They’re not listed among the favorites on the morning line, but we believe the entry may go off at a relatively short price, especially considering the connections involved. While both are interesting contenders, we would not want to take lower than about 5/1 odds on either one of them. Site Read (#1) and Ray’s the Bar (#1A) both ran well when unveiled last year, but have had trouble getting back to those early performances and come into this race with something to prove.
The morning line favorite is Conquest Superstar (#7), and we don’t want any part of this horse at a very short price. He ran well in his debut, but these Mark Casse debut winners often underperform second time out. Furthermore, we question the quality of the race he’s exiting, in which he worked out an absolutely perfect trip.
Inspector Lynley (#3) will certainly be on our tickets. This horse has always shown potential and finally put it all together two back at Gulfstream. He was ambitiously placed in stakes company last time out and gets a slight drop in class here.
However, our top selection is the other recent maiden winner, VULCAN’S FORGE (#5).
We really liked this horse’s races as a two-year-old, and he appeared to have returned as a more mature horse when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct for Todd Pletcher. He was taken far back in the early going, but launched a four-wide run around the turn—not easy to do at Aqueduct—before grinding out the win in the stretch. He has displayed by far the fastest late pace rating in this race (106) and should by flying in the lane. We also think he should appreciate getting back to Belmont and a turf course that is more conducive to his style.
On deeper tickets, we could even use long shot Cave Johnson (#4), who got an awful four-wide trip last time yet still did not run that badly, all things considered.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3,4
Trifecta: 5 with 1,3,4 with 1,3,4,6,7