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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, June 7, 2022 – It may be Belmont Stakes week but Thursday’s feature races conjure thoughts of Saratoga Springs, not Long Island.

There are two stakes; the Astoria for the baby girls, the Tremont for baby boys.

Ladies first: Devious Dame (4-5) is a deserving Astoria favorite but the early line quote seems a bit rich, even with a switch to Joel Rosario. But her one start is by far the most accomplished on the page.

But one had to love how she stalked fast fractions from close range while in hand, took the lead on her own, separated herself when finally set down, finishing strongly through the finish line.

Since her May 5 maiden breaker, Norm Casse worked her thrice, and know that the daughter of Girvin sold for twice the sire’s average offspring at $240,000. She seems to have inherited her sire’s talent.

Girl Bye (9-2), whose sire stands for $5K, did have the benefit of rail position going a short 4-1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park, APR 21.

She was pressed throughout, separated herself and widened further late, running on with authority at the wire. Michael Yates has a nice hand with youngsters, and her spacing is perfect. Marcos Meneses is up from Florida for the re-ride.

These two fillies are close on pace figures, but not the likely odds. We’ll take value offered on Girl Bye to win, needing 9-2, preferably more, and an exacta box with the favorite.

The Tremont appears to be another two-horse affair:

No Nay Hudson (5-2) earned a strong final BRIS figure with a faster second fraction going 4-1/2 furlongs. Johnny rides for Wesley Ward. Two Of A Kind (3-1) proved faster away from the gate, based on the early pace figure, but with an inferior final number.

Two of a Kind has four winning sibs from five other brothers and sisters, hot Brian Lynch is 29% in non-graded stakes, and Luis Saez sticks with her. Things to like.

The sentimental choice has a puncher’s chance here. Zalenskyy Strong (5-1) was bumped at the break, earned a competitive EP figure, and was a well meant 9-5 second choice in his debut.

Interesting that crafty Peter Walder has a division in New York this year and his horses have been competitive thus far. He taps Irad Ortiz, which sends out the live signal.

Right now, the win lean goes to Two of a Kind, and likely exacta key-boxes with both rivals named.

We don’t get overly excited by early season juvenile stakes as a rule since precocity is the measure. But these two races peaked our interest. So, as Hyman Roth might say, “enjoy.”

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