The Turk's chalk in the Grade I Just a Game is C.S. Silk, captured to the left in a nice photo by Candice Chavez, who we thank for its use.
Expect yielding turf, no better than soft going. None of the runners had significant soft going experience so I started with a review of their abilities over the expected turf and settled on covering four from this field of nine, in this the second leg of the late Pick Four.
Let's get after it!
C.S. Silk is a five year old mare daughter of Medaglia d' Oro trained by Dale Romans. She's been training over Belmont turf now for the over a month after a so-so effort over yielding turf at KEE in April. Cutting back in distance, 9 of 14 in the money over turf and 3 of 4 in the money at the distance. Very tepid chalk but I'm expecting a decent price and this is gambling afterall!
Aviate (GB) with Kent Desormeaux up, comes in off a win in Grade 2, 1 mile turf event at CD. Tied with Amen Hallelujah with last race best Beyer. Mott's winning 19% of his Won Last Start's and 17% of his Graded Stakes, with a solid 15% over grass.
Strike the Bell is a bit of a stretch but I like the 6 of 9 in the money at BEL and 11 of 15 in the money on turf for Trainer Donk who places Ramon Dominguez up, a 28% winner.
Fantasia (GB), trained by J. Sheppard for Augustin Stables, has a yielding turf, 1 mile win from last October at WO. Winless in 2011, the five year old Sadler's Well mare ran a poor Just A Game a year ago.
I most likely will work Gypsy's Warning (SAf) in too; Team Valor's six year old Leparox up is 14 of 17 in the money over turf with 7 wins and is 5 of 5 in the money at the distance, she's also starting over BEL turf for the first time. 2nd effort in 2011, Trainer Motion is winning 22% of his Graded Stakes and is 19% over grass. Very impressive and demands attention.
I like Amen Hallelujah, just not in this spot. R.Dutrow and IEAH, not so much.
have fun friends, more later, Turk Out!