First post time is 3:59 pm EDT
Belmont Park and Keeneland have good cards today, and we have a pair of races from each. We expect hot conditions at both, as well as fast dirt and firm turf. Let’s go.
Maiden Special Weight, 7 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A good field of ten goes in this maiden race. We like 4 - Orsay, a 3-year-old daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. She ran twice last fall, doing pretty well on the dirt in her career debut, which was at Belmont in October, and then much less well going long on the turf at Aqueduct in November. She comes into this race off a layoff, goes from turf to dirt, and cuts back from a route to a sprint. We don’t blame her connections for trying turf in her last, as Pharoah’s progeny have done surprisingly well on turf, but at this point that looks like a failed experiment, and Orsay looks to us like a dirt horse. We expect big improvement from her coming off the bench today, and that means a trip to the winner’s circle. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 6, $35 to win on 4 - Orsay.
Allowance, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A full field of 12 will go to the starting gate in this race. It’s a wide-open affair, and we’re going with the filly that we think has the best late kick: it’s 6 - A K’s Song, who broke her maiden two back on the synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, and then just missed in her next start, a turf allowance at Keeneland in October. She’s a stone-cold deep closer, and these horses are usually at the mercy of the pace in front of them; in this race, we think there will be enough of it to set up her late charge. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Keeneland, Race 7, $35 to win on 6 - A K’s Song.
(Editor's Note: AK's Song was scratched.)
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
This first-level allowance at a mile on the turf drew a field of eight. There’s a noticeable lack among the group of any kind of early pace, which has us looking for a colt who’s going to be forwardly placed through what we expect to be very slow fractions. That is 2 - Assiduously, who ran against lesser company in Florida over the winter, and while he will need to improve to win this, we think that the shape of the race, primarily pace, is going to favor him, and when good horses face favorable conditions, they usually run the best race they are capable of running. He’s trained by Chad Brown and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz; this combination is a big plus, as they’ve both been hot lately, especially Ortiz. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 7, $35 to win on 2 - Assiduously.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This is tough second-level allowance drew ten female horses. We like the morning line favorite, 8 - Dos Vinos. Keeneland’s main track was pretty speed-favoring yesterday, and Dos Vinos has speed to burn, and an outside post position in this one-turn race, which is a tactical advantage. She may go right for the lead, or she may stalk, and this is the luxury of drawing outside: rider Mitchell Murrill can wait to see how the race unfolds before he commits to using her early speed. Whether she sets the pace or sits off it, we see the end result as the same, which is a trip to the winner’s circle for Dos Vinos. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $40 to win on 8 - Dos Vinos.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.