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Handicapping Belmont’s Friday P5

by Brian Nadeau

June 23, 2017

With a bit of a lull in racing (on this side of the pond, at least), let’s take a look at Friday’s Pk5 at Belmont, which kicks off their twilight card of racing.

Race 1: 3upfm MSW going 7 furlongs on the Widener turf

Clearly #2 SPRING FOLLY will take some beating, after an encouraging 3rd going 6 furlongs in her debut, but it’s also not like she’s overwhelming on paper, so I’m not willing to stand alone with her. I don’t pretend to know who Giuseppe Santulli is, but #5 DYNAMICGIANTGIRL has been training unbelievably well and, with Dynaformer on the bottom of her pedigree, has a solid female family, and all that alone is enough to make her a must-use in this modest field. You also have to give #3 KINKY SOX a look, as Roy Lerman will make a wave or two in NY each summer, and this gal ran well against open maidens in Tampa and now runs with Lasix on for the first time on the turf. If you want to spread a bitter deeper, I guess it’s somewhat noteworthy that Javier Castellano gets aboard #1 Fancy Gem for Rudy Rodriguez, but her debut—on the turf—was abysmal, and it’s worth nothing she was 17-1 that day too.

Pk5 horses (listed in order of preference): 2-5-3

Race 2: 3up 50k starter-allowance going 1-mile

With arguably the trickiest race of the sequence, the only way to truly feel safe would be to hit the ALL-ball, but that’s not in the budget here, so let’s see if we can get home using #1 PLANET TRAILBLAZER, who should like the expected energetic pace and stretch to a mile, and #5 PHAT MAN, who impressed me in his NY debut, may like the half-furlong cutback, and should get first run off the speed too. Obviously #2 Noble and True, #7 Vilma and #6 Cournoyer have big chances, but they all have knocks too, which make them a bit unattractive on a budget ticket.

Pk5 horses: 1-5

Race 3: 3up 50k claimer going 6 ½ furlongs

Where’s the speed, folks? It’s with #5 DROVER CRAZY, and no one else, and that’s why we’ve found out single, as he looks like a Lone f in a paceless race, will like the drop in class and goes off the claim for Rodriguez and Mike Dubb, who are a potent combo in this type of spot. If you’re spreading, the 1-entry for Robertino Diodoro hits hard, as does ML favorite #3 Luna de Loco for Brad Cox, but they’ll all be chasing the pick early, which will hurt their chances late.

Pk5 horse: 5

Race 4: 3up MSW going 1 1/16 miles on the turf

I’m not in love with the five chances that #2 NOW IN A DRIVE has had, but his two runs with Lasix have been much, much better, and he did draw perfectly here, so he gets the tepid top nod. Clearly #9 SENTRY is the horse to beat, and has a ton of upside off just two starts, but this post did him no help, and the short price isn’t appealing either. For a longshot, I’m tossing in #8 BUSHMILL’S LEGEND, who didn’t have much of a chance over a quick course in two Gulfstream Park starts, but still ran on nicely from the back, and then simply went too far going 1 ¼ miles in his local debut. Spread tickets can use #5 NINETY ONE ASSAULT and maybe even #1 LUCULLAN, but they seem a decided cut behind the top pair, and maybe even my price play as well.

Pk5 horses: 2-9-8

Race 5: 2yo New York-bred MSW going 5 ½ furlongs

The definition of a puzzle, but with a single earlier on, we can spread a bit and try to cover as many bases as possible, which is never a bad idea in a race where all 10 runners are 2yo firsters. The three main protagonists look like #4 COLLECTIVE EFFORT, #5 SINGAPORE TRADER and #3 FIVE STAR BUNT, as they all have either trained well (certainly the former), or go for potent connections (the latter two). I’m also going to toss in #2 BAD GUY, who has worked sharply for this, and I just love seeing that stamina-building 5F work last time out. No one else really inspires on paper, as they go for low percentage connections, especially in terms of first-time starters; so if they beat me, so be it.

Pk5 horses: 4-5-3-2

The ticket: 2-5-3 with 1-5 with 5 with 2-9-8 with 4-5-3-2 for $36