06/07/2007 12:00AM

Hill Prince preview


Friday, June 8, 2007
Belmont Park - Race 10
1 Mile (Turf)
Hill Prince Stakes (Grade 3)
Purse $100,000.

DISTORTED REALITY looked sharp pressing the pace at Keeneland two starts back over next-out 87 Beyer victor Mast Track, and the Pletcher homebred didn't have an easy trip last time out over yielding ground at Churchill Downs. That race - the Crown Royal American Turf - has already produced a pair of next-out winners, and Distorted Reality projects for a nice ground-saving trip under John Velazquez. The son of Distorted Humor hasn't done much wrong since being switched to the grass, and should be a handful at Belmont on Friday.
MARCAVELLY is very consistent, and it's quite possible that he didn't appreciate the soggy conditions at Churchill. He still finished ahead of Distorted Reality in the Crown Royal American Turf, and will now make the important third start of the form cycle with improving Beyers on display. He has fine tactical speed, and shouldn't be too far off the expected moderate pace when the field turns for home. CODEWORD has yet to win on American soil, but he just missed in his local prep race, and he seems to be rounding into his best form. That was his first race on grass with blinkers, and he figures to be charging hard in the stretch. The absence of a hot pace may somewhat compromise his kick, however, and he may be best played on the bottom of exotic wagers. STORM IN MAY was simply overmatched in the Kentucky Derby, but he's had plenty of time to recover from that taxing race, and he usually shows good early ability on the grass. The last time he tried the turf, he finished third behind Duveen (won Crown Royal American Turf in next start), and Soldier's Dancer (won Florida-bred stakes at Tampa Bay with 89 Beyer). Expect him to be forwardly-placed, and he would benefit from slow fractions.

1. Distorted Reality
2. Marcavelly
3. Codeword