As we approach one of the better weekends of the year, Keeneland is back for their fall meet. As Churchill Downs has ended, racing in Lexington, Kentucky is back! All of this is happening just one day before the final leg of the Triple Crown! If you’re not excited about this weekend, this sport isn’t for you. As always, Belmont has a 10-race card highlighted by the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for New York-breds.
Also included below: my 10-race preview of Keeneland and 10-race preview of Santa Anita.
Best of luck!
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-old fillies going 6 furlongs on the dirt
#5 Malibu Luna will look to give Bill Mott his first win of the meet after running well in consecutive efforts up at Saratoga. He has shown consistent progress, and if he takes another step forward, it can put him in the winners’ circle. #8 Full of Fire will only be Horacio DePaz’s second start at the meet as his filly will look to win in her debut. She posted a bullet work on September 20th going four furlongs in :48.06 here at Belmont. Based on that morning work, she’s raring to go.
Race 8: $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the widener turf
#5 Basquiat tried the turf for the first time in his last start, and fared pretty well for the most part. There’s reason to think he will do better on the grass moving forward. #12 Turn of Events should’ve never been running at Kentucky Downs. Not all allowance levels are the same, and this one is certainly easier then his last race.
Race 9: Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds going 7 furlongs on the dirt
The Funny Side Stakes included many of the runners that we will see in this spot. #4 Eagle Orb continued to close ground going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. He gets an extra 1/2 furlong to work with in this race, extra distance that should be extremely beneficial. #7 Lookin for Trouble likes to go to the the lead and hold on for as long as he can. He hasn’t proven he can do so at 6 1/2 furlongs so his stamina is something to keep an eye out for as they enter the stretch.
Race 10: $40,000 Maiden Claiming for New York-bred 3-year-olds going 6 furlongs on the widener turf
#4 Freudian Analyst was set up for a matchup to face the favorite Fast Gordon, who is now scratched. This has become a wide open event, but Freudian Analyst becomes my top choice.
$5 Pick 4 (Races 6-9) 5,8 / 5,12 / 4,7 / 4 – $40
Belmont Park October 2, 2020
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Ricky’s Rockets: Belmont Park
Ricky’s Rockets: Keeneland
Ricky’s Rockets: Santa Anita