MET MILE TOPS HUGE HOLIDAY AT BELMONT PARK
Five graded races are to be held at Belmont Park this weekend, with four of those to be contested on Memorial Day, led by a trio of Grade 1 events. The top draw is the $750,000 Metropolitan H. (G1), a key race on the calendar for miler specialists. The field for this year’s running looks quite strong and should offer a fine betting opportunity.
Cigar Mile (G1) hero To Honor and Serve could be the one to beat in this one, and the Bill Mott trainee was a runaway winner of the Westchester H. (G3) in his seasonal debut. The son of Bernardini is perfect in three tries on this oval and surely seemed to handle this oval well last time with a fine score. Jose Lezcano will keep the ride.
Shackleford was a fine winner of the Churchill Downs S. (G2) most recently, and was a sharp third in the Carter H. (G1) with a tough trip prior to that run. The Dale Romans-trained classic winner is in fine form and should be in the mix from the opening bell. Classy graded winner is Redeemed 3-for-4 on this surface and was an easy winner of a local stakes venture in preparation of this for trainer Richard Dutrow. The Todd Pletcher-trained Mission Impazible has been awfully close to being a Grade 1 winner on two occasions in the past, and would be no surprise with a break through here after firing a bullet in advance of this.
20120 Cigar Mile (G1) winner Jersey Town, recent Carter H. (G1) victor Jackson Bend, the speedy Emcee, champion and Carter H. (G1) runner-up Caleb’s Posse and the Grade 1-placed Astrology, also are likely to add to the amazing depth of this field.
Also on Monday is the $400,000 Ogden Phipps H. (G1), for fillies and mares traveling 1 1/16 miles. Multiple Grade 3 queen Pachattack, La Troienne S. (G2) upsetter Juanita, multiple Grade 1 heroine It’s Tricky and the exquisite Awesome Maria, who has bagged five straight graded races, lead the field in this affair.
Some of the top sophomore fillies will be on display in the $300,000 Acorn S. (G1), also on Monday. Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) runner-up Zo Impressive is among the top draws in this one-mile event for conditioner Tom Albertrani. A fine debut winner in January, the daughter of Hard Spun has run well in two subsequent starts and could be rounding into her best race on this day. She shows a pair of solid drills at this venue.
Grade 2 heroine Renessgotzip, a big allowance winner over a nice field of elders last time, is likely to ship in from the West Coast for trainer Peter Miller. The fine daughter of City Zip is twice Grade 1 placed and has run in the top two in all five lifetime runs. Inside Information S. romper Hard Mystery, Funny Proposition, a sharp allowance winner at Churchill Downs last time, Eight Belles S. (G3) romper Contested and Auuby K, a standout allowance winner at Gulfstream Park, top the list of probables.The grassy, $200,000 Sands Point S. (G2) is the fourth graded event on Monday, and will be led by Somali Lemonade, Firehouse Red, Kitty Wine and Regalo Mia