Belmont Highlight Horse: In the Pebbles, longshot Believe in Bertie ready to step up in class

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>Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 4:46 EDT | Go To The TimeformUS PPs

This is a very interesting edition of this race, and there are many fillies for whom you could make reasonable cases. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, but there really aren’t many confirmed frontrunners in this field, so I wonder if they’ll actually engage each other early. That’s why I want to take a shot with BELIEVE IN BERTIE (#2), who actually does run her best races on the front end. This filly has really improved in recent months, and earned the highest speed figure in the field last time with her 118 runner-up finish to the talented Queen Caroline, who was tallying her fourth straight win in that race.

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Now some may point to the Edgewood Stakes as evidence that Believe in Bertie is not quite classy enough to contend with the best fillies in this division. However, that would be a mistake, because this filly had an absolute nightmare of a trip in that race. She was unwisely rated in the early stages and ended up having to race four-wide around the first turn and five-wide around the second turn, all while fighting her rider. Since then, they’ve been more aggressive with her, and she has not run another poor race on turf. That said, she doesn’t necessarily need an uncontested lead, so I’m not overly concerned about Louisville First potentially running off early. Brad Cox has been having an awesome meet and I think he can get another winner here.

There are two other two fillies that I want to focus on in exactas and trifectas. Ancient Secret (#4) burst onto the scene this summer with three impressive wins in New York, culminating with a Grade 2 win in the Lake George at Saratoga. However, she utterly bombed as the odds-on favorite when shipped up to Woodbine last time. Chad Brown claims she wasn’t herself that day, and I’m inclined to believe him given the quick turnaround after that race. She’s very much in my play, as is Ultra Brat (#5). While we got a great price on her last time, I can’t deny that she significantly improved on turf, running her final furlong in 21.99 seconds, according to Trakus. If she can handle the stretch-out, I think she’s talented enough to compete with this field.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 2
Exacta Box: 2,4,5
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 7,8,9,11,12
Trifecta: 2 with 4,5 with 4,5,7,8,9,11,12
Trifecta: 2 with 7,8,9,11,12 with 4,5

 

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