ANAL­Y­SIS

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Belmont -

BEST BET: RACE 1, DUNCASTLE

FIRST RACE

DUNCASTLE’s two best races to date have come on turf, in­clud­ing that last one when mak­ing a bold wide run to con­tention from the back vs. a bet­ter field; price comes down off that last one but he tough if run­ning that race back. Not sure IDEN­TITY POL­I­TICS is ex­it­ing the strong­est race in the world, but he ran pretty well there to gain some ground af­ter hav­ing to steady at the start; back to dis­tance of his de­but where he was only sec­ond-best to Greek Al­pha­bet who was re­turn­ing from a lay­off mak­ing his turf de­but. CAROM has run the same race all three times while rat­ing off the early pace and then rac­ing on late without enough to con­tend; slight cut back in dis­tance could help.

SEC­OND RACE

IN­FIELD IS IN is com­pro­mised by his run­ning style more of­ten than not but he was rac­ing on good form ear­lier this year, and he has had no chance in his last two starts on the drop, first when stum­bling badly at the start, then when stretched all the way out in a race that was dom­i­nated on the lead; giv­ing him the chance to turn it back around off the claim as a new geld­ing. IN­DUS­TRIAL LOGIC didn’t win ei­ther of his two dirt starts last month, in­clud­ing one as an odds-on fa­vorite over a sloppy track, but he might have been best both times; fits well here and picks up Irad. ROCKIN JO is more of a turf horse and has had trou­ble fin­ish­ing on both sur­faces, but his speed plays in this race with few other con­firmed speeds signed on; BLURRED LINE could show some speed here as he drops way down in class to make his dirt de­but for a dan­ger­ous trainer; not sure he’s that good but he could be the right kind of new face in this field.

THIRD RACE

PAY THE PRICE ran well on a con­tested pace two starts back at a price then re­turned to con­test things again and ac­tu­ally ran well de­spite get­ting out­fin­ished by a cou­ple of these horses late; back to six fur­longs in a race where he has a chance to get a lit­tle more com­fort­able early, which could make all the dif­fer­ence. HOT MESA was off last be­hind PAY THE PRICE last time then ad­vanced four-wide around the turn and gamely tried to drive down the lead­ers all through the stretch be­fore just miss­ing; has run well in his last two starts but he has not been a good gate horse and needs to break with the field this time. VIA CASTAGNA has one race that lays over this field and the pos­i­tive view on him is that he is rac­ing him­self back into shape af­ter miss­ing some time; gave way read­ily off the lay­off but he took a run at PAY THE PRICE on the lead last time and did ul­ti­mately get a brief ad­van­tage on him be­fore let­ting go late.

FOURTH RACE

DI­A­MOND PLAY went to Suf­folk off the claim and posted a rel­a­tively easy win from off the pace to con­tinue her good run of turf races dat­ing back to last sum­mer; seems to fi­nally be con­cen­trat­ing on grass, but her dirt form is also solid if we are off the turf again. FREE N CLEAR hasn’t won a race since go­ing back to back in the sum­mer of 2016 but she has shown that she fits at this level since drop­ping down and she ran well two back to take that race over, be­fore mov­ing up to face tougher last time; in­fre­quent win­ner should be a fair price drop­ping back down. MIKO was un­lucky three back when con­test­ing a strong pace and giv­ing way, but she has oth­er­wise re­turned on form this year and did well to just miss in an al­lowance race over a syn­thetic sur­face last time; back to her pre­ferred turf at the right level and she can stalk the pace this time.

FIFTH RACE

Thought SIX BROTH­ERS ran pretty well first time out when show­ing speed to con­test the pace in what ap­peared to be a strong race for the level but he re­turned to get out-paced last time and was never a fac­tor; look­ing for him to show speed as he takes the drop. GRAMMI DANCE has con­tested the same two races as SIX BROTH­ERS to start, and he raced very greenly in that first one be­fore chas­ing the pace without enough last time and get­ting tired in the stretch; also tak­ing the drop and gets to

break from a nice out­side post. GET ALONG de­but­ing for a trainer who is hav­ing an ex­cel­lent year with his 2yos and he has a long se­ries of works show­ing; by a speed sire but his dam posted both ca­reer wins rout­ing on turf, and her best foals have been routers. THEMANBEHINDTHEMAN won his ca­reer de­but with the ben­e­fit of an un­con­tested lead on a rated pace and has since found the go­ing much tougher, though he has landed in some pretty tough spots; tough post on the out­side but he has some speed and this is a sig­nif­i­cant class drop. THREE PERFECTIONS also tak­ing the drop for the first time af­ter land­ing in a pair of fast-paced races upon his re­turn from an ex­tended lay­off; has been shop­ping for a spot for a while now and he has the back races to be hard on this field if he can work out the right trip from his out­side draw. JO’S BOLD CAT not one to have a lot of con­fi­dence in on top but he fits at this level and can run late to get a piece if this race sets up the right way for him, as was the case two back.

SEV­ENTH RACE

CART­WHEEL two ca­reer wins have come vs. weak fields, in­clud­ing that top fig­ure blowout last time over a bunch of turf horses, but she has been steadily im­prov­ing for her un­der­rated trainer and think this dis­tance is per­fect for her, and maybe not so much for the oth­ers; good post on the out­side with the speed to keep up. FAIR REGIS is as game and con­sis­tent as they come and she is in many ways the horse to beat in this race; game ef­fort last time to hold on af­ter tak­ing a cou­ple of bumps from Out of Or­bit in the late stages. BYSELF was part of an easy pace when pre­vail­ing in her 3yo de­but off the lay­off, but she showed some po­ten­tial when win­ning her de­but and she ran well with a dif­fer­ent run­ning style last time to be clearly sec­ond-best to the streak­ing Sat­isfy; coughed up a clear lead over this dis­tance three starts back but that was over a sloppy track and she was run down by Hay Field, who likes a wet track and has won five of her last six starts.

EIGHTH RACE

HELLO DON JULIO went out of town to win a stakes race over this trip last time while con­tin­u­ing his streak of strong races since re­turn­ing to the races this year; owns the speed to con­trol things from the out­set and he is a hand­ful here if show­ing up with any of his first four starts of 2018. PAT­TER­SON CROSS get­ting some class relief for this af­ter grind­ing on late while never look­ing like he was go­ing to win the Grade 1 North­ern Dancer last time, and he also never looked like he was go­ing to win the John’s Call two back be­fore be­ing forced to steady in the late stages, al­though that, too, came against a good field; don’t think he has come back quite as good this year af­ter miss­ing sig­nif­i­cant time but he gets the class relief he needs in this spot. POSTULATION sat a nice trip and couldn’t im­pact HELLO DON JULIO in his first start for this trainer last time; can make ex­cuses for his races two and three back, and he did run a cou­ple of races last year that would give him a look in this race.

NINTH RACE

QUI­ETLY QUICK was no match off a good trip when turned back to sprint for the first time two starts back, then dropped in class and came away sec­ond-best to an in-form win­ner at this level last time; don’t think she’s that good but it’s hard to ar­gue with this spot for her. RE­CON­SIDER IT has had her chances without man­ag­ing to break through but she also fits very well in this race, as­sum­ing she can work out the right trip for her clos­ing style as a sprinter; for­get about her last when get­ting rained off while look­ing for an eas­ier spot. LETS DANCE SOME MO had shown noth­ing in her first two starts at the MSW level but she was a lit­tle bet­ter when dropped to this con­di­tion and turned back to sprint last time; wouldn’t have to find that much more to con­tend with these horses and she is still lightly raced.

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