05/26/2007 11:00PM

Metropolitan Handicap preview


Monday, May 28, 2007
Belmont Park - Race 8
1 Mile
Metropolitan Handicap (Grade 1)
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $800,000

SUN KING never saw the inside over a rail-biased track in his return to the races in the Westchester Handicap, but he did experience his share of trouble. He made a premature three wide move to the front on the far turn, and was crowded while in between horses in the stretch. All in all, it was a hard race that should set him up nicely for the Met Mile, and he looked good in the gallop-out. Sun King just missed in last year's Met Mile, and gave Invasor all he could handle in the Whitney at Saratoga. He has quality, and should get a good pace to attack in the late stages.
ACCOUNTFORTHEGOLD is cross-entered at Monmouth on Memorial Day, but he may be a longshot to watch if he runs here. The speedy runner earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure over this track and trip last fall, and he's been racing in excellent form. He's fast from the gate, but has also successfully rated in his career. Either way, he shouldn't be too far away when they swing into the stretch. SILENT NAME has yet to race on conventional dirt, but he overcame a closer-friendly Polytrack to post a pace-pressing score in the Commonwealth at Keeneland. He draws a comfortable outside post position, and projects for a fine stalking trip while racing clear of traffic trouble. He defeated three next-out winners at Keeneland, and shouldn't be ignored. LAWYER RON smoked his opposition in the Oaklawn Handicap, and the last-place finisher that day returned to post a winning 105 Beyer Speed Figure in his next start. Lawyer Ron showed his affinity for one-turn routes when winning his seasonal debut at Gulfstream over Istan (won next two starts in stakes company with 101 and 107 Beyers), and B. B. Best (next ran third in the Artax Handicap with 102 Beyer). Lawyer Ron goes out for the Pletcher juggernaut, and his fine tactical speed should serve him well.
SILVER WAGON has rung up triple-digit Beyers in 13 of 24 starts, and he has looked good in all of his starts this year. After a failed attempt to rally over a speed-favoring surface in the Sunshine Millions Classic, Silver Wagon rolled off convincing victories in the General George at Laurel, and the Carter at Aqueduct (over next-out 110 Beyer winner Diabolical). Silver Wagon goes out for red-hot connections, but is 0 for 7 in route races. LATENT HEAT was used up setting a hot pace in the Carter, and must avoid a duel with HALF OURS in the Met Mile. When he's able to relax, he's one of the top sprinters in the country, and he won over this track and distance last fall. Expect him to be among the leaders when the real running gets underway.

1. Sun King
2. Accountforthegold
3. Silent Name