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MIKE DEMPSEY at Belmont: 6/18/21

Belmont Park
  Friday June 18
By Michael Dempsey

Weather: Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 81F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph.

BEL Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (1:00 ET) ML FAIR
#7 Wild Union A 8-5 8-5
#4 Paint Music for Me B 4-1 7-2
#5 Lokoya Road B 7-5 2-1
#2 Tapit's Flashback C 8-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$
Wild Union stretches back out to a route after making a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out against $25,000 non-winners of two. Miller claimed this guy for $40,000 and is 0 for 3 with him and now jams him in here for $16,000. He broke his maiden going a one turn mile for a $75,000 tag last June. The stretch out should suit and Castellano sticks for Miller who is looking to get off the duck starting off the meeting going 0 for 9 with three seconds.
Paint Music for Me stalked the early pace and finished evenly last out in a fourth place finish versus $25,000 starter optional claimers at Philly last out at 6-5. The gelding broke his maiden two back for a $20,000 tag at Aqueduct going a mile in his eighth career start. He did not see much pace last out as the top three early were still there late and it does look as if he is going to be sitting off a brisker pace in this spot. This is just his third start since last December and he looks capable of moving forward off his last effort.

BEL Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:31 ET) ML FAIR
#8 Mannhal A 9-2 7-2
#6 Kodama A 5-2 5-2
#4 Madamoussepousse B 5-1 9-2
#2 The Club B 8-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$$
Mannhal is a $420,000 Keeneland purchase making her debut for the Pletcher barn that is 17% winners with first timers. This season the barn is for 8 with two-year-old firsters. This gal is by Into Mischief out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped five winners and three have won on turf and two are stakes winners, top earner multiple graded turf stakes winner Takeover Target ($826,825). She had a good gate drill on May 28 and followed that up with a  breeze over the grass. She should be ready to go.
Kodama tracked the early pace after breaking a bit awkwardly, and finished with some interest but she lugged in badly while green, landing second and beaten 3 1/4 lengths. Rosario sticks for Clement who is 20% winners with second out maidens. This filly is out of a Kheleyf mare that has dropped three other runners and they have all won on turf overseas.

BEL Race 3 Clm $35,000B (2:02 ET) ML FAIR
#6 Saburai A 5-1 4-1
#2 Alba's Star A 7-2 4-1
#3 Wicked Mercury B 5-2 7-2
#9 Positive Skew C 6-1 6-1
#8 Stefanie On Fleek C 10-1 8-1
Race Rating: $$$
Saburai broke well and then Irad grabbed the mare and held her back, then came with a five wide bid but did not seem overly interested in the stretch and she checked in fifth. Two back she was a good second against $35,000 non-winners of three. She is back in restricted company here and Franco picks up the call. She is capable of being forwardly placed here as she makes her third start since landing here from SoCal and we have seen Santa Anita shippers run pretty well at this meeting. She will run better than she did last out with a more aggressive ride.
Alba's Star took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-1 company last out at Sam Houston at 9-5. The fifth place finisher came out of the race to win next out and two others ran second next out. She returns here off a 3 1/2 month break off works at Fair Hill. The Stidham barn is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day break and is overdue after starting off the meet here going 1 for 16.

BEL Race 4 Md Sp Wt (2:31 ET) ML FAIR
#8 November Rein A 5-2 2-1
#7 Kant Hurry Love A 9-5 5-2
#4 Saratoga Kisses B 5-1 9-2
#3 Banksamillion C 6-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$
November Rain debuts for the Breen barn that is 17% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. This filly is by Street Boss out of the stakes winner Ju Ju Eyeballs ($250,710) who has dropped one foal to race, 0 for 2 Walrus Gumboot. A solid string of works on the morning tab and this is not a real tough looking spot for her debut.
Kant Hurry Love was a $40,000 purchase by Kanthros out of a Langfuhr mare, her first foal to race. The Clement barn is 23% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. This gal has been working sharply in the mornings for her debut here. This is the just the barn's second juvie firster this season, the first running second here last month.

BEL Race 5 Md $20,000 (3:02 ET) ML FAIR
#8 Sixteen Tons A 6-1 7-2
#6 Warfront Fighter A 7-2 4-1
#4 Kikkerland B 3-1 4-1
#1 America's Justice C 8-1 6-1
#7 Forgotten Mission C 4-1 5-1
Race Rating: $$$
Sixteen Tons cuts back from a mile where last out she was outrun in the slop. Two back in his second start off 14 month layoff he made a mile late run to finish fourth as the beaten favorite. He checked in eighth three back off the layoff when trying turf for the first time. He makes his fourth start off the sidelines but just his second over a fast dirt surface. The barn is 15% winners moving runners from route to sprint. He looks capable of much better than his last outing.
Warfront Fighter ran second in five straight starts before checking in third last out. Three of those runner up finishes he was beaten just a neck, neck and a head. He was claimed out of his last outing by the Potts barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim and has been gelded since his last start. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and perhaps the barn switch and "equipment" change will be enough to finally get him his diploma as he makes his 17th career start here.

BEL Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:34 ET) ML FAIR
#7 Cotton A 7-2 3-1
#10 Bar Fourteen A 3-1 3-1
#5 Viking Zim B 5-1 9-2
#12 Ruse C 8-1 6-1
#3 The Great Gazoo C 10-1 8-1
Race Rating: $$$
Cotton adds lasix here for his second start off the bench for the Casse barn. He caught good ground last out and came with a good late run to finish in the runner up spot, beaten a length. He has come back with a bullet breeze for the Casse barn that is 20% winners with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. He was a solid second in his turf debut which came at six furlongs and regressed when going long two back. He has the pedigree to handle a route of ground and Irad sticks.
Bar Fourteen set the early fractions and battled on gamely in a runner up finish last out over the grass here. Two back was his turf debut and he pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fourth, beaten five lengths. Saez picks up the call and Brown takes the blinkers off.  The gelding still should be part of the early mix here with the hood off as there is not a ton of early zip in here.

BEL Race 7 Alw $80,000N1X (4:08 ET) ML FAIR
#3 Princess Corey A 4-1 3-1
#1 Trinni Luck A 6-1 9-2
#8 Laura's Bellamy B 9-5 5-2
#5 Jamaica Joy B 7-2 9-2
Race Rating: $$
Princess Corey caught a muddy track last out at Pimlico against $32,000 starter optional claimers. The filly tracked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a neck in a game effort. She had won at that level two back at Laurel Park and was claimed out of the race by the Magee barn. She broke her maiden at six furlongs for a $40,000 tag and sure looks as if she will benefit from the extra ground here and the return to face state breds. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and Cedeno makes the trip in to ride for a sharp barn.
Trinni Luck makes her second start off the bench here for the RRod barn. She broke her maiden in her debut in the slop at Gulfstream Park last July against $50,000 foes. She was sent off at 7-2 in her return at this level, raced toward the back of the pack and was not a threat late in a sixth place finish. Blinkers are added here for RRod who is 15% winners with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. Franco sticks and she should be fitter second off the bench as she makes just her third career start.

BEL Race 8 Alw $80,000N1X (4:40 ET) ML FAIR
#1 Scuttlebuzz A 7-2 5-2
#4 Veterans Beach A 3-1 3-1
#5 Scocciatore B 6-1 9-2
#3 Wild William B 4-1 5-1
#2 Schokolade C 6-1 8-1
Race Rating: $$$
Scuttlebuzz stalked the early pace, came with a good five wide bid, then drifted out a bit then was straightened out and finished gamely in a runner up finish at this level last out. It was his first go off the claim by the RRod barn that took him for $30,000 two back out of a win versus non-winners of two off a four month break. Back to back career tops for this gelding and he looks rimed for a top effort here third off the bench.
Veterans Beach makes his first start since last September where he tracked the early pace and could not get to the winner in a runner up finish at this level. He ran third at the level two back off a year layoff and it as his first start for Clement. He returns here for a trainer that is 21% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. Rosario is back on board and he should be ready to go off the bench.

BEL Race 9 Alw $50,000s (5:12 ET) ML FAIR
#2 Montatham A 12-1 6-1
#4 Made My Day A 5-1 9-2
#10 Brazillionaire B 4-1 9-2
#12 Kid Bourbon C 6-1 8-1
#1 Panster C 6-1 8-1
Race Rating: $$
Montatham makes his second start off a long layoff and stretches out another furlong here. Last out off the bench he came with a mild late run to finish fourth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths for the top spot against $40,000 non-winners of two. The winner Our Destiny came back to win for a $20,000 tag at Monmouth Park in his next outing and the third place finisher Scocciatore won at this level in his next start on May 21. This guy broke his maiden going long on the turf here in October of 2019 in his third career start and then was beaten just a neck in his first start against winners. He should move forward second off the bench for Joseph Lee, former assistant to his former trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Made My Day is making his first starts since last December where he was fourth versus Alw-1 company at Tampa Bay Downs going a mile on turf. The winner of that race was Kendama, who ran second and was placed first thanks to a DQ versus Alw-2 optional claimers in his next outing. This guy broke his maiden here last October for a $40,000 tag and has two sibs that have won on grass. He should be fit and ready to go off the bench off works at Fair Hill for the Stidham barn that is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

Good Luck today!

Please check all program numbers and post times before wagering.
Prices listed are the morning line odds followed by fair odds.

Race Ratings:
$$$$: The strongest plays of the day. Some days there will not be a race at this rating, but when there is, it's straight to the betting window.
$$$: These races are the
better wagering opportunities of the day. I either have a strong opinion on my top pick or feel this is a great race for value in the exotics.
$$: These races are usually races where I do not have a strong opinion, or feel my top pick may end up going off at a short price. A moderate investment only
and spread races when playing horizontal bets.
$: These races are in most cases a pass. Usually races with short fields offering little value or just inscrutable. Small investment or pass and spread races when playing horizontal bets.

For exacta players, I usually will play my "A" horses over my "B" and "C" horses that offer value. I rarely box. For trifecta players, as a general rule I do not play trifectas or superfectas in fields of eight or less. When playing trifectas, I usually will key my "A" horses in the top spot adding my "B" horses in the second spot over "C" horses in the third spot.  In the rolling doubles, I usually use my "A" horses in each race, using "B" and "C" horses only when they offer good betting value. I generally do not play Pick 3's and focus on Pick 4's and Pick 5's with reduced takeout. I have each of my top five horses ranked "A" "B" or "C" and play multiple tickets. A good tool to use to create tickets according to your personal bankroll is