It’s a classic question that faces handicappers as the Belmont Park fall meet open with the restricted Positive Gal Stakes at six furlongs on the Belmont turf course: Side with clearly the fastest horse on performance figures, or an improving horses better positioned that gets weight from his rivals. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you probably have an idea which way we’re leaning here.

Clearly, Stormy West (2-1) is the fastest filly here and she does so consistently. She has run well in turn-back spots, something she’s doing here, and her last was one her best efforts yet. She’s had sufficient recovery time and the Mott/Desormeaux team were doing quite well until they shipped north to Saratoga.

Diamondrella (5-2) has improved dramatically with the barn switch to Angel Penna Jr., however. She’s won two of her last three starts for this outfit, has a proven record sprinting, and loves this course, as two wins over the surface attests. While meeting her toughest test, she gets five pounds from her main rival and draw the pole, as opposed to the extreme outside.

Taking Diamondrella to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta boxes with Stormy West and Sumthingtotalkabt (15-1), used on the pace returning from a layup last out now goes dirt to turf for a profitable 21 percent trainer in that scenario and which won her only start at this distance on grass. She’s also worth a saver wager at 12-1 or more.

Running Totals: (268) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]