Belmont | Race 5 | Post Time 3:03 p.m. (ET) | TimeformUS PPs are now available on DRF.com. Go to PPs
Utilization Rate (#6) will probably go favored again based purely on connections, even though her form doesn’t give her much of an advantage over this field. She was an extremely short price as part of an entry last time against what appeared to be a weaker maiden field than this one. Yet she was unable to hold on that day, and she’s going to be a short price again with Irad Ortiz getting back aboard.
I much prefer Doral (#4) among the shorter prices. This filly showed some talent on debut when she made a menacing late rally to just miss. She hasn’t really stepped forward since then, but I didn’t love the trip she got last time at Keeneland when she was always out of position. This imposing filly has the natural ability to win a race like this if she can put it all together.
One key feature of this race is an apparent lack of pace. Utilization Rate is shown leading on the Pace Projector, but I wonder if Chad Brown will be reluctant to send her forward again given the way she failed to hold the lead last time.
I believe Mirabella (#1) could get sent to the front from her rail draw. This filly showed some ability on debut last year at Monmouth, only hitting her best stride late in that 5-furlong affair before galloping out powerfully. She was off for a long time thereafter, but returned on turf last month at Gulfstream with a decent effort. She actually broke very sharply and was contesting the pace into the clubhouse turn before others showed more initiative. While no match for the winner that day, she kept trying gamely through the finish in a race she might have needed. She figures to be ridden more aggressively from her advantageous rail draw this time, and I suspect she’s better than the form indicates.