06/13/2011 2:48PM

Belmont carryover becoming a tradition


ELMONT, N.Y. – For the third time in four years, there is a monstrous pick-six carryover at Belmont Park following the Belmont Stakes Day card. Upsets by It’s Tricky in the Acorn, Mission Approved in the Manhattan, and Ruler On Ice in the Belmont last Saturday conspired to create a $1,130,718 pick-six carryover into Wednesday’s card.

In 2008, there was a carryover of $1,186,625 exiting the Belmont and the pool swelled to $4.4 million – a non-Breeders’ Cup record pick-six pool for the New York Racing Association. There were 29 winning tickets, each worth $103,754. Last year, there was a carryover of $930,495 after Belmont Day and the pool grew to $3.3 million. The winning payout was $552,535.

As has been the case for most of this meet, five of six races in the sequence are scheduled for the turf. As they were on Belmont Stakes Day, the rails will be down on both courses, according to Glen Kozak, NYRA’s director of racing surfaces. Though some showers were in the forecast for early Tuesday, the forecast for Wednesday calls for dry conditions.

Here’s a glance at what looks to be a very difficult sequence. The pick six, which starts with race 4, kicks off at 2:36 p.m. Eastern. SEE ENTRIES FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, AT BELMONT PARK

Fourth race: The sequence begins with a maiden turf race at 1 1/4 miles. Clear Attempt and Colossal Gift were a neck apart when second and third in an April 29 race at Keeneland from which the fifth- and sixth-place finishers returned to win maiden special weight turf races at Churchill Downs and Colonial.

Clear Attempt had trouble at the start of that race while Colossal Gift appeared to make an early move while going three wide. Colossal Gift’s closing style is not conducive to the way this course has played, however. He does get a rider switch to Ramon Dominguez.

Deeper pockets, or those with stronger opinions later in the sequence, may want to consider Imaging, whose best race came routing here at Belmont.

Fifth race: Stoneridge steps up to the $35,000 claiming level after winning for maiden $16,000 last month in her turf debut, where she dueled inside of another horse and still drew clear convincingly. She gets Edgar Prado to ride, as Ramon Dominguez, aboard for her maiden win, rides Must Be Love, who will probably appreciate a cutback to six furlongs after holding on to win for maiden $25,000 going seven-eighths.

This race could set up nicely for Fleeting Glance, who has been a beaten favorite in her last two starts, but who may actually like shortening up to six furlongs.

Sixth race: Gary Contessa is bringing Starlantic back off a layoff prompted by a hind end muscle pull and the trainer is raving over how well this 3-year-old Stormy Atlantic colt is doing.

“I would give him a big chance,” Contessa said.

Prince of Danger, 1 for 3 in south Florida as a 2-year-old, returns from a 10-month layoff with a solid worktab for new trainer David Fawkes. Decesion Point goes turf to dirt and returns to a the course and distance at which he won his debut last October.

Seventh race: Australis Princess is at her best when able to make the lead, something she was unable to do in her last start – her first off a four-month layoff – but which she may be able to do here. Love Shack improved greatly when winning her turf debut for Linda Rice. Ba Ba’s Bunch should appreciate turning back to a mile after getting beat nearly seven lengths in her first try on this circuit.

What to do with Ms Stilleto, a horse-for-course who clipped heels a sixteenth of a mile into her seasonal debut unseating Ramon Dominguez, who stays aboard? Our inclination is to leave her off the ticket.

Eighth race: The final two legs of this sequence are not for the faint of heart.

In this $25,000 claiming turf sprint for horses who have never won two races, the 13 horses entered are a combined 6 for 52 on turf.
Saratoga Steve won second off the layoff going six furlongs over this course last June, but needs a scratch to draw into the race. Linda Rice could oblige as she has two entered, with D Js Revenge having already won on turf just 12 days ago, while Camie’s Boy has never tried the grass and won for $12,000 claiming on dirt in April.

There appears to be plenty of speed in this race, which could help Sully’s Landing and Running Tap, both of whom are making their turf debuts. Just a word of warning: Trainer Leah Gyarmati and jockey John Velazquez blew up the post-Belmont Stakes pick six on this day last year with Landlash at 21-1. Those two are back in this spot with It’s the Big Cat, whose lone win from 17 starts came here last year.

Ninth race: The sequence ends with an inscrutable maiden $16,000 claimer on turf. R Clever Cat will be favored just because she debuted in California against Plum Pretty (the Kentucky Oaks winner) and ran against a highly-regarded runner, Rumor. But now she has changed trainers, coasts, and surfaces and drops in class; all red flags. But, she may have landed in the softest of spots.

Chris Englehart said he entered R Clever Cat here “because they’re not writing $16,000 claimers on the dirt, so we thought we’d try her.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Galaxy Jet stumbled a few strides out of the gate, rushed up, dropped back and came again. Now gets a rider switch from Jamie Rodriguez to Ramon Dominguez. Copious Notes may have enough speed to control this one from the outset.