Art Master clearly has been pointed toward this, coming off a seven week layoff following his season’s debut on dirt for Bobby Frankel. Drawn inside with tactical speed, the six-year-old was third on this course in the Grade 2 Kelso last fall, has won half of his six starts at the distance, worked sharply for this and attracts Garrett Gomez for a trainer that is a profitable 25 percent going dirt to turf. Expect GG to try to work out a trip here.
Classic Campaign has been training up a storm for turf ace Billy Mott, and the improving five-year-old gelding boasts a (6) 2-2-0 slate at today’s distance. He seems to need no specific made-to-order conditions but does his best running--like most successful grass runners--from off the pace. Kent Desormeaux, the new stable rider, has owned both Belmont grass courses at this meet. Of the three, he is most likely to provide value.
Host, a Grade 1 winner at eight furlongs, is an obvious class play. The seven-year-old pro continues to hold his form very well for Todd Pletcher, who goes to one of his Gulfstream Park/Monmouth regulars, Chris De Carlo, who won aboard Host in the recent Elkwood at the shore track. Working every seventh day, Host will try to improve on his laudable (8) 4-2-0 mile record.
Opting for potential value, we’re taking Classic Campaign to win at 3-1 or more, keying him first and second in exactas with the two major contenders.
Running Totals: (60) 29-12-9 Dollar Return: $168.10 [win selections only]