Belmont Park | Race 9 | Post Time 6:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
Last year’s Belmont Stakes winner, Tapwrit (#4), comes into this race as one of the headline attractions following a useful prep last month. I wasn’t thrilled with his effort that day, but it’s possible that it put him where he needs to be for this stretch-out in distance. I think he’s a player, but he’s unlikely to offer value. Bob Baffert brings a pair to the race.
While Dr. Dorr’s (#5) recent speed figures make him a contender, I actually prefer Hoppertunity (#8). I was impressed with this runner’s Brooklyn win last time, as he really finished off that race powerfully in the final furlong. He obviously handles this distance, and Belmont Park’s oval is perfectly suited to his style.
I’m certainly using all of these runners, but the horse I want to bet is DIVERSIFY (#10). We’ll see how fast he has to run to make the lead, but the Pace Projector is predicting that he should secure the front from Dr. Dorr early. While some may argue that Diversify’s recent form is subpar, I thought he bounced back very well in the Commentator last time after a puzzling non-effort at Charles Town. He’s never been a true miler, yet he fought off the vastly improved Pat On the Back for a hard-fought victory. He should really appreciate the added distance of this race, and it’s not as if the pace is expected to be particularly taxing. When he’s at his best, he’s capable of posting TimeformUS Speed Figures of 130 or greater, and his last workout suggests that he’s in top form.
Exacta Key Box: 10 with 2,4,5,8
Trifecta: 10 with 4,8 with 2,4,5,7,8