Carnations to the Winner – The BEL

6/6/2020

 10  BEL            THE BEL (GI)

  $1,500.000      3yo     1 1/2m  Dirt        126lbs        Preference to TC-BEL Qualifications

Well, I’m a bit shocked by this one… after covering the KYD, now I have the privilege of picking up the third leg of the TC Series and we take a look at the field for the 2020 THE BEL (GI), going a mile and a half on “big sandy“, here in Elmont, NY.  It’s been a roller coaster ride this year, first with the never-to-be-forgotten pace of this years KYD, then the close-close finish of the PRK where we had… I don’t know, 8-9-10 horses within a length of the winner.  So what surprises will this gem bring us?  We can start with the post draw… Aer Stables sends another three-headed monster to the gate, but catches three of the four outside posts… the KYD winner is here to try to take a second piece of the pie, and was only a length behind the winner in the PRK despite being eighth… there’s a ton of chapters within the book that is the 2020 TC.

So now, which way do we go with this one?  I’m going to go with the horse that seems to have a thing for this track and take Silent Commander at the top choice.  He’s been the picture of consistency, only missing a single check in his eight lifetime stats, and looked good getting the win here last out, taking the Peter Pan (GIII) by a neck.  He closed well in that race and looked like he could run all day… and he will need that here today.

I’ll go against the odds and put Orion Nebula in the second spot.  Of all TC races, I feel like this race is the toughest to command any chance from the outside.  But this horse seems to turn it around every time he throws a bad race…. not that eighth in that KYD races was bad but it wasn’t his normal bang-up effort.  So let’s look for the bounce-back and expect a nice race from him.

I’m really torn on the third spot so let’s give both Spirited Stride and Angelsinheaven a shot for part of this one.  The former made a huge late run in the KYD and this barn usually fires a big shot in every race they enter.  The later made a big run in the PRK and really seems to be a horse that is still getting better with every start.

This looks like a wide open race and I’d even give the AE horses a shot, if one or both were to draw in.  That makes for great racing… grab a cold snack and pull of a seat… we still can’t got to the track so let’s watch it from home and enjoy!

Here’s The Field – 


1
  Lucky Storm  Arindel  Hernandez B J Jr 126 10/1

Nice job in the Dixie (GII) to grab third and he battled on fairly well on that afternoon.  He’s on the board a lot, but rarely seems to be able to get his picture taken.  Two wins from eleven starts, but five seconds and a pair of thirds… you get the idea.  His last win was in Sep. vs. Alw horses at ELP… but he was also third in the BC Juv Turf (GI).  Oh did I mention, this is his first dirt race since his first race, where he broke maiden at PEN?

2
  Angelsinheaven  Angelos Stable  Velazquez J R 126 7/2

Great closing move in the PRK (GI) to grab the second spot at nearly 16/1 odds.  He ran a big race in the Rebel (GII) as well, but he’s another that hasn’t seen the winner’s circle much and it’s been quite a while.  He won the WV Futurity at CT back in Nov of last year, and it’s been a dry spell ever since, yet he’s pocketed $500.000+ plus so you know he’s been in the hunt in some big races.  Is this his break-out?

3
  City Sniper  John Henry  Leparoux J R 126 15/1 

His tough 2020 season continued in the KYD where he was fourteenth beaten twelve lengths.  He closed out his ’19 campaign with a win and it’s been off-the-board finishes since.  He will need to regain his 2yo form or it’s going to be another long day at the race track. 

4
  Class Edge  Chili King Stables  Ortiz I Jr 126 7/2

Huge run at the Twin Spires when second in the KYD (GI) and we all know how that story played out.  Will he get another fast pace here?  He certainly likes to close from the clouds, but he’s also shown tactical speed and an ability to sit just behind the pace.  I’m not sure which style he will show here today but the post helps him and I think he can be a tough horse here today.

5
  Silent Commander  Serenity Stables  Sanchez M J 126 5/1

Looked good winning the Peter Pan (GIII) over this surface in his most recent race.  He also ran a big race when third in the AR Derby (GI) and made a huge late move that afternoon.  The distance seems to fit him and he’s running well for this outfit, so maybe he’s in the right place at the right time.  I’d give him a look.

6
  Notorious Temper  Night Rider Stables  Lopez P 126 4/1 

Won the AR Derby (GI) then had a tough time in the KYD where he didn’t get caught up in the pace fight, but also didn’t show a closing kick, like I would have expected.  Only a single published work since then and it was a pedestrian half mile at the Spa.  I would not be surprised to see him bounce back and run a big race, but I also wouldn’t be shocked to see him chuck another clunker.  I’m just not sure what to expect from him today.

7
  Graveyard  Mb Stables  Ortiz J L 126 12/1

Here is another that is still looking for his first win of his sophomore season.  He won to close out his 2yo season taking NY-bred stakes horses at AQU.  He does seem to like the distance, but he did flatten out late in the PRK (GI) last out.  Back against TC horses, and as much as I like the stable, I think I have to skip him in this group.

8
  Bound Bay  Gdp Inc  Bejarano R 126 9/1

Stalked that suicide split in the KYD (GI) last out and I’m sure the barn would like to reconsider sitting that close to the pace… but, it’s a new day and I love his works getting ready for today.  I will certainly take for granted that he will be a bit more off of this pace and should make a late run at them.  I really think this is a place that he can pull off a big win and put his name in lights. 

9
  Spirited Stride  Mb Stables  Court J K 126 6/1

Closed well to nab the third spot in the KYD (GI) and he ran with a similar style in the LA Derby (GII).  Does the style equate to a closing effort here with the added distance?   He did show quite a bit of tactical speed in his earlier races, but it looks like the big trainer was aiming for a style that could take this win.  I think you have to give him a big look, especially if he can avoid traffic issues late. 

10
  Charleys Latte  Estero Farms  Davis D 126 8/1

Mid-way down the lane in the KYD (GI) this barn had to be jumping, but we all know how the pace played into the finish and it was a ninth place finish for this one.  He won the Withers (GIII) and Wood Mem (GII) up here in NY, so maybe he does his best racing in the Empire State.  Will they be singing New York, New York?  I wouldn’t leave him off of your tickets. 

11
  Royal Assembly  Nakamura Stables  Gryder A T 126 4/1

The KYD (GI) winner had a come-to-Earth moment when eleventh in the PRK (GI) and I’m not sure why he out there winging it on the front end in that one.  He certainly seems to do his best work when coming from off of the pace, and I’d expect more of that game plan here today.  I know he’s shown tactical speed in the past, but I’m still looking for a deep closing effort from the big guy. 

12
  Mystery  Fractious  Desormeaux K J 126 12/1

Got back on the winning side of things last out but that was an OptAlw sprint at WO, so the it’s certainly interesting to see him now go a mile and a half vs. this type of horses.  Just missed in the Wood Mem (GII) and he was coming from left field in that one.  Kind of hard to figure what the plan of attack is today, but he will need his best to be in the thick of this one. 

13
  Sars  Aer Stables  Beschizza A 126 8/1

The barn has to be on tilt after showing up with another 1-2-3 punch only to get stuck in three of the four outside posts.  Still this gelding has run with the best of the best and has held his own throughout.  Second in the Withers (GIII) from an outside post, so don’t just discard him with the draw.  He closed well to be third in the PRK (GI) and I’d look for another huge effort today. 

14
  Orion Nebula  John Henry  Gaffalione T 126 7/1

Another heavy hitter that is banished to the outside… I just had a feeling coming into this one that he’d run a big race today.  The post certainly has me scratching my head, but I still think this is a race he was destined to do well in.  He’s bounced back after poor races, and the KYD (GI) was a tough race for this one.  Does he get back to his SA Derby (GI) winning form or is it another tough outing?

15
  Remson  Aer Stables  Saez G 126 8/1 

Rough trip in the KYD (GI) but he was still making up ground late in that freakishly run race.  The added distance is certainly something that he should love, and again, despite the post, I think he can make his presence felt.  If he can stay a bit closer to the pace then watch out.

16
  Brittle  Aer Stables  Bridgmohan S X 126 10/1

Got the twelve hole in the KYD and now the sixteen post for this one… talk about “random”.  The BC Juv winner still seems to have a lot in the tank, but man, is it hard to overcome this kind of post draws.  I look for him to settle back a bit more here today, and then try to find that one big run that he is known for.  Don’t count him out.


17
  Geronimo  Nakamura Stables –No Rider– 126 AE

He was last in the KYD (GI) after chasing a torid pace and was eighth in the PRK (GI) but only a length off of the winner; yet, he finds himself on the AE list and hoping to draw into this one. 

18
  Jolly Rook  Angelos Stable  –No Rider– 126 AE

Two wins from his last three races and a nice place finish in the Lexington (GIII) between that pair of wins.  He’s lightly raced, and would need a couple of scratches to draw into the field.  But I’d be on the look-out for this one. 



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2020

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