Outstanding Group of Sophomores Set for BEL Derby Invitational


  5   BEL    The BEL Derby Invitational (GI)

       $1,000.000           3yo           1 1/4m  InTurf            122lbs

This is quickly becoming one of my most favorite races… the mile and a quarter BEL Derby Invitational (GI) on the famed Elmont NY lawn.  We catch a stellar group for this one and when I say it’s wide open, I will not be surprised by ANY finish here today.  For handicapping purposes, I’m going to stay away from this one.  Between the tough field and the limited time (power failure?) I’ll let’em line up and run.  The Green Card likes 13 / 2 / 9 and the card has been fairly hot of late.  

Here’s The Field –

   Creepy Risk    Fractious    Saez L   122   7/2

Won four in a row prior to that lack-luster sixth in the PEN Mile (GII).  He just never got on track that day and you have to think it was just a bounce off of his past form.  He won the Transylvania (GIII) at KEE and the American Turf (GII) at CD, so look for him to put up a better fight in this one.

   Perception    Mb Stables    Hernandez C J   122   8/1

Lightly raced, this being his fifth lifetime start, but he is still looking for his first stakes score.  He broke maiden at SA on the grass, and took down a big Alw race at CD on the weeds, so he knows his way around and the big barn doesn’t run them just to see his name in the form. 

   Keeper Of Time    Smokey Stover    Gutierrez Mario   122   9/2

Another that is lightly raced and hasn’t run a bad race in his four starts, showing three wins and a second from those races.  He was second in the SF Mile (GIII) and won the Audubon at CD last out, so look for him to be right in the thick of this one as well. 

   Certified Yank    Mb Stables    Rocco J S Jr   122   6/1

Another from the Mb Stables barn and what a nice purchase this one has proven to be… taken from the March Auction for just $5.440 and he has three wins since switching barns, including a nice win in the Pennie Ridge (GII) over this course in his most recent.  He has tactical speed an runs on for days… watch him today. 

   Sly Prayers    Dawson Farms    Franco M   122   5/1

Very consistent type that just never seems to run a bad race… 2-2-1 this year including wins in the Dania Beach at GP and the American Turf (GII) at CD.  A very versatile type that can use speed or come from off of the pace, so he has what it takes to get the win. 

   Inspector Gadget    Nakamura Stables    Wilson E J   122   5/1

He hasn’t won a race in quite some time but showed life last out when second in the PEN Mile (GII), closing late to grab a chunk of that one.  That was a big turn-around after a series of poor races, so maybe he’s found some old magic coming to the turf side of town. 

   Lord Cherokee    Arindel    Ferrer J C   122   8/1

The Alw starts where he got a pair of runner-up checks and a third, all nice purses… so it’s back to the graded types.  They are also changing him over to the turf course, so there are a few question marks from where I’m sitting. 

   Droopy    Aer Stables    Silvera Ru   122   4/1

Three consecutive wins including the Woodhaven at AQU and the Dinner Party Stakes (GII) at PIM.  He’s a grass specialist and looks to be in his best form right about now.  I’d give him a serious shot at this big purse. 

   Silver Rocket    Crocker Ggs    Moran D   122   8/1

His lone ’22 win came on the grass vs high end Alw types at CD, then he followed- that with a good closing effort at SA in the Shoemaker Mile (GI), that facing older horses, so he now has two wins and a second in three grass efforts… look out!

   Penal Hockey Party    Maxmillion Farm    Velazquez J R   122   8/1

Max picks up a nice one via a $450.000 private purchase and goes right after a big purse.  This one won three in a row for the prior connections including a stakes score at GP, then was third only a nose back in the American Turf (GII) at CD.  He could be right in the thick of this one. 

   Mickey    South Shore Stables    Gaffalione T   122   10/1

Was rolling along with wins in the Gotham (GIII) and Ark Derby (GI) then struggled through the three TC races.  Now he comes back after a rest and returns to the grass where he has three wins from four starts.  Can he run big fresh?

   West Hockey Party    Maxmillion Farm    Hernandez R M   122   8/1

Second part of the Max entry and this one is making a step up in class after a string of Alw starts where he gets checks like a WV trailer park mom.  This one seems to have some tactical speed so you have to wonder what the game plan is with this one. 

   Miami My Amy    John Henry    Jaramillo E   122   6/1

Back to back wins in the Columbia at TAM and the SF Mile (GIII) at GG and with only eight starts under his belt, this one may still be on the improve.  He comes from off of the pace, so he will have to avoid traffic, other than that, I think you have to give him a big look… he looks ready. 

   Puissance de La Mer    Big Guns Stables    Espinoza V   122   10/1

Graded races have not been friendly to this one… broke maiden and came right back to win at the Alw level, but other than a third in the BG Stakes (GI), he’s had a go of it.  He did improve to be fourth last out in the MTH Stakes (GIII) where he did show some late interest… he’s going to need his best today. 

   Cadillac Jack    Team 7 Illusions   No Rider   122   AE

Would need some luck to draw into this one.

COZMAN  N/A           Willie’s Green Card   13 / 2 / 9      

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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