We are going to focus most of our energy on Belmont Park the next couple of weeks, because even though there is no Triple Crown on the line this year, that June 8 card at Belmont -- which the folks at NYRA call the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival -- has become one of the best days of racing of the year: there are so many stakes races run that it's almost a mini Breeders Cup card. We are looking forward to it.
Belmont is dark until Thursday. We'll have to look elsewhere until then, and that means Indiana Grand, where there's a very acceptable back-to-work Tuesday card. There are nine races, at a variety of distances, and on both surfaces. The weather is iffy in Indiana, but since the chance for rain is less than even-money, we'll handicap for a fast main track and firm turf. Let's go . . .
The 2nd in Indiana (post time: 2:43 pm; as always, all times here are Eastern) is a maiden special weight for fillies and mares 3 and up. There are eight entrants, including some highly bred and expensive horses: there are runners in here sired by Tapit, Twirling Candy, and two by Uncle Mo; and there are multiple runners who sold for $250k or more, including one, 2-Celebrity Glitter, who sold for $500,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2016. It's an impressive lineup for a Tuesday at a minor track.
We like that $500k filly, Celebrity Glitter: she's been away a long time, with her last race at Aqueduct in December of 2017, and today she makes her first start for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox. She switches from turf to dirt, and from routing to sprinting; this, plus the layoff, is a lot to ask, but she's been working well in the mornings, and Cox is good with all these angles (over 25% win rate with turf-to-dirt, horses coming off long layoffs, route-to sprint, and first start in his barn). This, plus her inherent class, is enough for us to pick her on top; we will bet Celebrity Glitter to win at 3-1.
The Bet: Indiana Grand Race 2
$25 to win on 2-Celebrity Glitter.
Race 5 at Indiana is a first-level allowance at a mile on the turf for horses 3 and up. A full field of 12 is entered, and post time is 4:07 pm. The pick here is 9-Remembermis. This 6-year-old gelding is a grizzeld vet, but he's been running well since moving to the Tom Amoss barn at the beginning of the year, and he has the best late kick. There are horses in here with speed, so a quick early pace seems likely, and we think that sets up for a good stretch run from Remembermis. We'll bet him to win at 7-2.
The Bet: Indiana Grand Race 5
$20 to win on 9-Remembermis.
The 7th at Indiana (post time: 5:03 pm) is a maiden special at a mile on the turf for Indiana-bred fillies and mares 3 and up. We're going for a long shot here, and it's 4-Navy Strong. This 4-year-old filly has been sprinting on the dirt, and we think going long on turf will suit her. And to be diplomatic, we'll say that she's not going to have to be the second coming of Godlikova to win this one. In a race where the favorites all look terrible, we'll take a shot at a price. We will bet Navy Strong to win.
The Bet: Indiana Grand Race 7
$20 to win on 4-Navy Strong.
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.