We're back for a Thursday, and here in the Northeast, it's raining. But rather than looking to another part of the county, some place where it's dry, we're going to go to Elmont, New York, and play the slop at Belmont. We like rainy days, so we will embrace our inner child, and rather than complain about the weather, we'll go outside and jump in a puddle, and try to identify horses who will handle the off going.
As of press time Thursday morning, NYRA had not announced changes, but the Long Island radar was positively lugubrious, so we are anticipating a sloppy track, and the scheduled turf races coming off the grass. Let's go . . .
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We'll start in Race 2 (3:36 p.m. ET), a Maiden Special for New York-bred fillies and mares 3 and up. We like 3-Lady Macho. This 3-year-old daughter of Mucho Macho Man is entered for the main track only, and we think that the skies will reward the prescience of trainer Bruce Levine. Lady Macho finished a good second in a similar off-the-turf maiden race on May 5, and a repeat of that here will put her in the winner's circle. We will bet her to win at 5-2.
Belmont Park Race 2
$40 W on 3-Lady Macho
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Race 3 (4:07 p.m.) is a 6-furlong dirt $12,500 claimer. It almost looks too easy: 1-Professor Snape has superior speed figures, the most early speed, superior off-track form, and an inside post. He was claimed last out, but new conditioner Mike Miceli is good in this spot, winning at a 25% with horses making their first start after being claimed. Everything adds up to go for Professor Snape. He will go right to the front and shouldn't look back. We will bet him to win, and we will do so enthusiastically − and he should make Harry Potter fans everywhere smile.
Belmont Park Race 3
$50 W on 1-Professor Snape
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Race 4 (4:38 p.m.) is a 1 1/16 mile Maiden Special Weight race for females 3 and older. It's scheduled for the turf, but we're expecting it to be moved to the main track. We like first-time starter 6-Passive Investing. Her breeding (by Tiznow out of a Distorted Humor mare) suggests that she will relish the wet going. We just hope that trainer Chad Brown does not scratch her because of the surface change. We will bet her to win at 5-2 and hope she runs.
Belmont Park Race 4
$25 W on 6-Passive Investing
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Race 6 (5:42 p.m.) is a $40k maiden claimer at 1 1/16 miles. It is scheduled for turf, but will likely be moved to dirt. This is another race that almost looks too easy. Main-track-only entrant 3-Ari's Naughty Luca towers over the rest of the field, and being out of top off-track sire Mineshaft, she should take to the slop the way a duck takes to water. We will bet her to win at 7-5.
Belmont Park Race 6
$30 W on 3-Ari's Naughty Luca
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For a nightcap, we'll play the 8th (6:46 p.m.), a first-level allowance at 6 furlongs on dirt. And we'll continue our embrace of the chalk-eating weasel in all of us. We like 6-5 morning-line favorite 1-Carrera Cat. This is another horse with superior speed figs, superior early speed, superior off-track form, and an inside post, and they all add up to another easy if obvious pick. We'll bet him to win.
Belmont Park Race 8
$40 W on 1-Carrera Cat
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That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.