09/25/2013 11:01AM

Belmont: DRF Plus handicapping report for September 26, 2013


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Race 1

Race 1 is a $75k maiden claimer for 2yo fillies and features a heavy favorite on the ML who may be vulnerable. WINEKEEPER (#2, 6-5) was heavily bet and ran a Beyer Speed Figure of 60 when just missing on her debut toward the end of the Saratoga meet, and is a clear cut favorite to make amends in her second career start. While she is certainly the one to beat off of that race, I’m not so sure she’s the kind of horse to take a short price on, win or lose.

Winekeeper was obviously expected to run a good race right out of the box as she took all the money in that August 29th race, and after keeping up with the pace throughout, she took over turning into the stretch and appeared on her way to a popular score all the way down inside the 1/16th pole with a clear lead. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it all the way to the wire and was closed down in the shadow of the finish line, settling for 2nd best without any excuse.

As an alternative to Winekeeper, I’m going to try a horse that finished better than seven lengths behind her in that race, BELIEVEINFAITH (#4, 4/1). My interest in Believeinfaith is three-fold:

1) She showed a little life in that debut run with some speed up the inside despite her rider being unaggressive and ultimately having to steady a bit on the backstretch as a rival crossed over on her making the front; she didn’t have a finish once clear in the stretch, but she at least did some running.

2) Having been on track that day at Saratoga, it was noticeable (from my perspective anyway) that Believeinfaith wasn’t wound completely tight for her debut; she appeared to be a little heavy in the paddock and perhaps in need of a race to tighten her up a little more.

3) Her trainer Dominic Galluscio, while capable with a first time starter, has tremendous numbers with his 2yo maidens making their second career start in dirt sprints – over the past 3 years (via Formulator) he is 9-for-14 (64%), with an ROI of $5.12.

All of that makes me think Believeinfaith can turn the tables on Winekeeper in this spot, and that is how I’ll bet the race.

It’s also worth pointing out that LONG ISLAND LEE (#3, 3-1) was also entered to make her debut in that August 29th race, but did not make a good appearance pre-race, and was ultimately a vet scratch at the gate. She does, however, start for very strong connections, and should be taken seriously if the money shows.

I will also use a little of GO WEST MARIE (#6, 6-1) who debuted in a very tough MSW field behind the impressive Gracer (82 Beyer) and Potosi’s Silver, who returned to win here over the weekend with an 82 Beyer. Go West Marie raced very greenly throughout that debut and may turn it around quickly with that experience under her belt.

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Race 2

Spot Play

HIGH INFLATION (#7, 3-1) deserves to be favored in this maiden claimer but likely won’t be due to a cold-riding jock aboard; poised to strike. – Byron King


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Race 3

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Race 4


Race 5

Spot Play

ARLENE’S HOLIDAY (#3, 7-2): In a short field of six, anything close to the morning-line quote would be more than fair on a filly who repeats a previously successful turf-to-dirt turnback, and who has never been worse than second in four sprints on fast, wet-fast and muddy tracks. -Dave Litfin

Vulnerable Favorite

FIVE STAR MOMMA (#4, 2-1) is a classic clunk-along-for-a-share kind of horse. She doesn’t finish much & shows no works since last race at SAR. Not a lot in this short field, but someone ought to step up and take her down.-Marcus Hersh



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Race 6

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Race 7

Spot Play

THE BLONDE PEQUE (#3, 3-1) was against the race flow in her debut at Monmouth, and she ran into traffic trouble in her latest; dangerous here with any kind of racing luck. -Kenny Peck


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Race 8

Spot Play

ILLAPA (#3, 5-1) trained very well at Saratoga the entire summer, both on turf and dirt. The talent is there for this two-year-old Rock Hard Ten filly and hope that it shows up this afternoon. - Mike Vesce

RIBBON CUTTER (#1, 12-1) caught slop in Spa debut & struggled, but pedigree slants much more toward this turf trip. She has some speed & is well drawn on the outside to use it. - Marcus Hersh

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Race 9


Race 10

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