05/20/2010 11:25AM

Belmont: New Madrid tries turf


  The main track (races 1-5) is fast, and the turf courses (races 6-9) are labeled "good."

  The all-turf late pick-4 kicks off with a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on the inner course, and marks the grass debut of New Madrid, the sixth-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby, who is under consideration for the Belmont Stakes.

  Trainer Tim Ice, who saddled Summer Bird to win last year's Belmont, is putting blinkers on New Madrid, after the colt shied from the whip repeatedly in the Arkansas Derby.

  This is no easy spot, though, because Spanish Beat and Elusive Beat are 4-year-olds who have been in good form lately - particularly Spanish Beat, a half-brother to Wood-Haskell-Travers winner Coronado's Quest, who unleashed an explosive finish to leave the maiden ranks second time in blinkers.

  There is a $26,595 carryover in the pick-6, beginning wiith race 4, post time 2:36 p.m.