09/19/2001 11:00PM

Belmont analysis for 9/22


Best Bet: Running Copelan (1st) Race


1. Running Copelan 2. Answer Man 3. Franco Suizo

RUNNING COPELAN has had a solid campaign, with a 3-3-2 slate from 11 starts, and goes first time off the claim by Juan Serey; Mth shipper fits nicely with the locals. ANSWER MAN had his rider lose whip in stretch when beaten 1 1/2 lengths by DIXIELANDER; may be able to reverse the decision, seeing as Dixielander will race with two bar shoes on. FRANCO SUIZO is a late threat if able to rebound to win at this level in lone prior start at Bel.


1. Sweep The World 2. Deputy Champ 3. Early Limit

SWEEP THE WORLD showed some talent defeating eventual stakes winner Put It Back when vanned off nearly a year ago; attracts Bailey in difficult maiden sprint full of returnees. DEPUTY CHAMP dueled through a hot pace and continued gamely when awarded second via DQ on Aug. 2, then steadied on the turn when favored first time in blinkers. EARLY LIMIT gets the inside post again, after showing improved speed second time out.


1. Psychic 2. Spin Zone 3. Brightest Ice

PSYCHIC set the pace, responded gamely when hooked leaving the turn and fought to the wire when well clear for second in debut; call in scramble. SPIN ZONE adds blinkers after pair of runner-up efforts at Mth to begin career, the latest at 3-5; series of works since. BRIGHTEST ICE moved to challenge leaders four wide on the turn, held second in promising bow behind favored Three Strikes; loses Johnny V. to top pick.


1. Sandlot Star 2. Spectacularspencer 3. Evening Attire

SANDLOT STAR showed quite a bit of talent in both turf races at Sar, and while he wasn't able to carry his speed as effectively on dirt at CD, he is more seasoned now, and appears to hold a tactical edge as the lone speed; ideally drawn, Chop Chop fits him very well. SPECTACULARSPENCER is in the best form of his career for Dutrow since coming back from long layoff; ran into a tiger in Wrangler last out. EVENING ATTIRE was in tough vs. odds-on Orientate making first start in 10 months Aug. 11; couple of fast blowouts last week.


1. Salt Lake Express 2. Sweat Equity 3. Once Rich

SALT LAKE EXPRESS was beaten more than a dozen lengths when last seen here over two months ago, but rebounded from a similar defeat to win in the slop earlier at the spring/summer meet, and might do so again while dropping to $50K. SWEAT EQUITY ran big on opening weekend when narrowly beaten by Starbury; ran into a tough customer in Ommadon lone one-mile try on dirt. ONCE RICH is 2-for-2 on fast dirt since adding blinkers; one to catch.


1. Monthir 2. Tacirring 3. Buddha

MONTHIR improved sharply second time out, missing to come-again Gold Dollar, and will try again with blinkers added. TACIRRING had a horror trip first time out, then ran into the promising Warners when an even third. BUDDHA ($250K yearling, half to four winners), SHORT HAIR (half to 10 winners) and REGAL SANCTION ($165K half to three winners) all show bullet works for top barns.


1. Whitmore's Conn 2. I'm All Yours 3. Celtic Sky

WHITMORE'S CONN, and his last three trips: overmatched by Sharp Performance in open Lexington, bumped at break and wide behind loose-on-lead RELUCTANT GROOM on Aug. 2, and five wide when out of his element on dirt in Albany; enough pace to set him up nicely. I'M ALL YOURS swung widest staging a miraculous stretch rally to run down Reluctant Groom in the West Point; hard to knock 5-for-7 turf mark. CELTIC SKY toyed with N2Xers w/Lasix added at Sar; never worse than second on turf, handles "yielding" ground.


1. Burning Roma 2. Illusioned 3. Express Tour

BURNING ROMA has posted improving pace figures throughout the year, climaxed by near-miss to Point Given in Haskell; effective one-turn miler in Futurity here as a 2YO. ILLUSIONED showed an added dimension when able to rally from far back to get second in the Kings Bishop (behind Vosburgh favorite); talented and versatile colt stretches out another furlong while making third start of current form cycle, and may opt to let HERO'S TRIBUTE have the early lead. EXPRESS TOUR was good enough to beat Whitney & Woodward winner Lido Palace first time out this year, and so might reasonably be expected to fire fresh in this spot.


1. La Ronge 2. Paga 3. Babae

LA RONGE showed a good kick in both runner-up efforts at Del Mar, beginning with neck loss to PAGA; can turn the tables if the latter becomes embroiled in a pace dispute with IFTIRAAS and/or BABAE. PAGA looms a bounce candidate after returning from nearly eight months of inactivity with hard-fought score Aug. 8, but works since are solid, and mile distance suits. BABAE has improved since blanket finish vs. VERRUMA and ZEITING on June 27; handles "off" turf.


1. Squirtle Squirt 2. Say Florida Sandy 3. Alannan

SQUIRTLE SQUIRT nearly beat older stakes sprinters in the Triple Bend after being involved in a duel through a 43.73 half-mile, and gets what looks to be a softer pace scenario in the Vosburgh; hard to go against Frankel these days. SAY FLORIDA SANDY Beyered in the 110-111 range all summer, and only non-exacta finish as a 7YO came in the one-mile Westchester; ran down the speedy Disco Rico in return from brief freshening. ALANNAN is having his best year, and along with LEFT BANK encountered heavy rush-hour traffic through stretch of the Forego; aluminum pad on.


1. Double Star 2. Misty Foxfire 3. Flake O

If DOUBLE STAR runs the kind of pace figure he did winning Aug. 19 comeback, he may relegate several other early-speed types in this field into the role of midpack chasers; can take another. MISTY FOXFIRE adds Lasix and returns to surface where he won both starts earlier this year. FLAKE O can be excused latest on turf vs. open company, and caught mud lone try this level Aug. 10; solid threat off July 25 win at Sar.