Is Eldaafer (12-1), back in the hands of Diane Alvarado who saddled him to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and who loves Belmont and has been working sharply, the same horse now that he was in 2010?
Does Belmont lover, the classy and fast Redeemed (5-2), equipped to go 12 furlongs? At 9 furlongs, he would be a cinch here.
Finally, will Birdrun (4-1) improve enough off two ordinary efforts much better in his return to a surface and distance he really likes? He certainly is talented enough to win this.
Even if Eldaafer proves that you can go home again, this will be a tall order. When he’s right, he’s hard trying, and efforts take their toll. The switch to Paco Lopez is a positive won, as is the recent blowout, but in this case seeing is believing.
The last time Birdrun and Redeemed met it was in a 9-furlong sloppy track prep for this and Redeemed won by nearly 10. He’s a 4-year-old just coming into his own, he’s been pointed toward this and has worked four times since that prep. He’s super ready.
But so is Birdrun, who comes out of the prep with a New Pace Top, setting a very strong pace, and just couldn’t finish up with his sharp rival. Today is the third off the layup for Bill Mott and has been drilling extremely well. He’s set for best, too, he gets two pounds from Redeemed, a 4-pound weight switch from his last.
Taking Birdrun to win at 3-1 or greater, an exacta box with Redeemed, and adding Eldaafer to the super-exotic mix.
Running Totals: (1092) 336-211-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,306.00 [win selections only]