Belmont Park | Race 8 | Post Time 4:25 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
Wow Cat (#6) is going to be favored based more on reputation than on performance. That’s not to say that she hasn’t run well. She was pretty game to soldier on for second in the Shuvee off a long layoff this summer, and she was never going to be any match for Abel Tasman or Elate last time. On the other hand, it’s not as if she showed significant improvement in that Personal Ensign, so she’s yet to establish that she’s actually faster than her rivals. Do you really want to accept a short price on her given that she probably will need to improve again?
Divine Miss Grey (#3) is the most talented alternative, but I worry about her getting the nine-furlong distance. This Danny Gargan trainee is incredibly versatile, and she’s been well managed this year. However, she is going to have to deal with other speeds in this race since Come Dancing (#4) and Farrell (#8) are basically committed to be sent to the front. If this turns into a demanding test of stamina, she’s in trouble.
I have no problem with Verve’s Tale (#5), who just barely missed behind Wow Cat two back in the Shuvee. She seems to do her best work at this 9-furlong distance and Barclay Tagg has been enjoying a solid run over the past few months. I’m using her, but I actually prefer another closer who figures to go off at an even bigger price.
DREAMCALL (#1) made her New York debut in the Royal Delta last time and was uncompetitive against a pair of today’s rivals. However, I don’t think circumstances were in her favor that day. That sloppy track was favoring speed, and she clearly didn’t handle her first start over a wet surface. She’s going to get a fast track on Saturday, so I’m willing to forgive that last effort. Earlier this summer, she had been improving quickly, making wild late runs to get up to win a pair of races at Prairie Meadows. Divine Miss Grey may have run the better race two back in the Molly Pitcher, given the way the track was playing, but I thought Dreamcall may not have handled the turns well, as she really got going in the lane. She should appreciate this stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles more than her rivals, and a horse like her is supposed to be well suited to Belmont Park. If she gets an honest pace to run at, I think she’s going to outrun her odds.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,3,5,6
Trifecta: 1,6 with 1,6 with 2,3,5,8