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Homeracing

Longshots offer appeal in Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 5th, 2019

Belmont Park's Stars and Stripes Festival on Saturday is once again highlighted by the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) and $750,000 Belmont Oaks (G1), and there appears to be some appealing price options in both of the turf fixtures for three-year-olds. Belmont Oaks Trainer Chad Brown has won this race five of the past seven years, and has two of the top three morning line choices here with #2 Newspaperofrecord (5-2) and #9 Cambier Parc (4-1). However, the placement here of his third entrant, #5 CAFE AMERICANO (12-1), is interesting to say the least. She started her career much later than her stablemates, both of whom are multiple graded stakes winners, but seems confidently placed after starting her career two-for-two for owner Peter Brant, whose enjoyed a renaissance both here and in Europe since diving back into the Thoroughbred game. Cafe Americano won first out over a mile at Gulfstream, then returned from a near four-month layoff to beat entry-level allowances foes by two lengths going nine furlongs over Belmont's inner turf. The extra furlong on Saturday figures to pose few problems for the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro and Canadian champion Roxy Gap. In her final workout prep, she finished on virtual even terms with the fine older horse Robert Bruce, winner of last year's Arlington Million (G1). Belmont Derby With the potential for showers on Saturday, any softening of the course could work to the advantage of #1 MOON COLONY (12-1), who seemed to turn the corner in winning the Penn Mile (G2) last month in what was easily his best race to date. It was his second win in three tries on less-than-firm turf, the first being his maiden win at Keeneland on soft ground. Although a bit of an all-or-nothing type with three wins in seven outings with no placings, keep in mind two of those runs were on dirt. He didn't have the best of trips in his turf debut, rallying for fourth against the graded quality Forty Under and #8 Social Paranoia, and simply wasn't up to the task when two lengths fifth in the $100,000 Kitten's Joy to start the year. As stated before, the Penn Mile was a vast improvement over his Kitten's Joy run five months before, and any sign of give in the ground figures to help this half to multiple Grade 1 winner Cavorting.   (c) Adrianna Lynch

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