That fine looking horse in the Sarah K. Andrew photograph is Quality Road, the best Dirt horse training in the world right now. The Met Mile is one of those races that just screams "start of summer" and a nice collection of runners will make sure that Quality Road has to have an honest effort to win today. The Met Mile anchors a Pick Three that includes a tough MSW Turf affair and a 3 YO Filly Grade II on turf, The Sand Point, no walk in the park, but hey, that's why we do this. Visit Sarah's website, Rockers and Racehorses to witness an artist on top of her game and support and patronize her if you are so inclined. OK, let's get after it!
Belmont Park Race 9 - 10 - 11 Pick Three. First Post 5:16 Eastern.
Track conditions do not appear to be a problem at all, with fast dirt and firm turf. Keep your eye out for scratches and changes and look at the weather just in case.
in the first leg, the Grade II Sand Point, Trainer Terranova places blinkers on Negligee and tries to crank her back into graded stakes condition. The filly is looking for her first turf win. The Trainer/Jock combo of Terranova and J. Velazquez clip along at 27% at Belmont and Terranova himself is at 35% at the track.
Strike it Rich is a Clement runner coming in off an N1X 1 mile firm turf affair at GP in late April. The 3 YO daughter of Unbridled's Song will go off at a good price and I like her chances. It is gambling after all.
Hit it Rich, with Kent Desormeaux up, looks at sod for the first time, something Trainer McGaughey gets 14% of the time but understands 100% of all things equine. A classy Smart Strike daughter for owner Stuart Janney III. A nice late turn of foot in past two efforts will translate well.
Check the Label, with 27% winner R. Dominguez up for the first time, is on a turf roll and is 5 of 7 in the money on turf and holds the race best BSF of 92 on grass.
It's a nice collection of runners and I'm hedging with all four of my top runners in the Pick Three and I'll be looking at the top five for Super and Tri bets.
In the Met Mile I only see Quality Road losing if he's rank or doesn't go in the gate, a problem that is hopefully behind him. That said, there are some very good horses in this race at one turn and I think the big guy is better at two turns, or at least dominant in the two turn races. He'll be carrying the race heavy 124 pounds as well and going off less then even money.
As a bit of a stretch, I like Le Gran Cru just outside of Quality Road. The 5 YO Dynaformer horse comes in off a Grade III win at 1 Mile at Belmont and has been training strong for Trainer A. Jerkens. A big price and I'm hoping he can hit the top four.
If I'm looking for upset winners, I'm looking at Musket Man who has six fast dirt wins and 9 of 9 in the money on fast dirt. A :58 4/5ths 5f work signals the Yonaguska son is ready to roll.
Tizway, Convocation and Warrior's Reward will make this an honest pace and win and Kensei and You and I Forever aren't slouches either. I'm surprised how many wish to challenge Quality Road, but if he falters, some nice prices will hit the board. I'm not sure what type of inner race exotic I'll play, maybe none here because I think the pace will crack some runners and a blanket will form after Quality Road. Ahh, it's gambling, perhaps a Super just for fun!
The last leg of of the Pick Three is a Maiden Special Weight 36K at 6 furlongs on turf for Fillies and Mares foaled in NYS. Ugh! I'm going to back four horses and not worry about this one too much: Rennina/2, Lisa Jean/3, Eager Leader/5 and Triple Latte/7 seem to me to be the class here and Moonwalk Beauty/9 and Hennessy Light/12 are probables I'm going to not cover and hopefully not regret.
Happy Memorial Day to my friends, family, readers and fellow veterans. Have fun, Turk Out!