After a fantastic opening weekend at Belmont Park, we start the new week with a very competitive eight-race card. We have two maiden special weight (MSW) races to preview as part of this Wednesday afternoon:
Belmont Meet Statistics (9/6 through 9/8):
|Races||Top 4 Wins||Top 4 Exactas||Top 4 Trifectas||Top 4 Supers|
Race 1: $75,000 MSW for 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the dirt
In his debut at Saratoga on August 10, #6 Ox Bridge (8/5) ran the best out of any runner not named Gozilla, who won going away before finishing a competitive third in the Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1) later in the meet. Todd Pletcher found him a much softer spot here, and he should enjoy stretching out from his 6-furlong debut.
Peter Brant and Chad Brown enter the coupled #1 Basie and #1A Brewmeister. Basie has been training like an absolute monster; expect him to fire right out of the gate. Brewmeister comes into this spot with a race under his belt, albeit on the turf. If both entries make the field, then expect Basie to make his way to the front and set up his stablemate for a stretch run late.
Kiaran McLaughlin has had a rough start to the meet (0-for-5), but wise bettors know better than to doubt any of his runners stretching out in their second starts (21%). #3 Ajaaweed (7/2) maintained solid position throughout in his debut but never fired after Luis Saez forced him to go five-wide. Joel Rosario gets the call this time and should better suit this colt’s running style. Expect Rosario to take him off the pace and fire home late while hoping for a quick pace up front.
#5 Starting Over (6/1) debuts for Jonathan Thomas over a track that his sire, Liam’s Map, broke his maiden. His recent 5-furlong workout suggests that the distance shouldn’t bother him, and it helps that John Velazquez gets the call from a barn for which he doesn’t ride often.
Ricky’s Picks: 6-1/1A-3-5