Met Mile Tops Star Studded Holiday Card At Belmont

A superb field is lining up for the Holiday feature at Belmont Park this Monday, in the $750,000 Metropolitan H. (G1). Trainer Todd Pletcher, will be well represented in this one with a pair of runners, including Gulfstream Park H. (G2) star Discreet Dancer. Third last time out in the Carter H. (G1), the four-year-old son of Discreet Cat has never been worse than third in his lifetime and could be running at his ideal distance in the one-turn mile today.

Also from the Pletcher barn is the talented Cross Traffic, who just missed by a head in the Westchester (G3) most recently in a huge effort. The lightly raced son of Unbridled’s Song has speed and could finish, and he should benefit from having a race over the oval. The multiple Grade 1-placed Mucho Macho Man will make his comeback after being pulled up in the Sunshine Millions Classic S. in his latest venture. The Kathy Rivto charge was a dominant winner of the Suburban H. (G2) on this main oval last summer and surely has to be used in the wagering, as his best is as good as most. Mark Valeski is a Grade 2 winner on this oval from last year’s Peter Pan S. (G2) triumph, and the four-year-old was a fine second last time in the New Orleans H. (G2), a fine prep for this event.

The California contingent will also be especially strong in this feature, including Bob Baffert’s Fed Biz. This four-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway has garnered three of his four lifetime wins at this distance and comes off a game second in a stakes race on the lawn. The Richard Mandella-trained Jimmy Creed took the Malibu S. (G1) in his 2012 finale, and then came back to impressively score in the Potrero Grande S. (G2) last out in what looks like a fine prep event for this one. Carter (G1) runner-up Sahara Sky and dual Grade 2 star Handsome Mike, add to the incredible depth of this field.

Pletcher will also have a big hand in the $400,000 Ogden Phipps S. (G1) with Disposablepleasure, last seen dominating the Sixty Sails H. (G3) and two-for-two in 2013. The long-striding daughter of Giacomo was a big second in the Mother Goose (G1) last season on this strip and has run big in both local outings in anticipation of this race.
Centring was a nice second to the aforementioned in her latest voyage and looms a chance at a price for conditioner Tom Albertrani. Grade 1 queen Joyful Victory, a fine four-length romper of the Santa Margarita (G1) out West last time, has arguably never been better and could be the one for trainer Larry Jones. Apple Blossom (G1) second Tiz Miz Sue and recent La Troienne S. (G2) heroine Authenticity also deserve a lot of notice in this fine field.

In the $300,000 Acorn S. (G1) Pletcher’s speedster Kauai Katie and Sunland Park Oaks record setter Midnight Lucky could hook up early and duel throughout this one-mile test for sophomore fillies.

The final graded run on Memorial Day is the $200,000 Sands Point S. (G2) while the Saturday headliner at Belmont is the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay S. (G2), for fillies and mares traveling 11 furlongs on the lawn.