BELMONT PARK – 7/9/23
RACE 1: 3-5-8-7
#3 NICKY JOLENE is an experienced runner in this opener that features mostly first time starters. She was a good 3rd on debut chasing the pace and staying on to the finish and now gets a massive rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz, Jr. If she has the same type of early speed, that will significantly help her chances.
RACE 2: 4-6-5-7
#2 LIBERTY FLAME is dropping in class off a good effort against 25k sellers where she set the pace and weakened late. The weight break she gets today is a positive as well and should put her in a comfortable spot in the early going.
RACE 3: 2-3-4
#2 IDEA GENERATION returns off a layoff to make her 3YO debut for Chad Brown after a promising 2YO campaign. She beat a soft field of MSW runners at 3rd asking after knocking heads with some of the best in her generation and now gets Lasix for the return. It seems reasonable to expect her to be forwardly placed in a race short on early zip.
RACE 4: 6-7-5-3
#6 VARIABLE COST cuts back in distance for Linda Rice second off a claim after a troubled trip going a mile last time out. He can be effective sprinting with some pace help, and there are a few in here set to mix it up in the early stages. The horse to beat is #7 LUNA WARRIOR without question but there are alternatives including this son of Kingman.
RACE 5: 9-7-6-8
#9 HAUL worked :9 and 4/5 at the OBS April sale before getting purchased for 260k and sent to Todd Pletcher. He is apparently been training well for the unveiling and draws well towards the outside. These are the horses that Pletcher generally specializes with during this time of the year.
RACE 6: 1-2-7-8
#1 GHOSTLYPRINCE had a brutal trip last time out stuck behind horses with no place to go until it was very late. He is a win candidate today given his rapid improvement since moving back to turf for Rudy Rodriguez. This field is full of career losers and he at least offers some upside given the last two performances.
RACE 7: 3-7-1-8
The likeliest winner on the card is #3 YOU’RE MY GIRL, who was a very impressive 2YO filly and now comes back off a layoff. Trainer John Terranova is 32% with dirt sprinters off 180+ day breaks, good for a $2.88 ROI. This filly is getting Lasix for the first time and should be in a good spot just off the pace set to pounce.
RACE 8: 7-1-10-8
#7 EXCEPT TEMPTATION ran a bang-up race to be 3rd last time out with a wide trip. The inside was the place to be that day and the pace was exceptionally slow to develop. She is going to get a stronger pace to run at today on a fairer turf course and should be a good price to boot.
RACE 9: 5-2-8-9
In a nightcap that looks unappealing, #5 CHESS SPECTACULAR is interesting off the claim as he shifts back to the main track. He has some dirt races that put him in the conversation, and some viable excuses for other poor efforts. The price here will be fair and a good stalking trip appears to be in the offing.