America wires Turnback the Alarm while Matrooh closes for Bold Ruler victory
by John Mucciolo
There was a pair of graded races this weekend at Belmont Park.
Turnback the Alarm H. (G3): Bobby Flay’s homebred AMERICA (A.P. Indy) took the lead soon after the break and never got headed en route to a 1 1/2-length tally under Chris DeCarlo. The four-year-old filly endured 1 1/16 miles on the fast main strip in 1:41 4/5 for trainer Bill Mott.
Bold Ruler H. (G2): Shadwell Stable’s MATROOH (Distorted Humor) inched to the lead in early stretch and closed best in posting a 1 3/4-length tally for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The five-year-old gelding finished off seven panels on the fast strip in 1:21 1/5 with Abel Castellano Jr. in the irons.
A total of 46 races were held over the main strip at the Elmont, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 15 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 41 percent of the wins during the week. From 29 races on the main oval, seven animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (24 percent), while four of the 17 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (23 percent).
Following a week where the public did well, favorites were scarce this past week at Belmont. Just seven came home from 46 races, and five combined got it done on Wednesday and Thursday.
Seven runners led at every call on the dirt surface this past week, but none on Saturday or Sunday. The main oval appeared to be better for horses coming from off the pace as it dried out. Of the seven, five came in sprints and the other pair going a route of ground.
FAVORITES: 122 (34 percent)
2ND CHOICES: 84 (23 percent)
TURF WIRE: 18 (12 percent)
DIRT WIRE: 49 (24 percent)
HORSES TO WATCH
4TH – MO FOR THE MONEY (Uncle Mo) seized the lead at the top of the lane and was game late in posting a solid debut tally for conditioner Tony Dutrow. The juvenile colt beat an odds-on runner who ran his race, hinting this one could be a stakes type going forward.
7TH – The consistent MAYLA (Sharp Humor) commenced her run in early stretch and wore down her foes inside the final furlong to bag this race for conditioner Bret Calhoun. The three-year-old filly topped a decent cast and is always a contender in this current form cycle.
1ST – We liked INVITE (Include) in this maiden test and the second timer from the Mott barn made good with a determined late run. The two-year-old filly surely appreciated the added ground in this affair and could be a nice one going forward with more seasoning.
4TH – PICOZZA (More Than Ready) made it two in succession with a fine late run to reel in the clear, odds-on favorite late for trainer Todd Pletcher. The four-year-old colt is going well right now and we like the way he handled the muddy oval, as well.
6TH – MATT KING COAL (Cool Coal Man) got it done and in a fine way in this spot, rolling home to a clear maiden tally for conditioner Linda Rice. The expensive two-year-old colt has flashed a lot of potential this season already and might be a nice sophomore in 2016.
PORTFOLIO MANAGER (Harlan’s Holiday) was never getting the winner but did finish a nice and clear second in this spot, and the Chad Brown trainee will be tough right back with even slight improvement.
5TH – PICCOLO FLATS (A.P. Warrior) broke slowest but finished fastest in a very solid score for conditioner Danny Gargan. The four-year-old filly was 3 3/4-lengths clear under the wire and was getting stronger as the race progressed under Kendrick Carmouche.
7TH – CONVERGE (Sidney’s Candy) was last for a while but put in a nice late surge to be second in this stakes spot for conditioner Chad Brown. The two-year-old colt also had a tough post and wide trip to deal with, so the performance might have been better than it looks on paper.
2ND – JUST CALL KENNY (Jump Start) was much the best in this allowance spot and might be stakes bound next time off of this showing. The four-year-old colt easily passed a clear one late with something in reserve, and got his final five-sixteenths in a swift, :30 3/5.
8TH – ENJOY YOURSELF (Ire) (Sir Percy) rallied from well back to be third in what we thought was a nice run for her U. S. debut. The juvenile filly could makes some noise into next season for conditioner John Terranova.
4TH – SEIZE (War Front) ran about as well as one can without winning and won’t be a maiden for long for trainer Christophe Clement. The two-year-old colt showed a lot of speed from the rail post and may benefit from a better slot in his comeback race.
7TH – In one of the better performances of the week, LADY SABELIA (Majestic Warrior) made a big sweeping move into and through the stretch in a most powerful stakes tally off the shelf for conditioner Robin Graham. The five-year-old came home especially fast in a fine outing in her first since May.
8TH – TAPITATION (Tapit) has really turned it around off the very long layoff and move to George Weaver with a pair of wins this campaign on the sod. The improving New York-bred looms a big chance with next time if properly placed.
A LOOK AHEAD
The $200,000 Long Island H. (G3) will be held on Saturday as the lone graded race this week.