BELMONT AT THE BIG A – 9/15/2023
RACE 1: 4-2-5-6
#4 CHAMPAGNE POETRY is the one to beat on a massive class drop for Ray Handal second off a claim/. This filly underperformed last time out when beaten at 5-1 against better, but now lands in a soft spot, even for this level. She should be able to race forwardly in an event that’s hardly loaded with speed.
RACE 2: 5-1-2-3
#5 MUCHO MAMA MIA raced wide and against the grain of the racetrack last time out at Saratoga. She should improve today with a setup against a weak field and is a deserving favorite in here. The last couple of workouts showing signal her readiness for a barn that has had a productive summer.
RACE 3: 1-2-6-5
The speed of the speed is likely #1 PAY ZONE, who goes 2nd off a claim and exits a far tougher 50k starter. He got involved in a fast pace last time out before giving up late and the winner of that race came right back to score. If this gelding can get the early lead he’ll prove tough to handle in here.
RACE 4: 9-6-5-8
#9 OCALA DREAM was claimed for 62.5k two starts back then tried the West Point at Saratoga. He failed to make an impact that day but showed there’s still some tread left on the tires. He can be forwardly placed, but will likely be in position to sit back and make one run in here. A strong pace is expected and that will help the late runners in this bunch.
RACE 5: 7-5-8-12
#7 ONCE AN EAGLE endured a brutal trip on debut when stuck behind horses the whole way down the stretch. She stayed in an off the turfer in mid-August and that might drive her price up a tad in this spot. Turf is clearly her preferred surface and she should be dangerous with a cleaner run in the lane.
RACE 6: 1-6-4-8
The running line and speed figure from the debut of #1 FEATHERING belie the overall performance she put forth. She should improve with experience and trainer Bill Mott’s record with second timers in MSW dirt sprints. The rail is a negative but she can be counted on to show more speed today.
RACE 7: 4-1-7-8
#4 SHERIFF BIANCO ran a bang-up race in the Evan Shipman last time out at Saratoga and now drops in class. He gets treated with Lasix again today on the class drop and should be in a good spot stalking the pace. This is a super competitive race where you have to demand value and this NY bred seems like the right one.
RACE 8: 6-5-8-4
#6 SWEETLOU’SGOTACES makes her first start for Graham Motion and has shown serious ability in the past. Motion is 20% with turf routers off trainer changes and 90+ day breaks, good for a $2.95 ROI and this filly has tactical speed. If she can get the lead that will make her a tough customer.
RACE 9: 2-1-10-5
#2 SUPERSTARSUSAN is a second time starter who showed nothing on debut in a race run on dirt. She has a modest turf pedigree but worked very well on it most recently at Saratoga. She should improve with experience and will be a fair price in a spot where contention runs particularly deep.
BAQ STATS: 10-3-2-1 $16.80