On the day after the feature is the Mount Vernon for older state-bred fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the inner turf course. A good competitive field, as are most New York-bred grass routes, and weve narrowed it down to three strong contenders, from the inside, out: Half Heaven (8-1), Factual Contender (5-2) and Homerette (6-1).

Factual Contender is the most probable winner. Shes been a different filly over the last half-year since switching to turf for trainer Barclay Tagg. Her performance figures are consistently fast, she has tactical speed but can kick home, too, and shes been most effective at todays distance. She defeated open company last out and has worked four times since. She wont make you rich.

The only problem with Half Heaven is that shes unproven at the distance. Otherwise, shes as fast as the favorite on figures, is drawn well with tactical speed, has been successful in open company, and hails from a barn thats 22 percent efficient and profitable with their shippers.

Homerette is by definition the fastest on figures but this represents a tough test having drawn outside vs. some salty rivals. She was finishing well after the fact in her recent four-year-old debut sprinting against open company and has been more effective in routes. But she, too, is an unknown quantity at five furlongs.

Taking Factual Contender to win with no price restrictions, and an exacta key box with Half Heaven and Homerette.

Running Totals: (36) 16-9-7 [does not reflect Belmont Stakes results] Dollar Return: $86.40 [win selections only]