Now that the 139th Belmont is in the books, the countdown to Saratoga will begin with today’s six furlong grass sprint for three-year-olds and up, a “non-winners of two other than maiden or claiming, or optional $50,000 claiming.”

Christophe Clement saddles the favored entry headed by Ever A Friend (2-1) that should be formidable. But we’ll call for a minor upset with the Linda Rice-trained Silver Timber (3-1).

Ever A Friend owns the fastest performance figures on turf by a significant margin, and just missed under these conditions at Belmont last out. Mate Quietly Mine is a budding Horse for Course, having won its only start given the same scenario. Since Garrett Gomez is named on both, however, only one will start. The latter would provide better value.

Silver Timber, meanwhile, earned competitive figures at three, is a turf sprint specialist, and has worked purposefully for his season’s debut. He returned last year with a victory following a similar layup and owns excellent late kick. Rice has developed a good working relationship with jockey Cornelio Velasquez. The eventual price should accurately reflect his winning chances.

Taking Silver Timber to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with the starting member of the Clement entry.

Running Totals: (38) 17-9-7 Dollar Return: $89.80 [win selections only]