Price horses of interest at Arlington & Belmont

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

July 9th, 2016

Although the turf stakes on Arlington’s Million Preview Day and Belmont Park’s Stars and Stripes Festival figure to be pretty formful (read: chalky), there are a few horses worth a look at a price.


In the Modesty (G3) (4TH race), Faufiler might just outkick them all if she secures better early position, but the 9-2 No Fault of Mine has some appeal on the step up to 1 3/16 miles. Locally based with Chris Block, she just missed in the Arlington Matron (G3) on Polytrack. The daughter of Blame is out of Grade 3 turfiste Single Solution, who is a half-sister to 2006 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) heroine Vacare.

The Pizza Man has no serious obstacles to his three-peat attempt in the Stars and Stripes (G3) (6TH race), so any value ought to come from the exotics. The 8-1 O’Prado Ole is one of those horses I keep expecting to take that next step forward, and maybe the Dale Romans trainee is finally getting there. Runner-up in the 2014 Stars and Stripes, he’s been in good form at Churchill this summer, finishing second to Generous Kitten (subsequently fourth in Woodbine’s Singspiel [G3]) before wiring a recent allowance. And like The Pizza Man (and Pumpkin Rumble), O’Prado Ole is by English Channel.

In the American Derby (G3) (8TH race), the 12-1 Oscar Nominated is sure to get bet down from that overly generous morning line price. While I do like him partly because he came through for me at 23-1 in the Spiral (G3), the Mike Maker pupil makes all the sense in the world here. The well-bred son of Kitten’s Joy emphatically turned the tables on One Mean Man in the Black Gold at Fair Grounds prior to his Turfway heroics. And his flop in the Penn Mile (G3) is best forgiven, coming as an abrupt change-up off his Kentucky Derby (G1) tilt. I’ll also put in a good word for Tequila Joe, a closing fifth from far back in the Arlington Classic (G3) who’ll love the added distance. Pegged at 9-2 on the morning line, he might end up going off higher than Oscar Nominated.


Deauville is the one to beat in the Belmont Derby (G1) (8TH race), and stablemate Long Island Sound gives Aidan O’Brien a strong one-two punch. On form, the Irish duo are difficult to oppose, especially since there’s no obvious alternative among the home team. Indeed, the Americans are so evenly matched as to be almost inscrutable, with their respective trips likely to be the decisive factor. The best longshot candidate could be the 20-1 Aquaphobia, who comes in under the radar for Arnaud Delacour. By Giant’s Causeway and out of Pussycat Doll, the Lael Stables homebred was third in a Keeneland allowance (where Camelot Kitten was second) before being given way too much to do in the James W. Murphy at Pimlico. He did very well to rattle home for second off a slow pace. Switching to Joe Bravo last time, Aquaphobia raced within striking distance early and pounced late in the Stanton at Delaware. Bravo is back aboard here.

Ballydoyle should cap a Grade 1 double for O’Brien in the Belmont Oaks (G1) (10TH race), and I’ll be various shades of surprised and disappointed if she doesn’t win this. But for an eye-catching longshot who’s got strong claims to hit the board, see the 30-1 Last Waltz. It’s almost incredible for a Chad Brown-trained Irish import to offer that kind of value, particularly because she’s only run one poor race in her life (a slow-starting 10th behind Catch a Glimpse in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf [G1]). In both of her starts this season, Last Waltz has placed to Time and Motion, who rates a proper win candidate here. The stretch-out to 1 1/4 miles figures to help Last Waltz a lot, as a daughter of Danehill Dancer and a Trempolino mare. She’ll be doing her best work late.

Good luck!

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