Race 1: 1-2-4
(1) H Man has been knocking on the door at Aqueduct in his last 4 starts for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and will be asked to stretch from 6.5F to 7 F, but should get a cozy spot breaking from the rail chasing likely favorite and main speed A True Giant. Manny Franco will be back in the irons for the 3rd straight time.
(2) A True Giant is listed as the 6/5 M/L favorite after breaking his maiden first time out for Rudy Rodriguez posting a 90 Bris figure in the process. He faces winners for the first time, but was asked last time and he may find this field tougher than those he faces last time. Still he will be a single for many in this spot.
(4) Proletariat has chased H Man a couple times over the winter at Aqueduct, but finished behind that foe both times. He looks to be the best of the rest and should sit just off the early speed in here under Kendrick Carmouche.
Race 2: 4-7-12
(4) Carrick will make his career debut going first time out for trainer Tom Morley and attracts Javier Castellano for the ride. While his recent workouts are average at best he is well bred (Giant’s Causeway / How Far to Heaven) for the turf, and isn’t meeting a particularly strong field in the $40K maiden claiming event.
(7) Big Agenda ships up from Tampa Bay Downs after finishing 2nd in four consecutive events but does own some of the best figures in the field. Maybe this will be the day that he finally comes out on the right side of a photo finish.
(12) Untraceable goes returns to the turf after spending his last 2 races on the dirt for trainer Chad Brown who is always dangerous with that move. Jose Ortiz will ride as Untraceable drops in for a tag for the first time in his career.
Race 3: 6-3-1
(6) Holiday Disguise posted a nice off the pace victory in last month’s Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct over her stable mate Sounds Delicious and should get another nice set up with all the speed signed despite cutting back a half furlong.
(3) Chalon makes her 2nd start back off the layoff after winning a stake down at Laurel Park on April 21st in her first race for trainer Arnaud Delacour (previously trained by Peter Miller). Last June Chalon posted the best performance of her career winning the Jersey Girl by 6 ½ lengths over this Belmont Park dirt course.
(1) Sounds Delicious finished 2nd (placed 4th through disqualification) to our top pick and her Linda Rice trained stable mate Holiday Disguise last time out, but cuts back in distance and should be prominent from the start under Jose Ortiz.
Race 4: 10-7-9-5
(10) Singapore Trade returns off a 9 month layoff for trainer Todd Pletcher. The son of Flatter ran well when last seen finishing 2nd at this level on the turf at Saratoga. His recent workouts are solid and he should be live even off the long layoff.
(7) Everyonelovesjames is one of two Linda Rice entrants in here and will be making his first start on turf after a failed try on dirt in his career debut last month. His turf numbers are ok, and his most recent workout is solid. Jose Ortiz takes the call.
(9) Lem Me Tel Ya finished 2nd ahead of the other Linda Rice horse (the 3-1 M/L favorite Scatsuku) last time out on the turf at Aqueduct and should be sharper today. He should find himself in a nice striking position just off the pace.
(5) Ferrad’s Party was pulled up in his last race on the dirt at Aqueduct, and while that is always a concern (his two workouts since have been slower than he has shown in the past) he did run 2 solid figures in his only turf races last year and reunites with jockey Joel Rosario who was on him for both of those races.
Race 5: 7-10-8
(7) American Guru comes in off a sparkling performance in an allowance race last time out on the turf at Aqueduct in which he earned a 97 Bris figure while improving his career record to 2 for 2. Since then he shows a bullet work and looms the heavy favorite despite meeting a talented field of older stakes winning horses in here.
(10) Tombelaine makes his first start for trainer Brad Cox after a disappointing effort in Keeneland’s Shakertown. The son of First Defence has kept good company taking on some of the better turf sprinters over the past year, and gets a bit of class relief here. Tombelaine owns a 5-3-1-1 record over this course at Belmont Park.
(8) Macagone is a hard hitting NY Bred who may be suited better going a bit longer than the distance off this 7 furlong event, but could find himself with a favorable set up and could be along late to be a part of the number.
Race 6: 7-9-2
(7) Mr. Buff turned in a disappointing effort weakening to 4th last time out after turning in a big time effort finishing 2nd to the brilliant Backyard Heaven two back. The NY bred son of Friend Or Foe should once again find himself on the lead, and I expect him to rebound and be very tough to track down in the lane.
(9) Souper Catch ships up from Gulfstream Park after a pair of 2nd place finishes. He steps up in class today, but his numbers make him competitive with this group. He may be one of Mr. Buff’s early challengers.
(2) Patch, everyone’s favorite one eyed race horse, makes his return off a 9 month layoff for trainer Todd Pletcher and shows a series of steady workouts. The likely race favorite will be taking a sharp drop in class after competing in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont stakes last year, but it’s worth noting that the lone victory of his brief career was in a 46K MSW at Gulfstream Park.
Race 7: 3-2-9
(3) Mascarello turned in a useful effort finishing 2nd in his 2018 debut at Aqueduct just missing late. He’s eligible to improve 2nd off the layoff for trainer H. James Bond and will be our tentative pick in a wide open affair.
(2) Cloontia will make his 2018 debut off a November layoff for Jimmy Jerkens. The NY bred son of Sidney’s Candy has faced good competition in the past, and has shown an affinity for Belmont Park with 3 wins and 2 seconds from 9 starts over the course. It’s worth noting that Jose Ortiz will take the call on Cloontia after also riding Mascarello in his last 2 races.
(9) Inheritthewind steps up off a win at Aqueduct in his first start for trainer Linda Rice when sitting just off the pace and getting up late. His best figures do not match up well with some of the other contenders, but we can see the well bred son of Tapit taking another step forward here.
Race 8: 1-4-3
(1) Skyler’s Scramjet drops out of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap where he finished 4th behind arguably one of the best horses in training Army Mule. Prior to that race the Michelle Nevin trainee won the Grade 3 Tom Fool at Aqueduct. He should find himself stalking just off the early lead of Westwood and Green Gratto and be well positioned turning for home.
(4) Great Stuff returns to the dirt after a failed turf try last time out. Prior to that Great Stuff was 3rd ahead of Skyler’s Scramjet in the Carter and 3rd behind him when he won the Tom Fool 3 back. Great Stuff is a deep closer and should appreciate the pace, but we will use him 2nd and our top pick should have the jump on him turning for home.
(3) King Kranz steps up off a nice win down at Aqueduct in which he just got up late for his 2nd consecutive victory. He is another that should sit just off the early lead and be in an ideal spot to make a move late if he is good enough.
Race 9: 2-6-4
(2) Inflexibility steps back up in class after a sharp score off the bench in his 2018 debut. Going out for top trainer Chad Brown, this daughter of Scat Daddy should be in prime stalking position early and poised to fire her best effort 2nd off the bench.
(6) A Raving Beauty also goes out for the Chad Brown barn and will be making her US and 2018 debut after finishing 2nd in the Grade 1 Premio Lydia Tesio in Italy last October. She has worked out sharply for this race, and Brown is always dangerous with these types.
(4) Lido steps up and ships in from Keeneland looking for her 3rd consecutive win for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The daughter of Street Cry should find herself sitting just off the early pace under jockey Luis Saez.
Race 10: 6-5-1-3
(6) High North ships in from Oaklawn Park after winning the Northern Spur when he showed a new tactic dueling on the early lead before pulling away late under Florent Geroux who retains the mount today. Prior to that High North faced stiff competition including Magnum Moon, Bravazo and Enticed: all of who ran in last weeks Kentucky Derby.
(5) Diamond King ships up from Laurel after winning the Frederico Tesio Stakes for trainer John Servis. Like our top pick he too dueled for the lead in his race before getting clear late. Javier Castellano picks up the mount for the Peter Pan.
(1) Core Beliefs finished 3rd in last months Santa Anita Derby behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner Justify and now ships east for trainer Peter Eurton. Likely the favorite, Core Beliefs may be apt to saving ground from his inside post before making his move.
(3) Just Whistle broke his maiden last time out at Keeneland for trainer Michael Matz posting a 97 Bris figure and now steps up against winners for the first time. This seems to be an improving colt that has a future, and while this race may prove a little too deep he may be one to keep your eye on moving forward.
Race 11: 9-7-2-8
(9) One Go All Go ships in from Keeneland after a wire to wire score in the 1 ½ mile Dixiana Elkhorn stakes and will look to employ that same tactic here cutting back to 1 3/8 miles under regular jockey Chris Landeros. The Virginia bred son of Fairbanks always seems to give an honest effort, but will have to out duel rival Hi Happy who has gotten the better of him twice.
(7) Hi Happy ships up from Gulfstream park after defeating our top pick in the 1 ½ mile Pan American. In that race Hi Happy sat 2nd right off of One Go All Go before taking over and kicking clear in the stretch for trainer Todd Pletcher. Luis Saez retains the mount.
(2) Sadler’s Joy makes his 3rd start of the year after finishing a dull 4th as the favorite behind both Hi Happy and One Go All Go in the Pan American. However, the Grade 1 winning son of Kitten’s Joy may be sharper 3rd time out and will be making his normal big charge late under regular pilot Julien Leparoux.
(8) Bigger Picture finished 7th behind our top 3 picks in the Pan American last time out, but he should be able to sit a nice stalking trip off of the leaders before making his run. He owns 4 wins and 2 seconds from 7 starts over this track for Mike Maker.
Good luck with your handicapping and betting today ladies and gentlemen. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me on twitter @JasonNYM.