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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Part II – 9/15 – 9/17

Week 3 of the Belmont fall Championship Meet begins today (Wednesday 9/20) and as we did last week and will throughout the meet, here is the review of the previous race week..


The first two paragraphs below are a repeat of what we noted last week in our review.

Throughout much of the recent Saratoga Meet the place to be on the Turf was either on the lead or close to it. Certainly there were off the pace winners, although many of the smaller portion of grass winners from off the pace came in the 5 ½ furlong (and only) sprint races.

Now back at Belmont during the opening three days (9/8 - 9/10) that was just the opposite. Small sample notwithstanding it likely behooves bettors to consider the makeup of the results from the seventeen grass races run during the noted opening three days.

Well, now it has been 6 days and after another 16 turf races from 6 furlongs to 9 furlongs on both the Inner and Main Turf Courses it still is advisable to focus on solid tactical speed and versatile runners as only one winner went wire-to-wire.

Over these last 3 days at all distances the total of 10 races run at 6. 7. 8 ½ and 9 furlongs had winners that were between 7 and 1 length back at first call and 5 and 1 length back at second call.

The Mile races were quite different. The lone wire-to-wire winner was at the distance but in the other 5 races averaged being in 7th (7.2 lengths off the lead) at first call and 7th (6.4 lengths off the lead at second call.)

Make certain you chart these races to catch the changes before the public does…because changes will come. In the meantime, use this to your advantage.


With 3 months left in the 2017 juvenile season any look at the MSW and Maiden Claiming races for these youngsters shows that there are as many or more making their debuts compared to how many have run.

Part of handicapping generality is that experience has the edge over no experience. We will not argue this generality but as we leave September and enter October it is still advisable to give as much credence to workouts, trainer trends, breeding edges and other aspects when appraising juvenile first time starters vs those that have already run.

A look at the first two weeks (6 days) of the current Belmont meeting bears this out in as equal a break as you could have.

*There have been 10 juvenile maiden races.
*There were a total of 88 maidens that ran.
*Of the 88 runners…44 were first time starters and 44 were returnees.
*Record of 44 first time starters…6 Wins…4 Seconds…5 Thirds.
*Record of 44 returning runners…4 Wins…6 Seconds…5 Thirds.

Conclusion. There is at this point in their careers no edge for those youngsters with experience. Handicap accordingly.


LOVE YOUR BUTTONS – The 40K maiden turf claimer stretched out from 5 ½ furlongs to 8 ½ for Rudy Rodriquez. The son of Tiz Wonderful was bumped solidly after a horrendous double stumble at the break at the start, raced three wide on both turns, was urged into the race entering the lane and gave it up in mid-stretch. The colt was haltered for 40K by David Cannizzo for himself and deserves another shot at the level.

OLD UPSTART – The veteran claiming gelding was no match for the huge (62.5-25K) drop down winner but closed well in the 6 furlong test to be 4 1/ clear of the show horse. The 6-year old has 3 wins from his last 6 races running at the 25-35K level and should be in contention again in next.


RUSHING FALL – It came as no surprise that this 320K yearling purchase juvenile filly from the Chad Brown barn was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in her debut in the mile turf MSW. But she ran like a 3-year old. At the ¾ marker she was relaxed, 8 lengths back. At the half mile pole it was 6 ½ back and at the quarter pole 3 ½ back before sweeping to the lead at the furlong marker after being 5-6 wide through the lane. Goes right to the Stakes ranks.

SOUTHER GAL – Nice debut effort by the MSW juvenile filly. From the final crop of the earlier-in-the-season deceased Scat Daddy, the Mark Casse trainee broke a bit greenly in the 6 furlong turf test, was patiently handled in mid-pack, began to move off the far turn and continued strongly inside of rivals to lose the bob. Bred to go longer she will break through in next.

STONEY BENNETT – The son of Bustin Stones was part of an Ollie Figgins III entry. These connections are basically unknown on the New York Circuit but the juvenile restricted NYSB MSW colt was bet down to 6-5 and easily distanced all his rivals. The colt has a future and should go right through conditions.

TIZ A KITTEN – After a pair of speed and fade efforts in her prior two mile turf tests the daughter of Kitten’s Joy had no shot in a 9 furlong off-the-turd test 8/16. Back on grass and at one turn in the 7 furlong 35K claimer she used the middle move she’d been showing in the longer races and just missed at 11-1. Sprinting on grass at the level is where she belongs.

ZIPPITY ZOOM – The veteran race mare continues to hold good form. The NYSB miss fought off a pair of contenders while setting the pace in the 5 ½ furlong 25K event, put them away and just failed to last vs the favorite. She was 5 ½ lengths clear of the show runners and was haltered “back” by prolific trainer Linda Rice who lost her two back to Rudy Rodriguez. Stay with her.

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