On paper, todays Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont Park might appear a two-horse race between Kentucky Derby also-rans Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday. Down the road it could have even more implications, however.

Sightseeing, who split those two in the Wood Memorial then came back to win the Peter Pan, subsequently skipped the Belmont in addition to skipping the Derby. Shug McGaughey is clearly pointing towards a Midsummer Derby. But if a couple of heavy heads show up in the Travers, its possible the Phipps runner might skip that dance, too.

As an aid in reaching his goal, Shug is adding blinkers--perhaps borrowing Barclay Taggs, whos removing the eyewear from Nobiz in todays primary feature--in an attempt to get the colt to react quicker to his riders cues. McGaughey, and videotape study, concluded Sightseeing was a little late getting Edgar Prados message in the Peter Pan.

Meanwhile, who knows how good First Defence is? As a two-year-old he finished second to Zanjero going long at Churchill Downs before the latter underscored his talent with a fine effort subsequently in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Making his three-year-old debut for Bobby Frankel on May 28th, First Defence won a seven furlong allowances easily over the track in 1:20 4/5. Hes 2-for-2at Belmont Park and todays added ground is no problem. He is the Dwyers dominant early speed.

Speaking of zip, Commentator, the horse with issues but also with immense talent, will try to dominate the Grade 2 Tom Fool with early gas.

Should he add the Tom Fool trophy to his record of nine lifetime wins in 12 starts--including four victories at the seven-furlong distance and over the Belmont surface--it will be interesting to see if trainer Nick Zito runs him back in the Whitney.

Commentator won that storied Saratoga Grade 1 two years ago. But first things first. The six-year-old gelding needs to defeat a speed-laden group and have enough strength left to attempt the Whitneys additional two furlongs.

In all, a good day to be a racing fan. Enjoy your holiday.