Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer
The countdown is on, and at the time of this entry there are 31 days until we see the best in the world converge on Lexington, Kentucky. – This past weekend was a great prep weekend for contenders. This upcoming weekend will be one of your last chances opportunities to watch “Super Saturday” at Belmont Park, and “Fall Stars Weekend” at Keeneland. That’s enough to get every racing fan’s motor running, and before you start doing your homework for the last glimpse of the stars of the Breeders’ Cup, here are some runners you’ll want to follow up on when they enter their next time out.
Belmont Park – Race #5 – #1 -1 1/8 on the dirt
#1 – Curalina = John Velasquez up for his go-to-man Todd Pletcher. She stumbled at the start, and in a race of this magnitude that is enough to be running for second monies at best. She settled out nicely and offered up a two-wide bid to come up a little empty nearing the wire against standout chalk Wedding Toast. – I love runners who bring it every time, and with a clean break and a little racing luck has her turning the tables next out.
Belmont Park – Race #7 – #4 – 6 1/2f on the dirt
#4 – Wavell Avenue = Joel Rosario had the call for Chad Brown, and this filly stumbled at the start and recovered nicely to put in a solid bid tipping off the rail and posing a threat to the ultra-talented La Verdad. – She’ll need a clean break and save some ground against the rail. I think the barn will have her in top gear next up.
Belmont Park – Race #8 – #1 – 1 1/16 on the inner turf
#1 – Ray’s the Bar = Javier Castellano in the irons for Chad Brown, and this guy has the look of something special. He had a great effort and moved away from the rail and started to find his best stride when he was forced to steady behind a wall of horses in mid-stretch. He was coming in from Royal Ascot, and we’ll give him a pass in here. Castellano makes very few mistakes, and Team Brown will have the screws tightened down for maximum effort.
Belterra Park – Race #3 – #4 – 1 mile on the dirt
#4 – Upper Arlington = Eddie Zuniga was aboard this Cleveland invader, and ran a cloaked good effort. He started making up ground putting in a good bid and ran into traffic. Zuniga wrapped up on his runner thinking of next time out.
Belterra Park – Race #7 – #3 – 1 mile on the dirt
#3 – Fly’ n Bayou = Angel Stanley was aboard and encountered trouble going to his nose at the start, and was forced to take up in upper stretch and alter course. This rider shows a great deal of talent, and was leading rider at Mahoning Valley last winter. – Bet this one early and often next timeout.
Santa Anita – Race #6 – #6 – 1 1/4 on the turf
#6 – Class Leader = Santiago Gonzalez in the irons for John Sadler, and this guy did everything right but win. I like to file this under running a winner’s race finishing second. Maybe a cut back in distance, or facing a little lesser could be the key. Either way, it was a game effort and he’ll be a player.