Belmont Highlight Horse for Friday: Switch to John Velazquez can move up Double Cast

Belmont | Race 5 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

Both Chad Brown second-time starters look formidable in this spot. Dovecote (#2) has a recency edge over Homeland Security (#7) and figures to go off at a shorter price. Dovecote was a little green in her debut but did well to come running late for second. She doesn’t figure to be fazed by the stretch-out in distance. Homeland Security returns from an extended layoff after making just one start as a 2-year-old. She was never seriously involved that day, but she was finishing best of all late in a race that did not favor closers.

I’ll certainly use these fillies, but my top pick is DOUBLE CAST (#4).

Double Cast has already proven that she can handle this distance, and each of her last two starts is better than it appears. She was off slowly two back when compromised by a slow pace. Then last time, she made a premature backstretch move to chase down two longshots who had run off from their competition. She attacked the pace around the far turn and simply made the lead too early. She appeared to idle in front when she made the lead at the top of the stretch and was caught off guard when the closers kicked in late. Now she gets a positive jockey switch to John Velazquez, who should give her a more patient ride. This Leo O’Brien filly looks ready to break through with a win.

THE PLAY 

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,2,7

 

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