PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Belmont Park races 2 to 8 for Thursday 25 May 2017
Belmont Park Race 2 (7.07pm)
Claiming $14,000 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Dirt
The comebacking Missy Mouse (6) has the best form. The last time she raced, she ran second in a higher priced claimer. That was last July. The booking of Jose Ortiz suggests she may be ready. The absence is a worry at her likely odds and there are likely bigger priced alternatives. Two Term Max (5) is one of them. She was claimed off a speed and fade effort last month. Prior to that, she rattled up back to back victories. Unlike last time, she is likely to have little competition for the early lead. The cut back to six furlongs is in her favour.
Katie Ice (1) is brought back on short rest after an even effort in a better claimer eight days ago. Cats Halo (2) and Lady Chocolotta (7) gets a class test after victories one-time career winners.
Two Term Max (5)
Belmont Park Race 3 (7.32pm)
Maiden Claiming $75,000 – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Many ways to go in this maiden claimer. A trio of these have already ran for sale. Presidential Bird (3) did the best of them, losing by a nose at Keeneland last month. He was claimed in Kentucky by a savvy trainer and has been subsequently gelded. His future probably lies over two turns but has a shot of running Rarest Quality (4) down and the rest late on. Wes Ward’s runner faded after attending brisk early fractions on his debut. He may be a different proposition second time out, especially if he makes the lead on his own. Killybegs Captain (5) may duel early with him. However, he did run his best race from stalk mode when second in a maiden claimer at Aqueduct seven weeks ago.
Townie (1) and River Deep (2) run first time for sale. The first named ran even in a maiden special weight on turf on debut. He is bred to handle dirt. Like River Deep, his pedigree suggests an off track won’t be an issue.
Love Your Buttons (6) makes his career debut for a sharp owner/trainer combo. He is from a winning family and could well be live at first asking.
Rarest Quality (4)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Presidential Bird (3) and Rarest Quality (4)
Belmont Park Race 4 (8.04pm)
Maiden Claiming $40,000 – New York bred fillies and mares - 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Turf
Trainer Graham Motion has heated up in recent days after a cold spell by his standards. His Paz the Wine (7) gets a tepid vote in what looks like a poor event for the level. She showed ability in maiden special weights as a juvenile. Running first time for sale on her reappearance earlier this month, she was an even fifth. That was after being bumped early on. She may be worth another chance.
Paz the Wine shaped well on her one start on dirt so has claims if this race is switched to the main track. That is also the case with the speedy Zenna (9). She had her two-year-old season cut short last summer. Not only does she run first time on grass but first time for sale.
A number of these fillies have been tackling the dirt but have shown ability on turf. Beautiful Nite Sky (10) ran third at Saratoga on her one try on debut and been on the main track since. Negev (6) started her career off with a trio of fair efforts on the grass in Florida. Sneaky Fudge Face (2) ran poorly on her return but did round out 2016 with a neck defeat at Aqueduct. Galway Girl (11) has a similar profile. She has one standout run over course and distance to her name.
Zeni (4) may be the best of the first time starters. She’s a half sister to numerous turf sprint winners and has showed ability in the mornings. Impazible Woman (3) attended the pace before fading badly on her debut. The margin of defeat doesn’t do her run justice. She looks interesting dropping in class for career start number two.
Paz the Wine (7)
Reversed Exacta (6 Bets) Impazible Woman (3), Zeni (4) and Paz the Wine (7)
Belmont Park Race 5 (8.36pm)
Claiming $40,000 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – Non winners of 2 races lifetime - 7 Furlongs - Turf
The late running Bahnahno (6) will be a player if this event is switched to the main track. She returns to the claiming ranks for her second start back after a lay off. The extra furlong of this event is in her favour.
If this race stays on the grass, Veil Dance (2) is likely to go off as the favourite. She’d been away for almost six months when a staying on fourth three weeks ago. That was over six furlongs and this longer distance will suit. She is also dropped significantly in class. There is a worry with her. Trainer Dave Donk has gone almost 20 starters at this meet without a winner.
The barn of Gary Gullo is hardly on fire too. His Scarlet Goddess (5) has upside here. Only two of her career races from a dozen starts have come on turf. She lost by a nose in one last summer and steadily faded over a mile in another. She looks well worth a try over seven furlongs and makes the same drop in class as Veil Dance. Kitty Maddnes (3) does also. She has to prove herself effective at this shorter trip and gives away a recency edge to her main rivals.
Nile Princess (1) appeared to excel herself finishing a neck behind Veil Dance earlier this month. Her supporters have been waiting over a year and 13 starts for career victory number two.
Scarlet Goddess (5)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Veil Dance (2) and Scarlet Goddess (5)
Belmont Park Race 6 (9.09pm)
Claiming $25,000 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Turf
Most of these gals are equally adept on dirt so if this race is switched, it should still be a competitive event. Reckless Humor (5) will be near to the head of the market no matter what the surface. She made a fine return to the turf at the end of last month. The five-year-old was second in a similar event over course and distance. She is a contender but a couple who finished behind her are interesting alternatives. Morethanjusthello (7) has a less than a length to find. Amber Morning (8) not much more. She was making her first start since November. If that race brings her on, she may reverse the form.
Vicki's Dancer (3) had been away almost a year when fading badly in a better event last month. This is a good spot for connections to ‘steal a purse’ dropping her sharply without much worry of her being claimed. She has to avoid a speed duel with pacey comebacker Katie O. (2).
The class dropping Dean's Ticket (4) is 0 for 12 on turf. She has ran well on the surface too many times not worry about the surface. Her trainer Chris Englehart is having a lean spell at Belmont.
Amber Morning (8)
Reversed Exacta (6 Bets) Vicki's Dancer (3), Reckless Humor (5) and Amber Morning (8)
Belmont Park Race 7 (9.41pm)
Claiming $40,000 – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile - Dirt
Quite a few of these have met in recent races. At the start of last month, Marriage Fever (4) finished a head in front of Praetereo (4) when they filled the places at this level at Aqueduct. Indycott (2) was only a nose in arrears and Paid Admission (7) not far behind. Just less than three weeks later, Praetereo was a neck winner from his old rival. All that quartet have claims in a wide-open event.
The remaining trio are backable if the price is right. The much improved Are We Not Men (6) has rattled up a hat-trick against lesser fields. His near six length victory earlier this month was a career best. Based on speed figures at least, he’s the one to beat.
Mishegas (1) is a newcomer to New York who has been competing well in arguably stringer fields at Oaklawn. He may be better over two turns but could be a late threat. J S Bach (5) has been racing in Kentucky but has been here before. He’s never won locally but did run a fine third in a stake here last summer. He is likely to be a price after a poor effort on turf (not his surface). At the likely odds, he gets a narrow vote.
J S Bach (5)
Belmont Park Race 8 (10.13pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Turf
The former John Gosden trained Swiss Range (4) went close on her North American debut last October in Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor. She pulled hard in restraint, close to a too fast pace in a Grade 2 on her return and faded badly. The Juddmonte owned filly gets massive class relief here. The big question is will this sprint distance be on the short side. Meeting quicker rivals may mean Javier Castellano can get her to settle better than she did on comeback.
Elegant Supermodel (2) has been running well at Gulfstream in similar events over two turns. She has form including a stakes runner up over a short as five furlongs. One Last Shot (6) and Rumble Doll (8) filled the places behind a convincing winner over seven furlongs last month. Both have form at this trip. The last named mare was making her 2017 comeback. Lamontagne (7) hasn’t ran to her best in two starts this year in Kentucky. She is a two-time winner locally.
Tejana (3) is likely to be all the rage if this event is switched to the main track. One Last Shot (6) and Rumble Doll (8) have won on the dirt. Seeking Paradise (5) and Lamontagne (7) have interesting pedigrees for the surface.
Swiss Range (4)