BELMONT PARK – 5/4/2023
RACE 1: 5-3-1-2
Babies kick off the meet and #5 PRINCESA CELINA is the most embraceable given her trainer excels with early season 2YOs. He trained two winning siblings of this filly, including stakes winner Happy Like a Fool. The worktab here is robust and the outside draw seems ideal for a debuting juvenile.
RACE 2: 2-4-6-8
#2 CROWDING OUT might not be the most appealing runner from a wagering perspective but is the horse to beat. She was involved in a very strong pace last time out and understandably weakened late. With a return to the tactics used in her maiden breaking score last summer at Saratoga she is a major player. OFF THE TURF: 6-5-1
RACE 3: 6-3-2-5
#6 PIT BOSS was inside for much of his last start and the rail was not the place to be back on April 14. This son of Union Rags has undoubtedly seen better days, but he’s better than his last would indicate. This is also a sizable class drop for an outfit that is looking to get things going in here.
RACE 4: 8-3-7-1
The last race of #8 LADY JASMINE was solid as she was shuffled out off the far turn before making a late bid. She likely needed that race and the blinkers going on will sharpen her up in the opening stages. Trainer David Donk has also put two workouts into her of late to signal her readiness. OFF THE TURF: 9-2-4
RACE 5: 7-4-8-2
#7 FIGHTER IN THE WIN is new to the barn of Mike Maker having made just one start for him in 2022. He’s back off a lengthy layoff today and is returning to turf this afternoon, which is clearly his best surface. While his two marathon efforts both have question marks, they came against better foes. He should be in a good stalking spot from the start today.
RACE 6: 7-3-8-6
#7 WISHING ON A STAR comes in off a 9 furlong event where she chased the pace and rallied to check in a distant second. She would not settle for much of the first 4 furlongs of that race and shortening up to a mile should help her chances. This also seems like the right class level and her trainer is underrated.
RACE 7: 6-4-3-2
The last race from #6 SWEET MYSTERY was better than it looks on paper. She was in range early, got shuffled out then re-bid late to check in second behing a handy winner. It sets her up well for her return to Belmont, where she broke her maiden last summer. The likelihood of a solid pace in here helps her chances as well.
RACE 8: 9-6-2-4
Trainer Jorge Duarte, Jr. sports a strong record with turf sprinters off layoffs, just like #8 GROOMS ALL BIZNESS. He is specifically 26% with turf sprinters off those layoffs, good for a $3.71 ROI. The outside post will help him stalk and pounce and this barn has done well on the turf in NY for years.
RACE 9: 1/1A-9-7-8
The combo of #1 VOLEUSE and #1A LOON CRY is formidable in that the latter narrowly missed at this level last time out. The former has back turf races that make her competitive and she’s fresh for her 2023 debut this afternoon. There’s enough pace in here to set the table for late runners and this entry will be a square price. OFF THE TURF: 1-12-11-3