Belmont Park | Race 9 | Post Time 5:50 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
I don’t want to make a strong case against heavy favorite Gidu (#5), who I do really respect. This horse ran well in both starts to start the year at Gulfstream, and then put forth an exceptional effort last time at Tampa Bay Downs. The field was really strung out through the early portion of the Columbia Stakes last time, and Gidu was up close the entire way. All of the other runners that were attending that pace came to a stop in the stretch as the closers came charging. However, Gidu found another gear and won in stylish fashion. The 7-furlong distance of this race figures to be perfect for him, and he should sit a stalking trip just outside of the two speeds to his inside.
It’s going to take a big effort to beat the favorite, and the one horse that I think might have a chance to take the necessary step forward is CURLIN’S HONOR (#3). He showed talent in his first few starts despite not necessarily relishing dirt. His connections paid a hefty price tag for him as a two-year-old, so they basically had to give him a chance to be a dirt horse when he began his career. He ran fine in those first couple of starts, but he’s always been bred to do better on grass. He’s a half-brother to 4 turf winners despite the fact that his dam has not been bred to many turf sires. In fact, Curlin is one of the better turf influences with whom she’s been paired. Mark Casse gave him a spin over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine last time, and he seemed to respond well, moving much more freely than he did on dirt as he sped to an easy score. While he went wire-to-wire that day, he’s not a horse that needs the lead. Seven furlongs on grass seems like it should be right up his alley. He needs to improve again to beat Gidu, but he’s the one that still has upside.
Exacta: 3 with 4,5
Trifecta: 3,5 with 3,5 with 2,4,6