BELMONT PARK – 5/29/23
RACE 1: 4-2-1-3
#4 DOWNTOWN MISCHIEF benefits from shortening up in distance after failing at a mile last time out. She is 3-3 at 6 furlongs and today’s 7 furlong trip should be just fine given the likelihood she’ll get an easy lead in this compact field. There’s still a world of talent there and she is a deserving favorite today.
RACE 2: 5-6-8-1
#5 HOWDYOUMAKEYOURMONEY is new to the care of Linda Rice and figures to be a hreat from off the pace. While she nevre really ran all that great on turf last year, she spent the entirety of her campaign against stakes foes. The class relief alone is significant enough to give her extra consideration, as is the massive barn switch.
RACE 3: 6-4-1-3
#6 VENTI VALENTINE is back off a layoff after ending a frustrating 2022 campaign in style. There were times where this daughter of Firing Line looked like a graded stake horse late in 2021 and early in 2022, only to fail in her biggest opportunities. She lands in a realistic spot off the bench and is the right alternative to #4 CLASSY EDITION, the likeliest winner on paper.
RACE 4: 3-1-2-5
#3 MAKER’S CANDY shortens up in distance and changes surfaces off a try on the Tapeta last time out. He can be a threat from just off the pace today, even if a mile is his best trip. He improved by leaps and bounds from his debut to his second outing and a return to either of the Aqueduct one mile tries would make him a tough customer.
RACE 5: 4-6-7-2
#4 SMOKIE EYES was bet down to heavy favoritism last time out in her 2023 debut, only to fail at odds of 6/5. She’s back on her preferred surface today and should get a srong pace to run at late with Joel Rosario in the irons. Trainer Christophe Clement likely used the off the turf race as an opportunity to shake off some rust.
RACE 6: 7-5-6-4
The improved effort last time out from #7 RUNAWAY RUMOUR was encouraging enough to give her the nod in this spot. She had trouble getting going in 2022 but finished the year strongly for prior trainer Jorge Abreu. She’s now with Horacio De Paz, a skilled horseman himself and should get the right setup to get the job done here.
RACE 7: 5-3-10-9
Upset time here with #5 BRACIOLE for trainer Oscar Barrera. This son of Micromanage was stuck inside last time out on a day when being outside was advantageous. He now looks to get an enormous pace setup in a race loaded with speed. The weight break is hardly a hindrance either, as he will hopefully be allowed to lay back and make one run.
RACE 8: 6-3-4-1
#6 CITY MAN is the boss of this division until proven otherwise, and he almost certainly benefited from getting a race under his belt in 2023 last time out. It came against open company, so this is a major class drop. He should get a solid pace to run at late as a likely overwhelming favorite.
RACE 9: 6-10-1-4
The veteran #6 BANKIT has had his time atop this division and now bids to re-claim it for Steve Asmussen and Joel Rosario. He ran better than it looks on paper last time out in the Frank Whiteley at Pimlico and that’s a race that has been productive. The added ground does him no harm , and his best races have come here around one turn.
RACE 10: 9-12-3-11
#9 SCHERZANDO was out of the gate slowly last time he tried turf and that basically ruined his chances. He made a middle move before flattening out and now bid to rebound with Javier Castellano in the irons. There should be enough pace to setup his late bid and you know you’re going to get a good price to boot.