by Frank Carulli
May 27, 2022
Belmont racegoers will have to be in a New York stake of mind to handicap the 50-cent Late Pick 4 on Friday. Two of the races in the sequence – including a 12-horse maiden claimer on the turf -- are for statebreds and the remaining two races feature three New York breds at single-digit odds on the morning line. Here’s a look at the action:
BEL 6th race (3:34 EST) -- STONE CREATOR chased and held second behind stakes three-peater Yo Cuz (3-5, $399k) at 7F and one mile, then was overtaken by a 27-1 longshot in a 1-1/16 mile allowance after she took the lead while in-hand at the 3/8-pole and gave way in the final furlong. She breezed 4F in :48 since her last start, wears blinkers for the first time and holds a tactical advantage over her main rivals. GALLINA will need all the pace she can get in her first start since February. She launched a bold rally inside rivals on the final turn, shied twice in the stretch from a left-handed stick but straightened out in time to pass by Norman Queen (2-4, $82k), one of three easy winners to exit that 7F race in the slop.
BEL 7th race (4:08 EST) -- COUSIN ANDREW had a nightmare trip when he last sprinted on the turf in the winter. He lacked running room throughout and finished full of run between rivals in a double-key race. JUULSTONE, no threat in a fast allowance in his first short sprint try on the turf, worked forwardly leading up to that race and adds blinkers today. His dam, Hessonite, was 9-18 and a Grade III winner on the lawn, albeit going a route of ground. FAST N FEARIOUS ran away from a weak field, but he enters a barn that wins with 27 percent of its claims and 30 percent of its turf sprinters, so use him. BLAME THE BOOZE, targeted for the turf from the onset of his career, followed an appearance in the 2020 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint as a 2-year-old with only one start last season, a troubled third in a one-mile allowance. He, too, can awaken in the Wesley Ward barn.
BEL 8th race (4:40 EST) -- FOREST CARAWAY won a 6F, entry-level allowance off a 10-month layoff as a 3-year-old, now begins his 4-year-old season after 8 months away. He debuts for trainer Todd Pletcher off a series of strong workouts at Saratoga. ELOQUENT SPEAKER rallied 4-wide to win an allowance off the claim, then dueled and just missed in a 7F stakes race against hard-hitting NY-bred Bank Sting (7-10, $487k), before he failed as the odds-on favorite in a 2X allowance. ROSSA VELOCE ranged up 4-wide and pulled away to foil BETSY BLUE’S three-peat attempt and surpass $100k in allowance earnings this year.
BEL 9th race (5:12 EST) -- Go deep in this maiden claimer on the turf. TEMPERMENTAL, unhurried until late turn and blocked in early stretch, split rivals to finish second as the favorite. JET SET JULIET led until late in a promising debut last fall but hasn’t run since that main-track dirt sprint. Her dam won 3 of 4 races to start her career but was unraced on turf. WAR IN PARADISE contended until the stretch in a pair of crowded turf routes and is a viable price on the cutback in distance. SWEET LIES took money with first-time Lasix, raced 5-wide after a bumpy start and faded in a one-mile dirt race that produced two, next-out MSW winners. COOLCATSNKITTENS gets Lasix for her seasonal debut for a barn that boasts percentages of 20-plus with second-time starters, turf sprinters, MSW droppers and 180-day layoff types.
Suggested 50-cent Ticket
BEL 6th Race: 4, 5
BEL 7th Race: 3, 4, 6, 9
BEL 8th Race: 2, 5, 7
BEL 9th Race: 2, 3, 7, 8, 11