How to bet the Carter Handicap
A fantastic field of 11 will contest Saturday’s $250,000 Carter H. (G1) at Belmont Park.
#1 Firenze Fire will show speed from the rail as the expected pacesetter, with #11 Vekoma prompting him from the opening bell.
#1 FIRENZE FIRE -- Standout sprinter will make his first start since coming to the Kelly Breen barn. 5-year-old was a dominant General George (G3) victor most recently, and he could be the one to catch in the Carter with the lack of early pace in the fold.
#2 PERFORMER -- Classy Speightstown colt rides in on a four-race win streak for McGaughey. Once-beaten chestnut is 2-for-2 on the strip and seems poised for a big effort on Saturday. Joel Rosario will be in the controls.
#3 STILL HAVING FUN -- Old Fashioned gelding is a graded hero on the oval, though the 5-year-old is winless dating back to 2018. Strong late runner is training well but will need a lifetime best to match the top runners in the field beneath Dylan Davis.
#4 NITROUS -- Asmussen charge was a creditable fourth in the deep Count Fleet (G3) in his 2020 bow. Tapit colt was a neck second in the 2019 Woody Stephens (G1) in his latest Belmont venture, and he could grab a share late with a similar performance.
#5 NETWORK EFFECT -- Recent stakes winner from the Chad Brown barn was impressive in his Big Drama S. triumph at Gulfstream Park last out. Son of Mark Valeski has a world of ability and might peak third time off the shelf. Irad has the call.
#6 MIDNIGHTCHARLY -- Keystone State performer has been consistently good for Coletti, but the chestnut faces a tall task at the Grade 1 level. Gelding will be doing his best work from off the pace in the Carter.
#7 AMERICAN ANTHEM -- Grade 2 star brings solid form to the race for Gargan. Bodemeister 6-year-old was a smart runner-up in the Stymie S. at Aqueduct most recently, and he is an intriguing exotics contender at a big number under Carmouche.
#8 BON RAISON -- Dark bay sports a 4-for-8 mark at Belmont Park and exits a closing third in the Tom Fool (G3), but he will need a career-topping performance to impact the field on Saturday. Eric Cancel will guide the one-run closer.
#9 MAJESTIC DUNHILL -- Weaver trainee is far from a win machine but does own a stout late kick on his best day. Majesticperfection gelding has some appeal as an exotics contender closing from the back of the pack.
#10 MIND CONTROL -- Two-time Grade 1 winner has won three races in succession dating back to August. Sacco pupil earned a lifetime-best Brisnet Speed figure in a game Tom Fool tally most recently, and he has trained well in the interim as well. John Velazquez will be up.
#11 VEKOMA -- Top pick came off the shelf to be a fine winner at Gulfstream Park in preparation for his second run of the season. Weaver charge has great positional speed combined with a nice turn of foot, and the budding star will receive an ideal trip in the Carter despite drawing widest of all. Castellano riding adds to the appeal.
- $10 Win and Place: #11 Vekoma ($20)
- $10 Exacta Box: 2-11 ($20)