07/11/2012 1:36PM

Belmont: Strong Impact's speed dangerous in starter allowance


ELMONT, N.Y. – Strong Impact ran too good to lose in his last start. Perhaps he will have some better luck on Friday the Thirteenth.

Strong Impact looms the horse to catch and beat in Friday’s seventh at Belmont Park, a $55,000 starter allowance race for horses that have started for a claiming tag of $50,000 or less.

On June 20, Strong Impact was part of a wicked early pace before getting beaten a neck by One Note Samba while finishing 7 1/2 lengths clear of the field. His early fractions were 21.32 seconds for the quarter and 43.79 for the half-mile. The final time was 1:07.09, just .22 of a second of the inner turf course record.

“He seemed like he did it pretty easy,” trainer Bruce Brown said.

Noting that Strong Impact had set more moderate fractions in winning a six-furlong race here on May 11, Brown said “it seemed like he had started to relax a little bit, but that race he really turned on the afterburners.”

Following the June 20 race, Brown shipped Strong Impact to Saratoga, where he continued to train exceptionally well. Brown was initially thinking of waiting until Saratoga to run Strong Impact, but then found this spot.

“That race [in Saratoga] didn’t come up till later, so rather than wait why not get another race into him down here?” Brown said. “This is a good race to tell us what to do at Saratoga – cut him back or stretch him out?”

Brown doesn’t see a lot of other speed in this field, so he is hoping jockey Javier Castellano can get him to relax the first part of the race while still on the lead.

Tazered was a hard-luck second in a $20,000 claimer here on June 9, when he broke terribly and rallied to get beat a neck by Deerslayer. He came back on nine days’ rest to finish third behind One Note Samba and Strong Impact. This will be his first start at seven furlongs.

Marvelous Chester is only 3 for 37 but he has finished second in his last two starts, both for Jason Servis. He was beaten a nose in a 5 1/2-furlong race at Monmouth June 3, a race from which three horses have come back to win.

Magical Season, third in a spot similar to this on June 1, and Renzo Bertoni, the only member of this field to have won going seven furlongs, are other contenders in here.

First post at Belmont Friday is 3 p.m. Eastern with a concert from Big Shot, a Billy Joel tribute band, scheduled to start shortly after the last race.