Well, what do you know, a grass race feature in New York? Is the NYRA racing office in a rut, or what?

At least, this one’s very interesting, a listed stakes, the Academy Award, for older males at 10 furlongs on the inner turf.

It’s drawn a relatively full field of nine and we’ll take a close look at three of them; Grand Couturier, Banrock and Distorted Reality.

Grand Couturier is the class of this group--by a lot. A winner of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer last year and third in the G1 Man o’ War, he debuts with Garrett Gomez in the boot for the first time ever. Trainer Bob Ribaudo has done an excellent job with this veteran, finally earning stakes brackets in 2007. But Ribaudo doesn’t usually have them fully cranked off long layups and let’s face it, this spot has prep written all over it.

Banrock doesn’t class up at first glance but he’s the now horse of the group and clearly comes into this in career form, showing a newly found maturity, a common occurrence with geldings when they reach the age of five. He owns the fastest recent figures, comes up to this six weeks fresh. While he lacks 10 furlong form, he has won going farther and reunites with Javier Castellano, 1-for-1 aboard the gelding.

Distorted Reality receives much needed class relief here. Making his third start off a layoff, a 29 percent proposition for the Pletcher barn, it was either the G2 company or the off course that compromised his chances in the Dixie at Pimlico last time out. As a four year old, he should continue improving and owns a (2) 1-1-0 slate over Belmont grass. Regular Rider Johnny Velazquez takes the mount on this multiple graded-placed stakes runner.

Taking the streaking Banrock to win at 4-1 or greater, keying him in exactas first and second with his classy rivals here.

Running Totals: (222) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {does not reflect Wednesday’s results}