My strongest opinion is that I don’t really want the horses that have been running at this level at Belmont. I just think that those were weak races and they’re all stepping up to face better horses here. However, the problem is that many of the seemingly more talented runners are difficult to trust.
Mambo at the Gym’s (#5) tactical speed may give him a pace advantage, but he’s among that group of runners that we’re mostly against. The horse to beat might be Sly Tom (#8), but a lack of pace may work against him. Tambourin (#6) has to be used as he takes a plunge in class for Graham Motion, but he’s especially hard to trust off his last effort.
Of the slew of class droppers in this race, the one that I’m most willing to take a shot with is IRISH CAT (#9).
I know his last race is a concern, but that was a day when the turf course had taken a lot of rain, and he was hardly the only runner to throw in an uncharacteristically dull effort. Both Three for Me and Big Rock, who finished behind him that day, came back to return to their prior good form in subsequent starts after being eased in that May 7 race, leading me to believe that they just didn’t handle the boggy conditions. I’m hoping this is the case with Irish Cat, who had previously run races that would make him a major player here. Additionally, Linda Rice gets a 99 trainer rating with horses moving from allowance to claiming company.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 5,6,8,11