With no added money events on the docket and two tied for highest purse, we opted for the dirt event so as not to give second thought to turf or not to turf later in the day.

The third at Belmont is a preliminary allowances/optional claiming for 3s & up going a mile and a sixteenth. There are two returning from long layups--no knock since each are from McLaughlin and Pletcher, respectively, Pletcher's Street Thug (4-1) making his first start for this barn. Not to mention Chad Brown's recent runoff winner, All That (2-1), who won by nearly 5 despite being bias compromised.

But it's Bill Mott's Ghost Hunter (6-1) that interest us most. A late developing 3YO, his best races have come on dirt and today goes AW-Turf-Dirt makes his third start off the layup, a worthy 26% efficient for this barn. That, coupled with improved early speed in last and a switch to Alvarado, a popular choice for this barn.

Even though it's a small field, take Ghost Hunter to win at 9-2 or greater and key-box with McLaughlin's Long River (7-5), dropping from graded stakes, Street Thug, All That and price shot Cool Under Fire (30-1), a recent wet-track loving claim.


Number of Selections since May, 2007: 1396

Number of Win-Place-Show Finishers: 427-264-212

Amount Wagered: $2,792 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $2,908.00

Profit to Date: $116.00