The favorite is logical and will be a tough out. He is consistently fastest on the Equiform scale and has been competing in either roughly run or extremely hot paced turf sprints. The barn is batting a lofty 30 percent-plus in sprints and in allowance spots, Kent Desormeaux finally might be heating up after a dismal few months and this War Chant colt seems to have the perfect blend of speed and kick. He’s also nicely positioned toward the inside in a bulky field where the competition might be hung out to dry. He’s also back in under allowance conditions here.
The Clement entry (4-1) of Perfect Casting and Quietly Mine look, well, double tough. Perfect Casting likes this course, the spacing is perfect and he’s suited nicely by the race shape. Mate Quietly Mine is getting class relief in here and drops out of the Can-Grade 3 Highlander that’s produced three next-out winners. Alan Garcia rides the latter, a class dropper and true Belmont turf specialist, owning a (5) 2-2-1 slate on this ground. Perfect Casting has also shown an affinity for this course.
The Frankel entry (7-2) of Trimaran and Joe Bravo is well spotted. Trimaran owns a win at the distance and over the course, has been wisely freshened over the Saratoga break while getting ready at Belmont for his return. Edgar Prado, aboard for his latest win, takes the re-ride. Meanwhile, the four-legged Joe Bravo could be anything. He’s a Group 1 winner in Brazil, has carried weight successfully, which he’s not asked to do here, also has worked bullets at Belmont over the Spa hiatus, gets Lasix for the first time and attracts Johnny Velazquez.
In a tight fit, taking Rallying Cry to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exacta and trifecta boxes with his coupled rivals here, even if one member of the entry scratches in favor of the other. Interesting race.
Running Totals: (271) 84-53-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]