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One of the best racing days across the entire country is just a day away. Seven “Win and You’re In” races will take place this weekend at Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park. I can’t wait to watch these contenders show their best efforts in hopes of being in California for the first weekend in November.
Belmont Meet Statistics (9/6 through 9/25):
Race 4: $62,000 MSW for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the Widener turf
#6 Astoria Kitten (2/1) was an even-money favorite on debut at Saratoga on August 14, but she hit the gate at the start and was compromised from the beginning. Kendrick Carmouche got her back into position early on, but the distance was too much for her first time out. Astoria Kitten gets a rider switch to Jose Lezcano and an equipment change, adding blinkers in hopes that a smooth beginning will give her a great opportunity to break her maiden.
Barclay Tagg brings #8 Adriatic Holiday (7/2) to turf for the first time after her debut was forced off. Junior Alvarado was caught in between two minds with this filly and chose to sit off the lead. Here, she gets back onto the surface that her connections originally wanted while adding blinkers.
Todd Pletcher has been on a tear since the fall meet started just a few weeks ago. Purchased for $340,000 as a yearling, #2 More Glitter (2/1) debuted on the dirt with a lot of buzz. Her effort wasn’t awful, but her connections definitely expected more out of her. She is a definite contender in this spot, and her recent morning turf works suggest that she will improve here.
Luis Saez gets aboard #1 Topaz Bride (5/1) for the Mike Maker barn. Topaz Bride has a ton of turf pedigree thanks to her damsire, After Market, who won six graded stakes races on the lawn. Topaz Bride gets the opportunity to prove what she’s made of here.
Ricky’s Picks: 6-8-2-1
Race 5: $75,000 MSW for 2-year-olds going 6 furlongs on the inner turf
Mark Casse has a potential monster with #4 Jack and Noah (4/1), whose sire, Bated Breath, won over $600,000 on European turf. He also gets one of the best turf riders, Jose Lezcano, aboard for his first time. Jack and Noah ran 4 furlongs in :47.88 on September 18 and should be one of the main contenders in this competitive field.
#5 Turned Aside (5/2) makes his way back to the track after an impressive debut performance just a few weeks ago. Jose Lezcano was aboard this colt by American Pharoah, but his defection to my top choice, Manny Franco will get his chance. Franco has won 19% with Linda Rice in 2019, so this duo should prove tough to beat here. Rice has been known to get the best out of her horses in their second career starts, winning at a 30% clip.
#6 King’s Honor (7/2) did not make a great impression on the betting public after a porous debut at Saratoga on August 31. He broke mid-pack under Javier Castellano but never found his footing. Jonathan Thomas has won at 40% this year when his runners cut back from a route to a sprint. That stat gives me a lot of confidence that King’s Honor will do much better here.
#9 Leading Factor (10/1) is an intriguing entry because Timothy Hills has only had four runners here since the beginning of the fall meet. He’s based at Monmouth Park but only ships to win. The last time that he brought a runner here was on September 18 when Naked Avenger won the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes. Leading Factor’s recent works suggest that this field won’t be too much for him. He needs to be included on all tickets in order to feel safe about this race.
Ricky’s Picks: 4-5-6-9
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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