Submitted by John Conte on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM
ANATOMY OF BELMONT 2015 OPENING WEEKEND LONGSHOTS
CONTE LOOKS TO REPEAT IN 2016 FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET
I’m John Conte and I am taking a few minutes to let you know that anyone can brag about winners. Anyone can cherry pick from 5 or 6 races and claim their 2 winners without mentioning anything else.
What I want to do in this short piece is show you the workings of an everyday handicapper like myself. A handicapper who not only releases plays to the public but wagers on those same plays. I will do this right now by travelling back to the corresponding Belmont Opening Day Saturday of the Fall Championship Meet of 2015 (which corresponds to this Saturday (9/10) and present an anatomy of the 4 Best Bet Horses I released that day…two of which won and two of which didn’t.
Here is the anatomy in race order
RACE 2 – STEAMBOAT BILL – (2ND) - I am more influenced by speed in first and second time juvenile starters than by any other attribute. In his debut at Saratoga on 8/16 he pressed the pace from the break of the 1 1/16th mile MSW turf event. He followed up with consistent works by better second time conditioner Gary Contessa. He was 23-1 in his debut so I knew we’d get a price. We did at 8-1. He improved his speed and set the pace before dropping a neck decision in the final strides at 8-1.
RACE 5 – MR, ROSDENTHAL – WIN $19.80 – The veteran turf runner was wheeling back in a quick 17 days after pressing the pace in a mile 25K turf claimer at Saratoga. Prior to that he had come from off the pace to get a minor piece going 6 turf furlongs vs the same level platers and was haltered by capable under-the-radar trainer Abigail Adsit. In this opening Saturday test I was presented with one of my most productive angles. Not enough distance when closing at 6 furlongs followed by sharp speed at a mile in the next to last. This was the ultimate “Z Pattern.” Now at 7 furlongs vs the same 25K claimers the gelding combined speed, stamina and late effort to power to victory at a great price.
RACE 6 – SAVOY STOMP – WIN $12.60 – This was the first race in 8 months for a Pletcher horse once on the 2015 Triple Crown Trail. His last try was in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds and he went off as the 7-2 second choice, was bumped from both sides at the break and pinched back to the rear. He got re-involved and though 4 wide on the turn improved position. Still in the Pletcher barn he returned off solid drills, dropped in class to entry level allowance opposition and the public ignored him. I didn’t.
RACE 7 – ALLYSA AND A LISA – OUT – This was another Gary Contessa second time juvenile MSW starter. In her debut she stalked the early pace in a 5 ½ furlong turf MSW test, gained ground in the lane with what appeared to be a winning move and had to check off heels at a crucial moment. Given time to recover after that 8/3 try she was entered back on the turf in a 6 furlong MSW affair. I expected a clean trip and a move forward that would put her into contention. She did get a clean trip but never fired late and was no factor.
I am as loaded with solid reasoning for an opening Saturday repeat this year and just as confident we will cash in big time. I hope this ANATOMY OF WINNERS message shows you just how knowledgeable and serious I am.