A field of seven will converge at Belmont Park on Saturday in the $300,000 Kelso Handicap (G2). The one-turn mile event features a talented and well-matched cast that hopes to progress on to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on November 2.
Pat on the Back (#3) (3-1) comes in off of a stakes run at six furlongs and is the inside pace of the race. Prince Lucky (#5) (2-1) has done much of his best work when involved from the start and he will press the issue early on.
Plainsman (#6) (4-1) will track the proceedings from the next flight behind what expects to be a sensible early pace. True Timber (#2) (9-2) will also be forwardly placed while coming in fresh off the lengthy absence. I think that the race will be decided by this quartet.
$15 Win #6 Plainsman = $15
$5 Exacta Box 3-6 = $10
$2 Trifecta Key 6 with 3,5 with 2,3,5 = $8
Here is the group:
MONONGAHELA (#1) (6-1) – Philip H. Iselin Stakes (G3) winner found the sledding a bit tough in the recent Whitney Handicap (G1), but the five-year-old is a nice fit today. Jason Servis pupil has been in solid form in 2019, and his lone local appearance saw him finish a good fourth in the Flat Out Stakes three back. Luis Reyes will be in the stirrups.
TRUE TIMBER (#2) (9-2) – Mineshaft five-year-old makes his first start since an unplaced showing in the Godolphin Mile (UAE-G2) in the spring. Kiaran McLaughlin trainee was a closing second in the Cigar Mile (G1) in December, and the Kentucky-bred has fired some big shots while running off the bench in the past. Joe Bravo has the assignment.
PAT ON THE BACK (#3) (3-1) – Five-year-old has run first or second in seven of his nine most recent outings, which includes a pair of stakes tallies on this oval in 2019. Jeremiah Englehart charge sports a sharp 10-5-3-2 mark at Belmont Park and seems poised for a big run on Saturday beneath Dylan Davis.
GOLDEN BROWN (#4) (10-1) – Peaking son of Offlee Wild has never been better and rates a reasonable chance for conditioner Patrick McBurney. Gelding is four-for-five this campaign in advance of his local bow for a conditioner who has already saddled a winner at the meeting. Versatile dark bay will stalk the action early on under Kendrick Carmouche.
PRINCE LUCKY (#5) (2-1) – Todd Pletcher pupil was a superb stakes winner on the course in July when earning a 101 BRIS Speed figure. Grade 2 hero is a three-time winner this season and his best performance will make him formidable with regular rider John Velazquez retaining the mount.
PLAINSMAN (#6) (4-1) – Flatter four-year-old came off the layoff with a smart allowance second in his seasonal debut for Shug McGaughey. $350,000 yearling purchase was a daylight winner in his lone previous run at Belmont Park, and the budding star aims for his initial graded victory at a distance that is ideal for his running style. Jose Lezcano rides the prime contender.
TALE OF SILENCE (#7) (12-1) – Hard-knocking five-year-old nabbed the 2018 Westchester Stakes (G3) going one-mile on the surface for Barclay Tagg. Son of Tale of the Cat had a decent prep race in advance of today, and each of his three lifetime wins have come over Big Sandy. Javier Castllano will guide the course-specialist.
PHOTO: Plainsman (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Susie Raisher