06/07/2006 11:00PM

Belmont stakes previews for Friday, June 9


Belmont - Race 9 (BR) 6 Furlongs
Queen of Song Stakes
3-year-old fillies
Purse $65,000.

Wild Gams seeks to extend her winning streak to four races with a win in Friday's Quen of Song at Belmont Park. The daughter of Forest Wildcat earned a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in taking the Grade 3 Cicada at Aqueduct back in March, and was flattered when two horses that finished behind her that day came back to win stakes events. Her tactical speed should serve her well in the Queen of Song. There is a plethora of early speed entered, and Wild Gams may find herself tracking the pace while saving ground entering the turn. She's missed some training time due to a splint bone injury, but her quick 3-furlong breeze on May 21 - the second-best of 56 at the distance that day - should have her back on the beam.
Silvestris has high early speed, and would appreciate an off-track. She was a solid gate-to-wire winner in her first start following a short layoff, but draws outside the other speeds, and may have to rate and finish in this spot. A two-time winner over this surface, Silvestris seems to be coming up to this race the right way.
Khalila ran for purse money only on May 14 when the quirky filly lost a shoe in the paddock, but she only needed three plates to boot entry-level allowance runners. She has high speed, but will face pace pressure from some classy rivals as she steps up into stakes competition. She may be overbet based on her ultra-competitive Beyer Speed Figures.
Capote's Crown and Swap Fliparoo may be the ones to benefit the most if the pace collapses.

1. Wild Gams
2. Silvestris
3. Khalila

Belmont - Race 10 (BR) 1 Mile (Turf) Hill Prince Stakes (Grade 3)
Purse $100,000.

A quick pace is expected for the Hill Prince so a horse with tactical speed may be preferred. That being said, Noble Deeds may be the sharpest runner coming into the race, and she almost pulled off a stalk-and-pounce victory at Gulfstream two starts back. Both of his lifetime victories have come in gate-to-wire fashion, but Edgar Prado may have no choice but to rate with all the speed in this lineup. He changed back to his wrong lead in the late stages of his win at Keeneland, but the May 28 work that matches up with Stanley Hough's classy Request for Parole indicates that he remains in good form.
Transit of Venus has taken to grass like a duck to water, but both of his wins came while racing on the front end, and he would have to work very hard to win this race by utilizing similar tactics. A lightly-raced runner, Transit of Venus has plenty of upside potential, and should be used in exotics and multi-race wagers.
Ditto for Carnera and Preah Kahn. Carnera was very rank in the early stages of his recent win at Aqueduct before clearing off to an easy lead. He'll likely have to duplicate his stalking tactics from two back if he is to reach the winner's circle on Friday. Preah Kahn ships in from France for an excellent barn, and he may be able to drop over to the inside and save some ground behind the hot fractions. Expect him to come with a strong finish in his United States debut.

Selections (Turf only)
1. Noble Deeds
2. Transit of Venus
3. Preah Kahn