Today’s Belmont Park feature is a six-horse race with several returning from layups of various duration and one making her U.S. debut, a race for “fillies and mares, a non-winners of three other/than; optional claiming $75,000.”
We’ll look at one of two main speed types, Just Starting (4-1), a late runner, Endless Virtue (5-2), and Aliysa (2-1), a South American filly that could race in any fashion depending on how he leaves the gate.
This is not an ideal set-up.
Endless Virtue begins from the rail position, is fresh, training well, and attracts Garrett Gomez. In what would be a perfect world for her, she would benefit greatly if the speed hooks up here; no guarantee.
But she’s 2-for-6 on this track (1-for-11 elsewhere) and never has finished worse than second at six furlongs in six starts, winning three.
Aliysa could be anything. A winner of half her six starts including a pair of Group 3s in Brazil, her wins have come on wet tracks, for which she is nicely bred. Is she classy, a mud lark, or a combination of both.
She’s been working for a long time at Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track and couldn’t be in better hands with the Pletcher/Velazquez team. Where she fits here is anyone’s guess.
The percentage play is Just Starting. Consistently fast from the barrier, she’s a win machine with nine victories from 17 lifetime starts, winning over many surfaces.
She makes her second start off the claim but her first for Gary Contessa, a profitable 19 percent with new acquisitions. The white hot Eibar Coa gets the call.
We’re taking Just Starting to win, at 5-2 or greater, and keying her first and second in exacta boxes with the other two fillies.
Running Totals: (57) 28-12-9 Dollar Return: $159.20