BELMONT PARK – 10/23/21
RACE 1: 5-11-6-7
#5 JOHNNYPUMP is back on short rest for Linda Rice after facing much tougher here a week ago. He was compromised by a slow pace that afternoon and wound up rallying to round out the superfecta. The competition here is dramatically weaker and he shoud get a decent pace to run at late.
RACE 2: 6-7-5-1
#6 SHIRAZ was wrangled back to stalk the pace at the half-mile pole of his last start, eventually losing position to the wire-to-wire winner. He is better when able to use his speed, and a return to the pilot with whom he’s done his best work virtually ensures that. Look for him to be in stalk and pounce range from the start.
RACE 3: 9-8-1-5
After the trip #9 RADIANT GEM endured on debut, she is surely in need of an upgrade at pilot. The ride she’ll get here can’t be any worse and she should improve with experience. She was taken completely out of position last time out before posting a brief middle move, and a more forward position will help today.
RACE 4: 10-7-5-3
The drop in class will undoubtedly help #10 IRISH GIANT, who was last seen facing much tougher starter allowance foes. He ran a credible race at this level two starts back behind a runaway winner and now goes 2nd off a layoff. The biggest concern is him losing position early with a rider who drags every horse out of the race.
RACE 5: 6-12-8-4
Both #6 MASETA and #12 EXCURSIONNISTE are coming out of the 5th race on September 23, when each endured some trouble before checking in second and third, respectively. The former likely had things worse given the position he gave away, and trainer Linda Rice is 19% with 2nd time starters in MSW races on turf over the last 5 years ($2.15 ROI). Will give the nod to that one at a better price.
RACE 6: 5-12-4-9
#5 RING OF FIRE has improved by leaps and bounds since moving to the turf for trainer Rob Atras. He goes 3rd off the brief layoff today and is in a realistic spot class-wise given his effort against starter allowance foes last time out. The pace should be contested here, which will allow Dylan Davis to get him to settle early.
RACE 7: 9-5-3-8
#9 LIBERTY FLAME appears to be training well for Pat Quick and is out of a dam who was an 11x winner of over 300k. She has dropped one foal so far who is a winner, albeit a minor one. The outside post is better for a firster, and the experienced runners in here don’t inspire much confidence.
RACE 8: 3-10-5-1
In all likelihood, #10 TAMAHERE will be favored in this spot, but #3 HIGH OPINION ran better than she did when they met in the Ballston Spa. It’s wise to lean towards the former given the race flow in here too, with a decent pace expected. She should be running well late with something to catch.
RACE 9: 2-5-11-8
#2 SLICKED BACK ran a blinder last time out in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational, finishing a game 2nd after contesting a robust early pace. Perhaps the distance suited him well, but he also performed positively two back going 9 panels at Colonial. He is drawn well on the inside to procure a forward early position at a square price.
RACE 10: 3-9-4-5
#3 TAKE CHARGE LISA is a second timer who was wide on the course in her debut, eventually checking in sixth beaten a distance. She figures to improve off of that effort, is training forwardly, and hinted from the word ‘go’ she was solid given the sale workout.
BELMONT FALL STATS: 198-45-35-23 $355.80