Mucciolo’s Spot Plays for Friday of Belmont Stakes week
The 150th Belmont Stakes is on Saturday where Justify will hope to seal the deal in his Triple Crown bid.
But the Friday card is a great one with 11 races on the slate including five stakes, four of which are graded. I have highlighted a few runners who will help build the bankroll for the big day.
#5 DOOWSE’S BEACH (6-1) – Brad Cox trainee looks like a good value play. Seven-year-old gelding tailed off in form last season but had excuses. In a 2018 debut, the son of Disco Rico forced a wicked early pace before tiring in a route on the turf, a race I think was purely intended to get the gray fit for today.
New York-bred owns four wins and four seconds on this lawn and cuts back to a preferred distance. Luis Saez stays and I think Doowse’s Beach tracks the favorite and wears them all down late.
#7 MAE NEVER NO (9-5) – Bay filly will face the boys today off the strength of a fine debut tally on this oval. Wesley Ward pupil gets a dream outside post for her stakes debut. Two major things make me think that the Irish-bred is the real deal.
First, the horse that Mae Never No ran down at first asking won by seven lengths in her return. Secondly, Gary Stevens has one mount on the Friday card. This is his assignment.
#12 HAVE IT ALL (12-1) – Christophe Clement pupil makes first start of 2018 and I think he will be a major player despite his wide post. Kitten’s Joy colt ran three good races as a juvenile including a visually impressive maiden tally at Keeneland in the fall.
Chestnut has trained steadily since April and will run with Lasix for the first time. In addition, the three-year-old lands in a field full of speed and could get a fine set-up late. Irad Ortiz Jr. choosing here adds to the appeal, as well.
#3 IMPERIAL HINT (9-2) – Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) second may have failed as the favorite last time, but he looks to be well-placed in this dash. Five-year-old cuts back after going seven-eighths in the slop at Churchill and will be making a third run off the layoff.
Son of Imperialism has pace to his inside and figures to get a perfect trip forcing the issue from the opening bell. The two bullet drills since look good. And if the price is anywhere close to the morning-line number, an aggressive win bet is the play.
#10 HAMPTON POINT (15-1) – Jimmy Toner pupil showed his best in the latter stages in a debut at Gulfstream Park and stretches out today. Bay colt from the family of Monarchos runs for an excellent layoff conditioner who thrives with turf performers.
Sophomore shows five solid morning drills leading up to this and I love that Irad Ortiz lands on the son of Lemon Drop Kid. At a big number, Hampton Point is worth including in the finale.