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ELMONT, NY – Trainer Christophe Clement’s 4-time stakes winner Decorated Invader is hoping to rebound from a poor 2021 debut when he contests Saturday’s $100,000 Seek Again Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Seek Again is a one-turn, 1-mile turf event open to all horses ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 5:12 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Seek Again:
1. Epic Dreamer 12/1 – He earned a major confidence-boosting victory last time out in a 1-mile Tampa Bay Downs turf route, his first score on grass that ended a 15-month winless streak. He tied his career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure that day but will likely need to take a major step forward if he hopes to contend. Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. have won just 1 of their past 20 shared mounts.
2. Tiberius Mercurius 30/1 – He makes his second start for Tom Albertrani, his sixth trainer of record in just 13 starts to date for an owner who seemingly enjoys racking up the frequent flier miles on Tex Sutton’s equine airline. He owns just 1 official victory that he earned at Santa Anita Park last June and finished a non-threatening fifth in last month’s Danger’s Hour Stakes while debuting for this barn.
3. Tell Your Daddy 10/1 – He returned from a 3-month hiatus in last month’s Elusive Quality Stakes, a 7-furlong test over this course that he missed winning by just a 1/2-length. He has every reason to improve here, as that was his first start since trainer Tom Morley claimed him for $40k and was also his best stakes finish in 5 tries. Of his 3 wins from 20 starts, 2 came at this distance, though both were routes.
4. Danny California 8/1 (MTO) – The first of two Main Track Only entries (both from trainer Rudy Rodriguez) will likely not receive the wet weather necessary for the race to be rained off the turf. Rodriguez claimed the dirt stakes winner for $40k out of a fourth-place finish at Aqueduct in a one-turn, 1-mile event last month.
5. Get Smokin 5/1 – He makes his second start of 2021 after contesting a suicidal pace duel that killed any chance he had in last month’s Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Bettors backing this multiple graded stakes-winning Tom Bush trainee (who looks like lone speed on paper here) will note that the horse who fought early with him that day won last weekend’s Dinner Party Stakes (G2) at Pimlico.
“He can get a little further, but the mile suits him very well,” Bush said. “He’s won at 1 1/16 miles and was been beaten by less than a length going a mile and 1/8, so it’s in his wheelhouse, but a mile is certainly one of his better distances (he owns an 8-2-2-1 distance record).”
6. Delaware 4/1 – The first of two entries from trainer Chad Brown won the Danger’s Hour last time out, bringing hope to his usually strong barn that’s won only 8 of its last 45 turf stakes attempts around the country. Manny Franco retains the mount for the second straight start after piloting him to earn a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure that only one rival here – his stablemate, Flavius – has ever topped.
7. Decorated Invader 5/2 – Clement opted to run in this softer spot after toying with entering the May 31 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the FanDuel Mile. A well-beaten third in the Danger’s Hour last time out, that was his first start in over 4 months and against older rivals. Clement wins 19% with runners making second starts after similar breaks.
“I was actually very disappointed (with his Danger’s Hour finish),” Clement said. “He had trained okay, but I was unhappy with the race, unhappy with the trip, and unhappy with everything, but that’s okay; we just turned the page and moved on”
8. Olympic Runner 10/1 – Casse’s second entry rallied to finish fifth, beaten 2 lengths, in the Elusive Quality last time out to earn his fifth career turf Beyer Speed Figure of at least 94. Scratch off his Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes dud 2 starts back (he was attempting to race longer (1 1/8 miles) than what he’s likely best at) and he fits well here, though he’s struggled to win on turf (12-1-3-1 surface record).
9. Yankee Division 6/5 (MTO) – The second Main Track Only entry owns a fast dirt record of 14-5-1-4, with every victory coming over a one-turn configuration that he would run here, should the race be rained off the lawn. His 2 wins against open company, however, came while running for $25k tags.
10. Flavius 2/1 – Brown’s second runner has just 1 victory from 7 stateside starts after starting his career winning 2 of 3 in Ireland while with another trainer. That lone score was a track record-breaking performance in last September’s Tourist Mile Stakes that netted him a field-high and career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure, and while he’s been camera-shy in America, 5 of his 7 career defeats came by 1 length or less.
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