Scully's Spot Plays on Belmont Stakes Day
The $1.5 million Belmont Stakes highlights a dynamite 13-race card that includes 10 stakes. Here are four horses I will be betting on the program: Easy Goer (3rd race) DREAM MAKER lacks mental fortitude. Big time. He’s been unable to handle adversity in previous stakes attempts but displayed outstanding skills in a pair of starts against short fields, performing like a superstar in runaway maiden and allowance wins. The gray colt has found an ideal spot in the six-horse Easy Goer. With ample speed entered, Julien Leparoux can set up shop from just off the pace in the clear, keeping Dream Maker away from any contact or congestion that’s proven so debilitating in the past. He’s always been popular at the windows but looms at an attractive 6-1 on the morning line following three consecutive well-beaten efforts. Dream Maker can finally put it all together at the stakes level today. Just a Game (4th race) Turf horses have the potential to improve significantly with age and it’s fitting to see Mark Casse train GOT STORMY, who taken her game to a new level at age 4. Casse has been down this road before, with Tepin being an average performer as a three-year-old and the best American turf miler a season later, and Got Stormy has shown significant improvement in three appearances this year. She finished third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) two back and second in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) last time, and I don’t think we seen her best yet. Got Stormy posted a sharp score in the Wild Applause on Belmont’s turf last year and looks poised to run big here in my estimation. Woody Stephens (8th race) HONEST MISCHIEF is my best bet of the day. Keeneland favored speed on its opening weekend and the Into Mischief colt broke slowly and circled five wide on the worst part of the track to win spectacularly, easily registering a field-best 108 BRIS Speed rating for the eight-length decision. A hot pace appears certain with Landeskog (:21 1/5 opening quarter-mile under a hand ride last time) mixing it up with juvenile Grade 1 winner Complexity and Honest Mischief will capitalize upon the proper set-up. Belmont Stakes (11th race) SPINOFF lacked foundation entering the Kentucky Derby and I’ll draw a line through his unplaced finish in the slop; the Hard Spun colt displayed good skills in his first two starts this year and is one of only four entrants with a triple-digit BRIS Speed rating (102). He’s trained forwardly in the interim for three-time Belmont Stakes winner Todd Pletcher and possesses the tactical speed to receive an ideal trip. Tabbing the lightly-raced colt for an upset. Tacitus will be included in multi-race wagers and may well prove best as the favorite. My concern is run style. Supporters are projecting a midpack trip for the Bill Mott-trained colt and if he can sit closer, Tacitus should be primed to make a serious impact. But that’s a big “if” considering he’s been at least eight lengths behind after a half-mile in all three stakes appearances. Tacitus could leave himself too much to do if he continues to drop well off the pace in the early stages. Good luck on Belmont Stakes Day!