It's opening weekend at Belmont and it's back to school for everyone after the summer vacation at Saratoga. It seems to go by faster every year. There is a nice stakes race (Allied Forces) for three year old grass sprinters on Saturday.
Lets look at the field.
1. Reed Can
Won a 30k NW3 lifetime at Monmouth on August 16th in a race that was off the turf. Lifetime is the operative word because he was life or death to win it at odds of one to five. He's back on the grass here, which he likes, but he is facing a field full of like minded speedballs and there is practically no chance that he will get loose. I see him as a pace factor only and will not be using him.
Obviously loves the grass with three wins and a third in five tries on the turf. He'll be looking for a reversal of fortune against World of Trouble as he lost to that one in the Quick Call at the Spa. Since he'll probably be sitting just off a five horse duel for the lead between the 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, this might be the perfect set up for him. There is a closer on the far outside to worry about, but he'll be on all my tickets.
3. Weather Report
One of the five speeds in here who will be charging out for the lead, but can a horse coming from a wire job at Suffolk and who was available for $7,500 in March beat this group? That's a tall order. Definitely a pace factor and if the odds are high enough you could use him underneath, but hard to see him winning.
Everywhere you look in this race there is speed. He's been battle tested against some good ones and I would not be surprised if he emerges from the duel on the turn. If anyone clears in here, it should be him so he'll be on my tickets.
5. World of Trouble
The probable favorite and a nice horse, but I simply do not see him scampering away from this field. He will definitely be out trying on the front end, but I don't think he'll clear so that makes him vulnerable. I'll be playing against him.
6. Colonel Tom
The last of the speed burners in here coming out of state bred restricted races and facing open company for the first time. I think he fits with these, but his style will definitely compromise him. There is so much speed in here, it's hard to see any one of them clearing and wiring this race. Maybe use him underneath, but not to win.
7. Totally Boss
The outside closer in a field packed to the gills with speed. What's not to like? He was beaten by the five in the Quick Call, but the dynamics of this race will be substantially different. Look for him to sit outside all the burners under a hold and gobble them up in the lane. He is my pick to win! I'll use him with the 2, 4, and 3.
A nice six furlong test on the grass (if it stays) as the horses return to Belmont from the Spa.
Good luck to all who are playing!