We’ve seen them most recently in the West Point at Saratoga; same distance, different course configuration. And that can be the winning difference here. We’ll concentrate on three, from the inside out: Red Zipper (5-2), Al Basha (8-1) and Foreverness (9-2).
Red Zipper was an excellent second in the West Point. Forced to run after a loose leader probably sooner than Eibar Coa wanted. Making the lead prematurely between calls, she hung on gamely but could not hold off last run Classic Park. She makes her second start off a freshening here, has a worthy (5) 2-1-0 slate at Belmont and never has been worse than second in three starts at the distance, winning one.
Foreverness was in that West Point stretch battle with Red Zipper, also gained the lead but settled for third. Today he switches to underrated turf rider Jose Lezcano and back to his favorite course. Four of his six lifetime wins came on Belmont turf.
The interesting horse is the three-year-old Al Basha. Not as accomplished as his older brethren, he came into his own when stretched to today’s trip, twice a winner at nine furlongs in three starts, one of them coming over this course. Angel Penna Jr. has been having an excellent season and has made most of the right moves with this late developer since June.
Taking Red Zipper, the most probable winner, at early line odds or greater, and keying him first and second in exacta boxes with the other two.
Running Totals: (103) 39-25-11. Dollar Return: $227.30 [win selections only]