Belmont Park | Race 8 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
Epping Forest (#9) is the horse to beat for the hot Christophe Clement barn, as it attempts to rake in a few more wins before the end of the meet. When she’s at her best, this filly is very good. If she’s able to repeat her most recent effort, she’s going to be very tough for this field to hold off. That day, she was far back at the quarter pole but unleashed a furious rally to get up for the win. She went rocketing past next-out winner Fear No Evil in the late stages, and runner-up Okinawa is a talented filly in her own right. I’m certainly using her, but she steps up in class to face some legitimate foes, including fellow late runner Jc’s Shooting Star (#3), who has also been in career-best form. Yet both of these fillies could be hindered by a potentially unfavorable pace scenario.
Team of Teams was supposed to be the main speed, but she scratched out of this spot in favor of a race on Sunday. Given her absence, MALIBU STACY (#1) is likely to inherit the pacesetter’s role, and I think that could make her awfully difficult to reel in. The Pace Projector was predicting a situation favoring runners near the front even before the scratch. While most of Malibu Stacy’s turf starts have come at distances farther than this six-furlong trip, she’s shown plenty of speed both on dirt and turf and has proven that she can get brave when left alone on the lead. Like the Clement barn, George Weaver’s stable has quietly started to pick up steam recently, and I think this mare finds herself in the right spot.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,9
Trifecta: 1 with 2,9 with 2,3,5,8,9