A guaranteed berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) is on the line when 11 2-year-olds will vie in Sunday’s $150,000 Futurity (G2) at Belmont Park. The “Win and You’re In” contest will be run at six panels on the green and has attracted a competitive field of youngsters.
#4 Newbomb showed speed a deep dirt sprint at Saratoga and is the inside pace of the field. #8 Country Final, #9 Momos, and #11 Gypsy King, will also be forwardly placed in the heat. I envision the early splits to be stout.
#1 SKY’S NOT FALLING — Ontario Racing S. runner-up gets the cozy rail draw as a prime contender for Trombetta. Seville gelding is three times stakes-placed from four career outings, and the juvenile might be the one moving best of all in the stretch on Sunday. Luis Saez has the call.
#2 AFTER FIVE — $165,000 son of The Factor missed by a nose in a strong debut at Kentucky Downs for Wesley Ward. January foal shows a pair of solid morning moves in the interim, and he figures to improve second time out for a top 2-year-old conditioner. Irad will guide the contender once again.
#3 SECOND OF JULY — Jack Milton gelding lit up the tote board on debut at 68-1 odds with a tally on this lawn. Interesting chestnut came home fast after tracking a slow early pace, and a forward move will put him in the mix late beneath Dylan Davis.
#4 NEWBOMB — Pletcher trainee showed big early speed before settling for third on the dirt at first asking. Speightstown colt has registered four morning moves since that offering, and I expect him to be in the lead from the early going. John Velazquez will be in the controls.
#5 KENTUCKY KNIGHT — Main track-only entrant has been dusted in both lifetime races to date on the grass, and even if the race comes off the lawn, I can’t endorse the $30,000 purchase.
#6 NUTSIE — Main track-only contender was defeated by 37 lengths in the Hopeful (G1) in his latest endeavor, and others have much more appeal in the solid field of youngsters.
#7 BRIGHT DEVIL — Wildcard in the field makes his U.S. debut for Mark Casse. Gray son of Dark Angel has gone unplaced in two straight following a debut tally, but he exits two tough heats and could be any kind on American soil. Joel Rosario taking the mount adds to the intrigue.
#8 COUNTRY FINAL — Speedy son of Oxbow led before tiring late when fourth over soft going at Kentucky Downs most recently. Asmussen charge is a stakes winner on the dirt and clearly has a lot of ability, but I will take a stand against him on Sunday with Jose Ortiz riding.
#9 MOMOS — Clement pupil makes his turf debut following a pair of main track tries to date. Saratoga Special (G2) third has posted four morning drills on the sod in advance of his grassy bow, and he will be part of the early action in the Futurity. Manny Franco will be in the stirrups.
#10 TRADE DEAL — Wesley Ward trainee was game in graduating in his second assignment last time out. Fed Biz colt possesses a nice turn of foot and will challenge for a top-three finish with expected improvement. Junior Alvarado will take the reins.
#11 GYPSY KING — Speedy Summer Front gelding cuts back in trip after running one mile in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf most recently. Kentucky-bred bay impressed when winning at Ellis Park in a quick time two prior, and he will race as a gelding for the initial time on Sunday while also removing the blinkers. Jose Lezcano will pilot.
- $.50-cent Superfecta: 1 with 4,7,11 with 4,7,9,10,11 with all ($48)
- $.50-cent Trifecta: 4,7,11 with 1 with all ($13.50)