BELMONT AT THE BIG A – 9/16/2023
RACE 1: 1-5-3-8
#6 HURRICANE NELSON was bested by a Christophe Clement trainee on debut that is owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. This colt looks like he’ll be very tough to handle this afternoon given his recent strong workout up north and the fact that he has far more speed than any of his competitors in this field. Look for him to take control from the start.
RACE 2: 4-6-7-2
#4 CAPONE should get a good trip stalking the pace likely to be set by #1 BEZOS and that will give this new arrival to the barn of Rick Dutrow, Jr. a great opportunity. He will be a square price at the windows and has run races fast enough to be given consideration today on multiple occasions.
RACE 3: 6-2-1-5
#6 RHIANNON is bred for turf and should improve on the surface switch after a dull debut for trainer Chad Brown. She has trained well since before her debut and apparently looked very strong in a turf drill shortly before the Saratoga meet ended. She still has plenty of potential coming into this spot at second asking.
RACE 4: 7-1A-8-6
#7 FLAMINGO HAWK goes first off a claim by trainer Linda Rice and should be rolling in the late stages of this affair. He has had brushes with much better competition throughout his career and will get a decent pace to run at this afternoon. On a fairer strip his chances improve given that the rail was good in his last start.
RACE 5: 7-1-6-3
#7 SCRAMBLE was a narrow loser last time out against comparable foes and now looks like a major player from just off the pace. He got a pace setup last time out going shorter but that will help him stay within range of the tempo set today. The likely pacesetter is the overmatched #8 LAUREL VALLEY and that helps this colt’s chances when all is said and done.
RACE 6: 7-2-10-8
#7 EVER SO SWEET is clearly the one to beat this afternoon after a debut where she nearly made all. This daughter of Calyx landed in a race that she dominated on the front end before being collared late and now looks like the lone speed at second asking. Most horses naturally improve from their debuts to their second start and she should be no exception.
RACE 7: 2-3-1-6
The race #2 SKYLANDER ran last time out sets him up well to shorten up in distance and he’ll go the mile today. Nine panels is likely out of his comfort zone and he was wide much of the way in his last start. There’s some pace in this field and that will help his chances, and the favorites do not inspire confidence.
RACE 8: 10-6-1A-9
#10 KING ANGELO is the interesting runner in this field breaking from the outside and switching surfaces. His best races on dirt have come here at Aqueduct and he should take a step forward off of his last. His worktab is also impressive and the fact that Irad Ortiz, Jr is riding is a good thing even if it hurts his price.
RACE 9: 6-5-2-1
#6 ETERNAL HOPE is the one to beat off a Group II placing overseas for Charlie Appleby. She has run twice on turf against considerably better and has given a decent account of herself for this barn that is looking to get things turned around in 2023. She needn’t be much to take this thing down given the quality of the competition she meets today.
RACE 10: 6-7-3-5
#6 INTO STARS is a second time starter who switches surfaces for Brad Cox after a debut in a race taken off the turf. The dam side is all turf as her dam won 3 races on the lawn and her only foal to win did so on the lawn. The thought is this gal will have more speed at second asking and that will help her cause.
BELMONT AT THE BIG A 2023 STATS: 19-7-2-2 $65.90