The potential favorite is Senor Jobim (#1), a full brother to Maclean’s Music who clearly doesn’t possess the brilliance of that sibling. He did well to win at Churchill two back, but then couldn’t quite sustain that momentum when losing at this level just 8 days later. Now Asmussen brings him to New York, and this barn has not had a ton of success with these types of runners so far at the meet.
Smile Bryan (#4) also comes in from Churchill Downs, and this 3-year-old is slightly more appealing to me. He arguably could have won last time had he gotten into the clear sooner in a race dominated up front. He had shown good potential in his prior start at Keeneland, and Graham Motion has been bringing live runners to Belmont. I’m using him prominently, but I think you need to respect the two horses drawn to his outside.
Shamrocked (#5) is obviously fast enough to win this race if she shows up with this top effort, but that’s no guarantee after he ran poorly at Parx last time. He figures to take money in this spot, and I’m not quite sure what to do with him.
My top pick is CREATIVE STYLE (#6). This runner should appreciate the turnback in distance after running deceptively well going a mile in his last start. The early pace of that race was fast and Creative Style did well to hang on for third after dueling four wide in the early going. Prior to that, he had raced wide against a rail bias on May 18, so he’s clearly in better form than it appears. Rudy Rodriguez’s runners have been performing well over the past couple of weeks, and I think this gelding lands in a great spot.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,4,5
Trifecta: 6 with 1,4,5 with 1,4,5