Friday, September 30, 2016

Handicapper's Corner: Beldame Invitational Stakes (G1)

Going For Broke 'Cappping the 2016 Beldame Stakes

By: John Caro, S. FL ThoroFan

Beldame Invitational Stakes – Grade I - $400K – One and One Eighth Miles (one turn)

Belmont Park, Race 10, October 1, 2016

The race is named for the great lady, Beldame (1901), owned by August Belmont II. She won 17 of her 31 races and was in the money ten other times. She must have concerned the track officials who repeatedly poured more weight in her bags because of her winning ways but won the Suburban Stakes carrying more weight than the boys beating the (later) great American stud, Broomstick by five lengths. She must have been quiet a gal and a hand full as Wiki had a remark…”In the Ladies Stakes, Beldame got loose under her substitute rider before the race and galloped all over the track looking for an opening to run back to the barn. She found it before her jockey, Gene Hildebrand, got her under control. She returned to the track minutes later, wired the race, and won easily.” Hope today’s race will be as exciting for everyone.

Great field for today’s race includes two older mares with five fillies ages three and four. All but one have graded stakes experience against some of the top competition in this division including Songbird, Cavorting, Carolina, Go Maggie Go and a host of others. I will talk about each in my order of preference.

#5 Going for Broke (6/1) (E-106) – Five career starts and in the money every time including a second place finish behind Songbird last out in the Alabama Stakes. Irad had her 17-18 lengths off the lead after the start, gained some to the half (47.7) but didn’t start a run until three quarters (1:11.3) and ran like a blur dropping to the rail for a tremendous finish against this year’s best of the best. She was the only other one in the race to get paid (13/1) and more money for second the Songbird’s win n’ place pay out. See the video. Very impressive and gutsy! She’s going shorter on 42 days rest and the connections are stalwart, no doubt. Their team at Saratoga was stellar. I expect the same here. She is my top pick and best long shot if her odds hold. 4-1 or higher makes me happy. If it’s sloppy she and Paola Queen are in an Exacta.

#2 Forever Unbridled (1/1) (E-115) – This four year old filly has strung together five solid races since November 2015. Her last two outing had her ITM against Cavorting and Curalina. She was hampered in the Ogden Phipps while in the turn trying to squeeze through the wall ahead of her and ended up moving outside finishing strong. Dallas Stewart brings this well bred filly who flashes the highest speeds of this group and earnings of more than $1M into a great spot. Rosario has been on her in three of her last five and is winning routes at 22%. She is the ML favorite and the one to beat and I believe she will be beaten today by my favorite.

#7 Off the Tracks (5/2) (E-106) – I’ve had a love affair with this little lady since she showed up at Gulfstream. Her two year old campaign was stunning and her comeback race after a long break was thrilling. The thing is since she hit the Pletcher barn she has not been quite the same. Don’t think she likes the slop as I watch her live for that GS Oaks. The Acorn and Mother Goose were well within her reach and she beat out the Kentucky Oaks champ for second in her first grade I. I believe in her ability and the jockey change maybe the trick. She is a close contender for second. If she wins at this distance I will be surprised. And happy to take my loss.

#3 Rachael’s Temper (10/1) (E-108) – Carlton Baker brings us his older mare who won last out against non- graded stakes company (first off the claim) with two good works since including a bullet over the track. She seems to love Belmont with four wins and three ITM finishes in her seven races over the track. On any given day I would play her closer to the top two but her class just isn’t as high as the rest of the field. Having said that, the trainer wins graded stakes at the same rate Pletcher does and his ROI is higher for graded stakes. Her last race shows she has late speed in what appears to have been a fast initial pace at this distance with Rosario aboard. Before being claimed she lost by a nose with Rosario aboard to my second favorite here today. My concern is Rosario is not aboard today. Certainly a candidate for third or fourth. Watch this one closely during her warm-up. May surprise. A feeling here. Wise Guy play.

#6 Paola Queen (15/1) (E-107) – She beat Brisnet’s prime power favorite above in the Test going seven furlongs but her record for routes doesn’t seem to paint a good picture although was ahead of Off the Tracks at the finish on a sloppy track at the Gulfstream Oaks. I believe she is able to run shorter races better and this distance will test her best skills. If it’s sloppy she moves to second. More likely third or fourth.

#4 Penwith (10/1) (E-117) – Since leaving Gulfstream and entering the graded stakes adventure, on the road, she has not fared well. She is a road warrior, lovin the connections, the workouts and the rest but I’m not convinced she is good enough to get ITM today but Javier does good work. Third or fourth.

#1 Tiger Ride (15/1) (E-111) – If this was last year I might have a different view of the filly. Her speed and record just done inspire me choose her as one of the top four. On her side is José Ortiz, and his ability to figure the pace but, I just see her being very much against it for this one. She’s a toss for me except as an also in the bottom of a Superfecta.

Now to the betting…
$20 Win on #5 if the odds stay at 5-1 or better, $25 to Win if the odds are 4-1 or less.
$0.50 Trifecta: 5 / 2,3,7 / 1,2,3,4,6,7   buy 5 or 6 of these at $7.50 each, no more than $45
$0.50 Superfecta: 5 / 2,3,7 / 1,2,3,4,6,7 / 1,2,3,4,6,7    $30

Alternative Plays.
If it’s Sloppy interchange the 6 with the 3 for second or be gutsy and replace the 2. Put 3,6,7 in the second spot.

For the low budget minded like me….
 $0.50 Trifecta 5 / 2,3,7 / 1,2,3,4,6,7 times four 
$0.50 Trifecta 3,6,7 / 5/ All  times two…. Just in case
Total for my day will be $45


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