Belmont Plays + Derby for 5/6/23 By Robbie Fazzone

BELMONT 5/6/23

RACE 5- TURF ONLY

8- BATTLEOFLEXINGTON- Hesitated a bit leaving the gate and was badly outrun when going five furlongs in a Sp. Wt. on the Delaware turf in first career start in August. Rated at the back of a small field, before swinging out on the turn and putting in a good outside rally through the stretch run when narrowly beaten in an off the turfer Sp. Wt. at a two turn mile at Delaware with blinkers added in second career start in October. Wasn’t raced for six and a half months following that second start, before coming to NY to face fellow state breds in a state bred Sp. Wt going the one turn mile at Aqueduct, where he would put in a mild inside rally to finish 4th, while running like a horse in need of a run off the break in latest 4/21. Gets back on the grass for the first time since that career debut in this state bred Sp. Wt. at one mile and adding blinkers after that debut, where he lost contact with the field, has made a big difference for this colt. This will be his first start on grass since the blinkers were added and expected marked improvement from that initial turf run makes him a strong threat in here.

Exotics with-

A- 2- Ortus, 6- Tony O

B- 1- Lucky Lucky Luke, 10- Captain Party

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RACE 8- TURF ONLY

7- OCALA DREAM- Ran a big race when winning the Kingston for NY Breds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass here last May. Hasn’t been able to duplicate that run in his latest five turf starts, but was in some tough spots in those races. Got a needed break following a never involved 4th in a NY Stallion stake going seven furlongs over a muddy track in December when blinkers were added for the first time. Will keep the blinkers, while getting back on the turf in this stake at seven furlongs for his first start back off the five month layoff and returns a new gelding today. State bred fits well in this competitive field and can get back to one of his better races to strongly factor in the Elusive Quality.

Exotics with-

A- 1- Anaconda, 5- Thin White Duke

B- 6- Heaven Street, 8- Yes and Yes

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RACE 9- TURF ONLY

2- KING’S CAUSE- Dictated the pace and wired the field in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker going this 1 1/8 miles distance on the turf at Aqueduct in October. Followed that up with a non factoring 9th in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale at Gulfstream in December when not able to get a forward early position and then hung in there until mid stretch when 6th in the Grade 1 Pegasus Turf in latest turf start in January. Ran well to be 3rd when coming from off the pace in a stake over Turway’s synthetic in most recent start in March and gets back to his most preferred surface of turf for today’s Grade 2 Fort Marcy. Does his best running when put in the game from the bell and with the apparent lack of any strong speed types and Carmouche aboard, those tactics will most surely be employed in here. Is a serious threat to take this field all the way.

Exotics with-

A- 3- Ottoman Fleet, 4- Fort Washington

B- 6- City Man

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CHURCHILL DOWNS 5/6/23

RACE 12- KENTUCKY DERBY

11- DISARM- Looked like any kind when blowing away a field of Sp. Wt. maidens in second career start going seven furlongs at Saratoga last August. Had to be stopped on, interrupting what was almost surely going to be a successful two year old season and was not raced for six and a half months following that maiden win. Ran well in defeat behind some loose gate to wire winners when 2nd in a three year old allowance at Oaklawn in his return off the layoff in February, followed by a solid rallying 2nd, albeit on the good part of the track, in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby going 1 3/16 miles at the Fair Grounds in late March. Didn’t run great in his 3rd place finish in the Grade 3 Lexington going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland in his latest, where he was only run to get the needed points to get into the Derby. That was a tough spot for him, as the turn back in distance off only a three week break from his previous start wasn’t the ideal situation for his final race heading into the Derby. Will absolutely have to bump up his game to have a chance today, but I don’t think we have seen his best yet and there is plenty of room for improvement in this colt. Is working well, should run his best race to date and can factor strongly in this years Kentucky Derby.

Exotics with-

A- 2- Verifying, 5- Tapit Trice

B- 4- Confidence Game, 14- Angel of Empire 

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