09/12/2013 1:04PM

Belmont: DRF Plus handicapping report for September 13, 2013

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Race 1

Race 1 Let’s take a look at the early double, a sequence in which I’m hoping to beat one of, if not both, of the likely favorites.  In the first ML favorite DECISIVE MOVE (#3, 5/2) can clearly win, but he seems like a good favorite to look at trying to beat as he enters here off of back-to-back perfect trip wins for two different barns.  JESS NOT JESSIE (#5, 3/1) is a cool horse and he loves to win races, though you could argue that getting seven-furlongs is a bit of a question mark for him; I’m not way against him in here as he projects for a good trip in a race that appears to have some speed signed on, but I did want to look at a better priced option.  That option is THOMAS HILL (#6, 6/1), who is better than he looks on paper having run in some spots that were just too tough for him, while always showing up with a representative effort.  Thomas Hill fits well in a field like this one, and he has a versatile running style which allows him to stay close to the pace if need be – like he did two back going shorter at Saratoga – or to settle and make a run from out of it if the pace gets heated early.  He’s 0-4 at the distance, but having won races from 5 ½ furlongs – to – one mile, I get the feeling that that stat is pretty well irrelevant.    I’m going to bet Thomas Hill to win in here at anything over 4/1, and use him in doubles, as well.

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Race 2

Analysis

Race 2 TIZALLHEART (#7, 7/5) is a heavy favorite on the ML, which is based on her last race, a 64 Beyer performance while running 2nd at about this level in mid-July.  My problem with Tizallheart at a short price is she just didn’t do that much running in that race.  Here are my notes for that race, and her performance specifically, via Formulator:

 -Race: Not much racing going on,top2 (2 favs) up there throughout
 -Tizallheart: pace tracked by winner (4/5 fav),no match for her,2nd best

Maybe she has just landed in the right spot here, but I wanted alternatives, and thought there were two interesting ones.  EAST COAST EXPRESS (#4, 5/1) has started her career with five straight losses, and has only managed to hit the board in one of those races.  But, she has also only raced at this level once, and that race – her last start – is a much better effort than it may appear to be (at least in my opinion).  Not only did that race come toward the end of the Saratoga meet, when speed was at a big advantage on the turf, but the pace was moderate and East Coast Express did not get the greatest trip in the world:

Race: wire-to-wire winner, top2 that way throughout
East Coast Express: some traffic & steadied first turn, held up & on the brakes behind horses early and late backstretch, stayed in driving after top2 stretch with no chance to catch

I’ll make her my main play and also include ALWAYS HOME (#8, 7/2), a deep closer who is always at the mercy of race shape, but was compromised in that July 14th race behind Tizallheart. 

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Race 3

Vulnerable Favorite

You could’ve gotten 27-1 on JESSES GIANT DUNK (#2, 9-5) when he ended a huge exacta last time, and now you’re going to settle for less than 2-1? On general principle alone, that’s a big ixx-nay. He slugged up to be a distant second in that Saratoga race nearly four weeks ago and now stretches out to a mile with a 5-percent jock staying aboard. Admittedly, the opposition is pretty weak, but it sure isn’t inconceivable that Privatize, Bernardo, or Here He Fitz will be able to get the jump on him. – Marty McGee

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Race 4

Live Longshot

After a couple of even efforts at Saratoga, 5-year-old homebred mare FAVA (#7, 8-1) returns to Belmont, where she has won both of her starts on firm turf at odds of 15-1 and 13-1, along with a third-place finish on yielding turf at 7-1. -Dave Litfin

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Race 5

 

Race 6

Analysis

Race 6 is a turf route for 2yo fillies, and features some well-bred and well-connected first time starters, but, as usual, I’ll focus my play on the experienced runners.  SPANGLED BANNER (#6, 3/1) exits a strong MSW upstate, from which the 1-2 finishers returned to run 1st & 3rd in a stakes race next out (Granny Mc’s Kitten, in particular, looks like a future star), and she acquitted herself very well in that spot despite getting a less than perfect trip:

went up break getting away last & trailed, stayed in then spent much of stretch run angling to the outside, good finish

She should be better for that experience, especially when you take into account her trainers record with first time starters (0-for-87 over the past 5 years), but I think if she can just run as well in this spot she will be tough to beat. 

Live Longshot

LEMON DE ORO (#7, 10-1) took a lot of early money and continued to get bet throughout the wagering for debut at the Spa, then made two distinct moves to the lead while being hard to handle. Likely to improve here.- Chuck Kuehhas

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Race 7

Analysis

Race 7 goes through TIZ FOT TAT (#8, 5/2) who received a less-than-stellar ride at a short price last time, and before that was really cranked off the layoff only to run into the ill-fated, but extremely talented, Mentor Cane.  He’s cross-entered into a race on Saturday, but if he runs here, he’s a must use.  One idea in here at a bit of a price is QUINBY PETE (#3, 6/1).  Quinby Pete hasn’t run since last October, but he contested the pace on the outside all the way, and that was a day at Belmont when the rail was very strong, and the winner Declan’s Warrior, now a graded stakes winner, closed up the inside.  Quinby Pete is eligible to improve in his 3yo debut, and his 79 Beyer top as a 2yo gives him room to make enough of a jump to contend in this spot. 

Live Longshot

MOONLUCK (#4, 15-1) has some decent works showing for the debut and will very likely be overlooked in the wagering; this does look like a tough field but he can hit the board and juice up some of the exotics if ge runs to his work tab. -Kenny Peck

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Race 8

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Race 9

 

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