Favorites continue nice run at Belmont Park
by John Mucciolo
There was no graded racing this weekend at Belmont Park.
A total of 47 races were held over the main strip at the Elmont, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 43 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 68 percent of the wins during the week. From 21 races on the main oval, three animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (14 percent), while three of the 26 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (9 percent).
Favorites had a fine week at 43 percent and the bettors enjoyed a nice week overall it seems. Thursday was best for the public when seven favorites and a pair of second choices accounted for the nine winners on the card.
Early pace had no edge this past week on the dirt, and we’d say horses with natural speed a path or two off the rail might have had the best run of it. Just five of the 21 races on the main oval this past week were taken by horses breaking from the first three post positions.
FAVORITES: 115 (37 percent)
2ND CHOICES: 72 (23 percent)
TURF WIRE: 14 (10 percent)
DIRT WIRE: 42 (24 percent)
HORSES TO WATCH
2ND – STYLISH QUALITY (Quality Road) took a lot of money in this debut offering and ran a big one in just missing under Joel Rosario. The Ralph Nicks-trained filly collared the early leader and led until late, hinting that she won’t be a maiden for long.
3RD – BASS RIVER ROAD (Noonmark) could turn out to be a nice claim going forward after making a big move into and through the stretch in a powerful victory in this dash. The New York-bred gelding is versatile and will be tough right back if placed with similar.
8TH – CUANTOS (Read the Footnotes) looked like a horse needing a run after leading to the top of the lane and stopping in the lane, in his first start in a year. The Mark Hennig trainee should be a lot tougher and more fit coming off of this try.
5TH – We love the Jacobson claim of race winner DAUPHINE ROSE (Fr) (Russian Blue [Ire]) out of this one, as the five-year-old mare closed with superb energy in a fine, last-to-first run beneath Javier Castellano. The lass got her final quarter-mile in a swift :22 1/5!
8TH – The Christophe Clement-trained SPARKLE FACTOR (Ire) (Arch) was last behind a slow pace but still rallied in a big way to lose by just a neck and a nose in a solid allowance field. The four-year-old filly was making her first run since the summer and could be sitting on a win in her subsequent offering.
9TH – TAPIT TOGETHER (Tapit) showed no speed but picked up momentum approaching the turn for home and was doing her best work late in a solid debut run for conditioner Michael Matz. The two-year-old filly was beaten by less than three lengths despite being stuck behind a soft pace, and she could be live next time at a decent price. We loved this one’s dam and are rooting for this one to follow in her footsteps.
2ND – FISH TAPPE ROAD (Trappe Shot) returns to this list after leading to late stretch and finishing a solid second in this stakes run for conditioner Bert Calhoun. The two-year-old proved capable of getting a route of ground and looks like a nice little prospect.
4TH – LA VERDAD (Yes It’s True) showed a new dimension in taking back some early and making a move in the lane, and the consistently excellent five-year-old proved how versatile she can be with a stylish stakes win for trainer Linda Rice. The Empire State-bred is on quite a roll right now and continues to pick up big checks for her connections.
6TH – ANCIENT SECRET (Kantharos) was bet down to even-money in this turf dash at first asking and the Chad Brown trainee showed why with a powerful first-out score. The two-year-old filly took over from the clear leader and streaked home to win by daylight, hinting that she may be of stakes quality going forward.
A LOOK AHEAD
A pair of graded races will take place this week at Belmont Park. Friday will play host to the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm S. (G3), while the Saturday headliner is the $200,000 Bold Ruler H. (G3).