The Turk just returned from a trip into the Northeast where it was windy, rainy and feeling very much like the Fall. My black eyed Susan's are fading and a few of my trees are shedding leaves. Being a Northern Soul, I embrace the four seasons and don't dread the coming snow but instead I am grateful for life, love and the Autumn Meet at Belmont.
Let's get to it!
The Main Track is a sloppy mess and the Turf Course is already listed as Soft with races 1,5,9, and 10 moved to the Main. You can look at the hour by hour forecast at Belmont, but the damage is done and I wouldn't expect track condition to improve much as the day goes on.
Everything is a handicapping angle. While the Turf being soft is a hard challenge, we will stick to trying to identify a base handicap of current form, class, pace and distance and jockey/trainer success in the race specific situation. With an off turf situation, Turk's looking for late finishing speed to be what rules this race.
Race 8 at BEL; Post Time 4:43 ET (but watch for the card to be compressed because of weather); The Garden City Handicap Grade I; 1 1/8 Miles on inner Turf for Fillies 3 YO.
Trainer Chad Brown, living the dream with a 21% win rate, brings Breeders Cup Champ Maram back for her second race off a very long layoff. Maram has been training very sharply at Saratoga and banged out a bullet 5f in :59 and 2/5ths on the 7th. After her long layoff she won at One Mile on the Turf at Sartoga with a lifetime best 90 BSF. Only her 5th race, shes undefeated and has a yielding turf Grade III win at Belmont under her girth strap already. I like her post and her tactical speed. I like Chad Brown and he's starting to develop supertrainer stats and I hope that is a compliment: 24% on Turf, 22% Graded Stakes, 26% 31-60 day layoffs.
The Clement trainee Miss World is coming off a win on turf listed as good in a N1X at SAR in mid August. This is a big jump in class for the daughter of Bernstein, but it's called gambling for a reason. We like to think of it as educated gambles, and we like the late speed and the guts. A jock change to "no place like his California home" G. Gomez signals intentions. Most likely will go to post >6-1, there is value in her if she finds the top three and that's how I'm approaching it.
There is SO much to like about Gozzip Girl; A Grade III, II and I winner, 5 of 6 on the Turf, a race best 97 BSF lifetime, Desormeaux up, a yielding turf win,and great Jock/Trainer specific stats; 445 win rate together at BEL, 25% wins in Graded Stakes, 25% wins off last start win, 21% on a 61-180 day layoff. And that's my slight rub, freshened since 5 July, breaking from post 1, she's got plenty to win this race but I'm leaning towards a slight fallback to her battle ready competitors. More then good enough to be in top four.
My B Group are a nice collection of runners who will factor in the ticket most likely in the 3 and 4 spot. I'll work some of them in accordingly.
So what's it all mean? I'll be watching the tote and the scratches and the weather leading up to post time. I'll have a superfecta and trifecta strategy based on my base handicap and I'll generate 5-6 variations on that. I'm also leaning towards shifting to some value exactas or even win bets if I get the right price on a few runners here.
Be flexible, but be prepared.
Have fun, Turk Out!
MARAM has indeed scratched.
Gomez is off of Miss World as well.