Finally, a Belmont feature that will be run on dirt. And what a skull buster it is! For older males at a mile and a sixteenth, it features "non-winners of 4 races other than…or optional $75,000 claiming." It’s just difficult to know where many of the contenders are in their form cycles.

Rathor, for instance, goes from the Grade 3 Long Branch at Monmouth into a $75,000. What’s up with that, although he is a 6-year-old and it’s not like Bobby Frankel has running horses in short supply. The horse loves Belmont (2-for-3) and today’s distance (3-4). His outside draw gives Eibar Coa options, but his form has been spotty.

Diamond Isle and Piety, from Rick Dutrow and Bruce Levine, respectively, haven’t run since 2007, and they’re both great off long layups. What kind of form is Wafi in? He figures to improve off his two month freshening but also has been in and out.

Shone ships in sharp for Nick Zito, but he’s been sprinting and often Zito’s horses in Kentucky don’t replicate their form when they ship here from the bluegrass. Price is usually our guide but in this case it’s absolutely requisite.

Wafi, with his tactical speed and competitive performance figures, figures to sit a good trip behind two likely pacesetters while saving ground, and Mike Luzzi is very position conscious. We’re gambling that Kiaran McLaughlin will have straightened out his recent difficulties and will have him set for best. Among all the major contenders, and there are plenty, he is the most likely to fall between the parimutuel cracks.

Taking Wafi to win at 4-1 or greater, keying him in exactas first and second with Diamond Isle and Rathor.

Running Totals: (236) 74-49-27. Total Dollar Return: $452.90 [win selections only] {Thursday results not included}