BELMONT – 7/8/22
RACE 1: 1-9-7-6
There’s enough pedigree for #1 NEW YORK PANTHER to land here given the context of this race. He is by Freud, an 11% turf sire, and is out of a turf-winning dam. The dam here was a half to the turf stakes placed Conquest Babyaga to boot. Having a race to gain experience will help.
RACE 2: 7-1-3-8
The pace advantage that #7 BAY STORM possesses here is too much to overlook, as she figures to be loose in the opening stages. The last race she tried, an allowance at Churchill Downs, was run at a strong early clip and that took its toll on her late. Jockey Luis Saez is not one to miss a chance to take advantage of a pace edge.
RACE 3: 2-9-5-3
#2 STORM SHOOTER was claimed for 30k and is now in for 16k, which is hardly a great sign, however, this son of Twirling Candy towers over his rivals here. He moves back to dirt and should appreciate the surface switch given his poor recent tries. Look for him to get more involved early too given the pace scenario here on paper.
RACE 4: 3-5-1
#3 CHANNEL MAKER should take advantage of a pace scenario that is squarely in his favor today. There’s no other pace on paper in this compact field and this veteran is looking for a spot to restart after losing all chance at the outset of the Manhattan. He will be very hard to catch if able to get clear early, and there’s little standing in his way.
RACE 5: 4-6-1-7
You have to love the race #4 SIDEKICK ran on debut. He was lagging behind a moderate pace on debut and wound up putting forth a strong late bid to finish 3rd at odds of 8-1. Trainer Shug McGaughey is 27% with maiden special weight runners in dirt races stretching out in distance second time out ($2.60 ROI). Look for him to relish added ground.
RACE 6: 3-9-10-4
#3 THISMIGHTBETHEONE had every chance last time out stalking a hot pace and grabbing command in upper stretch. While she was ultimately outfinished in the closing stages, this daughter of Get Stormy ran her second consecutive improved race since moving back to the turf for new trainer Jorge Abreu. She figures to get the right trip from stalk and pounce territory here.
RACE 7: 5-4-7-3
There’s a rational argument to be made that #5 WHO HOO THAT’S ME got the wrong ride last time out and it wrecked his chances. Understandably concerned about the runaway pacesetter, jockey Dylan Davis put this son of Keen Ice into the race earlier and it forced him to run much harder in the opening half-mile than he ever had before. Sitting back to make one run in a pace-laden affair like this will make a difference in his performance.
RACE 8: 9-6-4-2
#9 INVINCIBLE GAL knocked heads with some of the best of her generation last year and held her own. She was favored in a stake at Churchill Downs and wound up picking up a graded placing here at Belmont. She is now in the care of Chad Brown, who has a remarkable record with turf routers off long layoffs and this is a sizable class drop.
RACE 9: 11-12-6-5
It’s never thrilling to take a 13 race maiden, but #12 BOINTHEBACK is cutting back in distance and likely prefers sprinting. He was wide the whole way last time out and that took its toll late before he tired. This is an enormous jockey change as well and Javier Castellano should have no trouble getting him to settle to make one late run.