass horses in the stretch, but if he has a better start, will he be more forwardly placed? A better post position should help him get the spot that he wants on the track to take down this field. Decorated Invader defeated him last time out before winning the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine last weekend.

Gary Contessa sends out coupled entries #1 Theitalianamerican (5/1) and #1A Justintimeforwine (5/1). I prefer Theitalianamerican in this spot, but these runners complement each other. Justintimeforwine has shown early speed, which could set up his stablemate. Theitalianamerican did well in his debut in May, missing by a head over the local dirt, but he never got back to this condition because he ran in three straight stakes. He poses a major threat in this class drop.

#4 Get Smokin (6/1) impressed in his debut at Saratoga on August 1. No runner had a chance to beat Frosted Rose, who maintained a multiple-length distance the entire step of the way. An improvement from his first start could see Tom Bush get his first win of the fall meet here at Belmont Park.

Rudy Rodriguez originally had #5 Like You (12/1) scheduled to run on the turf back on August 21, but a torrential downpour forced the race to be run on the dirt. Flute Maker went on to win by open lengths, but it wasn’t all bad for Like You. He broke away well out of the gate and chased Legend of Bam for the first half of the race, but the track conditions made it difficult to keep up. He has a chance to run on the turf for the first time and show horse players that he is worthy of a longshot bet.

Ricky’s Picks: 2-1/1A-4-5

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Good luck to everyone playing and be sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyP_15 for more NYRA race previews as we take a look at Belmont Park!

If you want further information on the other races for each card at Belmont Park and beyond, you can check the Racing Dudes’ Free Picks page or subscribe to their Premium Selections and get detailed analyses for every race, every card, every track around the country.

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