09/28/2013 12:22PM

Belmont: DRF Plus handicapping report for September 29, 2013


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Race 1


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Race 2

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Race 3

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ANOTHER PLEASE (#7, 5-1): Photogenic mare (all three wins by a head or a nose) posted last turf victory on Mar. 14, which makes her a snug fit to the date restriction of this “beaten” claimer. Her stretch-running style is also a good fit to the prevailing course profile.- Dave Litfin


Race 4

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Race 5

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Race 6


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Sheriffa (#7, 5-1) is bred for speed, being by Posse; first timer likely gets overlooked with the ship in from Colts Neck Training Center. – Byron King


Vulnerable Favorite

3:41 Bel 6th Instrumental (#8, 5-2) is sure to drop well below her morning line after running third in her debut for Chad Brown; the vulnerability exists with the surface switch from turf to dirt for this six-furlong maiden race; she’s a daughter of City Zip, and his progeny seem to prefer turf sprints.- Byron King


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Race 7


Race 8

The Grade 2 Matron came up the more interesting of the pair of two-year-old races at Belmont on Sunday, and appears to boil down to three major contenders that are not so easily separated.

The ML favorite for the race is Todd Pletcher’s SWEET WHISKEY (#3, 2/1), a dazzling winner of her debut at Saratoga with an 86 Beyer. Sweet Whiskey was bet that day like she could really run and she did not disappoint, flashing big early speed and burying her seven rivals with ease. Behind her that day were three next out winners including Tea Time, who returned to win her next start with a 90 Beyer; and Divided Attention, who improved her figure 21 points to a 71 in winning here a few weeks ago. Sweet Whiskey tried the Grade 1 Spinaway in her second start but was unfortunate to run into a double edged sword of a sloppy track and a thus far super impressive juvenile filly in Sweet Ransom. I’m giving her a pass for that one, and expect her to be very tough in this race.

MISS BEHAVIOUR (#5, 5/2) ships in for trainer Phil Schoenthal off a pair of convincing wins out of town, both times displaying sharp speed to gain control and separate herself from her competition. She’s fast, and may be forward enough at this stage of the game to take the next step, but this is a tough spot for her with some other quality speed signed on.

GRACER (#7, 3/1) came out second best after a duel with Miss Behaviour first out at Parx, but she improved from that experience and crushed a field next time at Saratoga with an 82 Beyer. Behind her that day was a Pletcher-trained filly named Potosi’s Silver, who promptly returned to win her next start with an 82 Beyer of her own. Gracer has drawn very well on the outside here, and has a real chance to turn the tables on Miss Behaviour in this spot.


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Race 9

The Grade 2 Futurity saw only six enter, and with trainer Michael Dilger suggesting that his Wired Bryan is going to run at the Finger Lakes on Saturday, we are likely looking at a field of five come post time.

Todd Pletcher’s duo of CORFU (#3, 3-1) and SOUND OF FREEDOM (#2, 6-1) figure to get plenty of support, especially Corfu, who flashed high speed in winning the first two starts of his career upstate, including the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. He stopped to a walk in the stretch after making the pace in the Grade 1 Hopeful, but he has a built in excuse for that effort, as it came over a muddy, sealed track that he may not have cared for. Getting back to six furlongs for this race is a plus for him, but I’m not sure how good I think Corfu really is, and am standing against him in this spot.

BIG SUGAR SODA (#5, 4-1) is an interesting horse in the Futurity, as he ran a race breaking his maiden which would make him extremely hard to beat here, if he can get back to it. He also ran in that muddy Hopeful, but he emerged from that race with more of an excuse than did Corfu, as he was bumped at the start; trailed the field to the top of the stretch; and then rallied through traffic in an underrated performance. To me, he is a serious bounce back candidate in this race, and I’ll be using him heavily.

The other horse I like in this race is IN TROUBLE (#1, 5-2) who made an impressive debut at Saratoga with three next out winners behind him. In Trouble not only flashed plenty of ability in that race, he also appeared to be very professional and was confidently handled by Joe Rocco - so much so that he appeared to make a conscious decision to stay away from Sound of Freedom on the early lead, and still managed to drive him down through the stretch. I think In Trouble may ultimately turn out to be the best of these horses going forward and he’s my pick to win the Futurity.


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Race 10

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MISTER DOOLEY (#12, 6-1) has had his share of trouble in two races thus far, but if he can just break cleanly he has license to move way up; works leading up to that last race strongly indicate he's better than what we've seen thus far. -Kenny Peck


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Race 11

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