Stakes spot plays on the dirt at Belmont Park for June 4
A total of five stakes races, four of which are of the graded variety, will highlight a superb Friday of racing at Belmont Park.
A trio of the featured contests will take place on the main surface, and each of the dirt tilts has intrigue of its own kind.
I will be playing exactas in all three contests.
Race 3: Tremont S. (1:54 p.m. ET)
#6 Little Drama (1-2) was pummeled to 2-5 odds on debut at Belmont and ran to his price with the easiest of tallies for trainer Steve Asmussen. The $175,000 two-year-old purchase draws perfectly outside of this compact field and will be tough to upend as the expected short-priced favorite.
I will play a cold exacta with #4 Trust Our Journey (8-1) finishing second. The chestnut son of American Pharoah led at every call at first asking at Gulfstream Park and could be the one to catch throughout on Friday. Paco Lopez stays aboard.
Race 7: True North S. (G2, 4:07 p.m. ET)
An excellent field will vie in a well-matched 6 1/2-furlong dash. #4 American Power (8-1) shows four wins and a second since removing blinkers for conditioner Rob Atras. The chestnut son of Power Broker has never been better, and though he might not hang on to win this, the six-year-old could be very stubborn if left alone on the front end under jockey Kendrick Carmouche.
Defending champ #1 Firenze Fire (2-1) has been among the top sprinters around for a few years running, and he was awesome in his recent Runhappy S. (G3) romp over this surface. The six-year-old Florida-bred is a fine 6-for-9 over "Big Sandy" and will be a menacing figure with something resembling his best beneath Irad Ortiz.
Race 8: Bed o’ Roses S. (G3, 4:40 p.m. ET)
An octet of fillies and mares will travel seven panels in this affair. The unbeaten #6 Chub Wagon (9-5) gets her biggest class test to date, but the four-year-old filly will be up to the task on Friday. The Guadalupe Preciado pupil has fine early foot in a field without much pace, and she figures to either lead early or force the tempo with a dream trip to the turn for home. Bay drilled a sub-:45 half-mile in her latest morning move, and she wins if she runs to that workout under Irad Ortiz.
#8 Estilo Talentoso (9-2) has been very good while placing in three consecutive graded affairs and is due to win one of these for trainer Juan Arriagada. The Maclean’s Music four-year-old has run into four of the top female sprinters in the country as of late, and any kind of forward move from the stalker will have her challenging this cast inside the final furlong. Javier Castellano will be in the stirrups.