BELMONT – 5/14/22
RACE 1: 1-6-4-3
#1 CONQUIST returns from a layoff for trainer John Kimmel after debuting in a tougher than par MSW at Belmont last fall. He was involved in a hot pace that afternoon before understandably tiring late. The inside post can be a bit tricky, but there’s no doubt this son of Nyquist has plenty of early zip.
RACE 2: 1-6-7-2
The pace edge that #1 STANHOPE possesses against these rivals is simply too significant to overlook. He is in light with the bug boy astride and should be well clear in the opening stages. He goes 2nd off a brief layoff today as well and should be wound a bit tighter for this engagement.
RACE 3: 5-2-3-4
#5 BELLA SOFIA makes her 2022 debut here for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and figures to be very tough to beat. She was remarkable at her best in 2021 winning the Test then the Gallant Bloom at Belmont. While this gal failed in the Breeders’ Cup, she lands in a soft spot to get things started and will be a prohibitive favorite.
RACE 4: 10-8-7-2
Things didn’t go perfectly for #10 STELLA MARS last time out, as she got into brief traffic trouble in deep stretch. She will be re-united with the rider who piloted her to victory when she broke her maiden for her second start off a layoff. The pace should be conducive to an off the pace type as well.
RACE 5: 2-3-1-5
The Carter could not have set up worse for #2 DRAFTED, as a painfully slow pace held together very strongly late. He made a wide and premature move, similar to the one that had won the Toboggan back in February, to no avail. This race should setup quite a bit better and he will be a square price thanks to the presence of #1 CHATEAU.
RACE 6: 3-1-8-10
#3 LAY THE GROUNDWORK gets to turf after breaking her maiden on the synthetic surface last time out at Gulfstream Park. This filly is by Speightstown, an above average turf sire and is out of a dam who was a half to turf winner Value Engineering. This gal has tactical speed that will help her stay within range right from the start.
RACE 7: 9-1/1A-8-6
#9 SEVEN LILIES is a late runner who figures to get an enormous pace setup today for trainer Rob Atras. This guy rallied well last time out at a mile and is suited better for this distance. His best races make him the one to beat today and the best thing he has going for him is his stablemate immediately to the outside.
RACE 8: 3-2-4-1
#3 YIBIR is back at the site of his Jockey Club Derby Invitational win from last September. He is looking to bounce back from a poor effort last time out in a Group II in England, but his 2022 debut was sensational. His narrow miss in the Dubai Sheema Classic with no pace help at all was a better race than it looks on paper. A slow paced race here will not hurt his chances.
RACE 9: 4-2-5-1
#4 WE THE PEOPLE looks to bounce back from a poor effort in the Arkansas Derby. He was bet down to 2-1 at the windows that day and went wide around the first turn before flattening out late. This is a great spot for him to bounce back on the class drop. The elongated run to the turn will enable Flavien Prat to get him to settle and pounce when ready.
RACE 10: 1-2-3-4
What we will get from #1 ROUGIR is unknown, but her very best races overseas make her an almost certain Grade I winner in this country. She had no chance in the Breeders’ Cup last year given the early trouble, and she was likely showing the ill effects of a long campaign. This is a great spot to get things started for her, even if short of her best trip.
RACE 11: 3-8-11-9
#3 MASTEROF THE TUNES likely needed her last race and returns to what is probably her best distance. The turf sprints at Aqueduct can often be very speed favoring, and that worked against this daughter of Emcee. The inside post will facilitate a ground-saving trip as well.
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