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Homeland Security (2) passes Savannah Belle in the homestretch to capture the 2018 River Memories Stakes at Belmont Park
Homeland Security (2) passes Savannah Belle in the homestretch to capture the 2018 River Memories Stakes at Belmont Park|NYRA

Thoroughbreds Friday - McMudder Picks Races at Belmont Park, Monmouth, Laurel

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Hot and humid and disgusting. At least it should be cooler Friday afternoon than Thursday.

Mick wants to expand on his comments regarding sweaty horses. Apparently some of you thought Mick meant that horse should not sweat prerace. That is not correct. If you are standing at the fence watching the horses walk over and you are drenched in sweat, then the horse should be sweating, too. That is why most paddocks have hoses at the ready for a cooling shower and some grooms will have a bucket of ice water with a sponge for some more directed cooling. All of this is so the horse can maintain their core temperature in a good range. The horses still need to warm up their muscles but it is up to the rider to get the effort/heat metric right and a washed out horse entering the gate is one that got the metrics wrong.

Weather: Sunny, humid, chance of storms. Rinse and repeat for the next 60 days?

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Belmont Race 7 (4:45 p.m. ET) – River Memories Stakes

So how big of an advantage is having a global thoroughbred operation? Juddmonte has 8-Gaining and 10-Scottish Jig in the race after arriving recently in the U.S. and showing immediate promise. Why are they Stateside? Lasix. Both immediately went on Lasix for their first U.S. starts. And it appears to be doing its job, although both were Stakes winners in Europe so they were well intentioned. Wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to just ship horses wherever they fit best, even if it was on another continent? And on the subject of not being afraid to ship horses, Augustin Stables has 6-Theodora B. and 9-Pamina in this field, both trained by racing’s Mad Genius Michael Dickinson. This is another operation that plays on both sides of the Atlantic. And 1-Ferdinanda seems to always hit the board so she needs to be in the mix, too.

Belmont Race 7
$10 W/P/S 10-Scottish Jig
$2 Exacta box 6,10
$1 Trifecta box 1,6,8,10
$0.10 Superfecta box 1,6,8,10

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Laurel Race 6 (3:45 p.m.)

So remember when Mick talked about jockeys picking which races to ride? Both Victor Carrasco and Alex Cintron are on live mounts in this race, 1-Monaco Princess and 7-Viradia, respectively. Why does this matter? Because they are named to ride the Augustin/Dickinson horses in the 7th at Belmont. So where do they show up? Bet them where they show up. Everybody likes to ride for winners and Carrasco is 23% for the trainer here but 100% for Dickinson while Cintron has no recent starts for trainer Steve Asmussen (although he could have 60 in a month if Asmussen wanted to name him . . . ) but is 43% for Dickinson. Let the riders make your choice. 2-Rag Top gets back to a better distance and should be close. 5-Wicked Awesome gets back to dirt after an ill-fated turf attempt. Needs pace to run at late.

Laurel Race 6
$10 W/P/S 1-Monaco Princess
$2 Exacta box 1,7
$1 Trifecta box 1,2,7
$0.10 Superfecta box 1,2,5,7

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Monmouth Race 3 (2:12 p.m.)

Maiden New Jersey bred 2 year olds. Usually, state bred races are all about connections and this is no different. Two in here from owner/breeder Isabelle de Tomaso, a woman that knows about going fast and horsepower (don’t trust Mick . . . check out when she won Sebring on four wheels) but both appear to be here for the experience as much as the result. 9-Rigged Election comes from the barn with more success with firsters but 1-Irish Mias comes from the connections that brought you Irish War Cry and he won at first asking. 4-Twisted Deeds appears to check a lot of boxes for a firster − top rider, good trainer for firsters, and a good work tab. Dam tail pedigree even says quick. 3-Onethingoranother comes in for trainer Michelle Nihei who is having a tough year but this one looks well-placed and the partnership with rider Chris DeCarlo is solid. If you don’t dig reading up on Isabelle de Tomaso’s motoring exploits maybe you can read Michelle Nihei’s Ph.D. dissertation.

Monmouth Race 3
$10 W/P/S 4-Twisted Deeds
$2 Exacta box
$1 Trifecta box 1,4,9
$0.10 Superfecta box 1,3,4,9

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Belmont Race 8 (5:18 p.m.) – Victory Ride Stakes G3
Who doesn’t love 2-Cookie Dough? Gets both class and distance relief here.

Monmouth Race 6 (3:30 p.m.)
8-Nancysaidso is taking a colossal drop. She has to be better than these . . . right?

Laurel Race 1 (1:10 p.m.)
1-Emma’sdiamonddiva is taking the plunge, too. If she can get out of the gate somewhat timely this should be easy but she needs to stop spotting the field double-digit lengths.

Laurel Race 3 (2:11 p.m.)
2-Wild Cappucino makes the trip from Charles Town and brings a pilot. Very good work tab for this barn.

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