BELMONT – 7/9/22
RACE 1: 7-2-5-3
Returning to turf will bring out the best in #7 ZAP MAN, who has run once before on the green. He showed speed that afternoon before weakening late and now looks like a major player from the outset. The class drop will prove beneficial and you’re going to get a fair price here, even if short of his morning line.
RACE 2: 2-9-8-5
#2 ZAEVION put it all together to earn his 9th career win last time out and now bids to make it two straight for Mertkan Kantarmaci. He has the tactical speed to stay close throughout once again, even from an inside post. Theis field is hardly much tougher than what he beat last time out, although he’s at the 16k level this afternoon.
RACE 3: 5-8-7-6
The debut effort of #5 SWEET MYSTERY was certainly good enough to give her a lengthy look here. She broke poorly then made a bold middle move to reach contention before flattening out late. Jose Lezcano takes over and the worktab here looks swift, so there’s plenty to like. Her price should be fair as well.
RACE 4: 5-4-1-2
#5 DYNAMIC ONE scored an upset win last time out at 6-1 and looked impressive doing so. He blew by the field in the final furlong from well off the pace and will appreciate the move to 10 panels in here. There’s no pace signed up in this affair, so look for Irad Ortiz, Jr. to keep him within range from the outset. Any improvement off his last will make him impossible to beat.
RACE 5: 11-7-9-1
#11 EYES ON TARGET has won three straight, including his first two off a claim by trainer Mike Maker. He showed increased speed last time out, which he has on multiple occasions throughout his career. The outside post can be tricky, so he’ll have to stay within range from the outset. This is a reasonable spot class-wise given his N1X score under the Twin Spires.
RACE 6: 3-7-4-8
#3 AWILLAWAY is a late runner who’ll benefit from the expected race flow in here. She is a one-run closer who was put in the mix early last time out and that effectively ruined her chances. The best races she’s run put her in the ballpark today and the price will be more than fair for this NY bred daughter of Dublin.
RACE 7: 9-10-8-4
#9 AGARTHA made the lead last time out in the Irish 1000 Guineas and wound up tiring late. She’ll now have to traverse an extra quarter-mile for a trainer who has had remarkable success in the US over the last few years. Her pedigree indicates that 10 panels should be no issue, and she’ll likely have a pace edge today. Even if Johnny Velazquez puts her just off the pace, she’ll get the jump on the deep closers.
RACE 8: 2-5-4-6
The 2022 debut of #2 SMASH TICKET was smashing in many respects, as she drew off late to beat overmatched rivals by 11 lengths. Trainer Todd Fincher is bringing her to the big leagues now as she moves up the class ladder. She is capable of sitting just off the pace and that is an edge given the way this thing shapes up on paper.
RACE 9: 6-13-10-9
Why not try for an upset here with #6 MACHETE? The French raider was 2nd two back in the Prix de Guiche behind Vadeni, who has subsequently won the French Derby and the Coral Eclipse against older horses. This colt was bogged down inside last time out and wound up tiring late. The move to a firmer course and to 10 panels will definitely bring out his best.
RACE 10: 7-6-12-5
#7 SALT CAY finally gets to turf after being entered for it in his first two starts. Progeny of Fed Biz win their turf debuts at a 13% clip, but the dam side here is heavy on dirt runners. This gelding has shown plenty of ability in two prior starts and meets a soft field for this level. Look for him to stalk and pounce from the outset.
RACE 11: 4-5-1-6
#4 GIRAMONTE is back in for a tag for trainer Leah Gyarmati after trying NY bred N1X competition last time out. He has been effective against tougher competition in the past, and his trip last time out was hardly clean. This is his third start off a layoff and Eric Cancel is back in the irons. They’ve had the most success together over the last year.