Honey Won’t (#10) was only facing claimers last time, so this is technically a step up in class, even though he’s not really meeting a tougher rival than the venerable Kitten’s Cat, who won that last race. They tried routing a bunch of times through the winter and spring, but he’s a true sprinter at heart. Joel Rosario worked out a very good trip for him last time as he just followed the winner into the race, and he almost got to him late. He figures to get some pace to close into, but it’s not as if he has any kind of speed figure edge over this field and he’s likely to be favored.
I prefer the speed of QUARKY (#11). If you’re willing to throw out that 5-furlong turf sprint at Gulfstream back in April, his form is just rock solid. It’s also apparent that he loves Belmont Park, probably because he seems to specialize in these 6-furlong and 7-furlong sprints, and is probably best at the latter. The real issue with this guy is that he just doesn’t win. He’s been right there at this level on a number of occasions and he just can’t seem to get over the hump. Yet I wouldn’t concede that he’s necessarily a horse that has issues winning races, since he’s a front-running type that has just been unlucky to get run down by superior horses on a few occasions. He figures to be the controlling speed after the scratch of Yes and Yes, and I think he’s the right horse to take on this occasion.
I could use a few others underneath including Mo Gotcha (#9) and Duress (#12). The former is a Jeremiah Englehart trainee who has been consistent on dirt and does have some pedigree to handle the grass. I’m not totally convinced about the surface switch, but I won’t be shocked if he runs well. Duress was moving in the right direction at the end of last season, but this will be the toughest field that he’s met since his debut.
Exacta Key Box: 11 with 9,10,12
Trifecta: 11 with 10 with 6,9,10,12