Making his season’s debut for new trainer Saaed bin Suroor, he returns to Belmont Park where he’s 1-for-1 and retains the services of regular rider Edgar Prado. A talented speedster, he proved to be a bit brittle at 3 and the hope is that with maturity comes a new measure of toughness.
Fresh off the 259-day break, he boasts a very sharp breeze for his return and hails from a barn that not only is 35% effective with long-layup types but has the same lofty percentage in graded stakes. Suroor’s figures rise to 39% with horses making their first start for him. Songster will be part of the pace throughout.
If there is a chance to find value, it would be in keeping likely second choice Anew out of the exacta. Steve Asmussen is not known for his overall effectiveness with long absentees and the thinking is the gelding’s real target is the Grade 2 True North on Belmont day.
We’re taking Songster to win with no price restrictions, and will try to complete the exacta with the bounce/rebound candidate, Pavo. There should be sufficient pace on to assist the five-year-old’s late run. He has a history of bouncing back off poor efforts.
[Thursday’s top selection, Hither Lane, was scratched. Winning second choice Council Member was not included in totals recap].
Running Totals (excluding Friday results): (19) 7-5-4. ROI: $49.80.