Belmont Park | Race 7 | Post Time 4:43 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
Ascot Walk (#3) is the horse to beat in this spot as she makes her fourth career start. She ran well to break her maiden two back, and was subsequently flattered by that race’s fourth place finisher Big Birthday, who came back to win. Ascot Walk was facing a significantly better field when she made her first start against winners last time, and she gave a solid account of herself in finishing third. If she merely repeats that effort, she will be pretty formidable in this spot, and her tactical speed ensures that she will get a good trip up close to the pace. I’m using her, but I’m not thrilled with her at a short price.
Curiousncuriouser (#7) is also likely to attract some attention off her two recent wins. She’s cheaper than her main rivals in this spot, but she is coming into this race in top form and has shown improved speed in her recent races. My major problem with her is that she was the beneficiary of circumstances last time. Her main rival, Maho Bay, failed to show up in that Aug. 26 race, finishing last, and Curiousncuriouser was aided by a racetrack that appeared to be favoring outside paths. I’m mostly using her underneath this time.
My top pick is PALLADIAN BRIDGE (#2). The Pace Projector is predicting that she will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. She ran very well two back at Saratoga, just missing behind superior fillies Hay Field and Dancing All Night. I can excuse her poor effort last time, as she completely lost her composure in the paddock and post parade prior to the race. She never looked like herself before and during the race. I’m going to view it as a good sign that Ray Handal is bringing her back on relatively short rest following that debacle, as she has generally run very well for him since the claim last fall.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,3,7
Trifecta: 2 with 3,7 with ALL