Musings on Belmont's Friday stakes
Friday's Day 2 of the Belmont Stakes Festival may turn out to be pretty formful, but there are a couple of spots to unearth potential value.
The Rags to Riches (3RD race) is a shot in the dark about who wants to go 1 1/2 miles. Although Mei Ling flopped at Pimlico, she should be more in her comfort zone here. Joint Return and Theogony aren't the most consistent types. If there's a possible value play in here, it might be Milaya, only because she looks like a steady grinder.
In the Tremont (4TH), Ward's Lady Stardust might just be too good for the boys. Silver Mission rates as perhaps the best long-term prospect of this group, as I just scribbled on kentuckyderby.com.
With Off the Tracks out of the Jersey Girl (5TH) in favor of Saturday's Acorn (G1), Kareena looks attractive in her stakes debut. Although the Godolphin blueblood is jumping up off a maiden win, her previous second to Lightstream stands out.
Fast forward to the True North (G2) (8TH), and Holy Boss could be the biggest beneficiary of Private Zone's withdrawal. I don't think he wants to go one step past 6 furlongs, so he didn't do too badly over 7 in his last pair. Always Sunshine and Catalina Red are the obvious candidates, making Holy Boss perhaps the better value for Asmussen and Johnny V.
Sea Calisi ought to assert her class in the New York (G2) (9TH), with the only caveats being cutting back a furlong and encountering firmer turf. The biggest danger is stablemate Dacita, who's sure to bounce back from her subpar Jenny Wiley (G1). As Brown pointed out, her only 2 disappointing efforts here came at Keeneland. The intriguing dark horse is French shipper Havana Moon, who strikes me as the type who'll do better here than over there.
The Belmont Gold Cup (10TH) could be super formful, since Da Big Hoss should stay the trip, and French veteran Now We Can has plenty of appeal. But a 2-mile test could just as well serve up a big price. The potential bomb is 30-1 shot Silver Lime. He'd had some useful form in his past career in English handicaps, hails from a deep Juddmonte family, and enters on the upswing.