IF MID-ATLANTIC SHOWERS KEEP UP, THIS COULD BE A GOOD DAY TO GO CROSS-COUNTRY

This week, Belmont Park and Delaware Park agreed to put on an all graded-stakes extravaganza. And, so, again we’re hoping to make a oak-full of cash from a acorn’s worth of investment.

If you more the vertically inclined, then by all means go that way. We’ve done our work and have come up with a plan of attack.

Included in the synopses will be a modicum of whys and wherefores. To wit:

DELAWARE PARK

RACE 8 — G3 DELAWARE OAKS

On form it appears to be a Gardenia rematch between Comical (5-2) and Piece of My Heart (2-1). But looks can be deceiving.

When these fillies met at Oaklawn Park, ‘Piece’ benefitted from heads-up Joe Talamo handling and got the drop on Comical with a well-executed front-end victory; Comical a one-paced runnerup.

Drawn inside, we’ll see if Alex Cintron on Comical will try to steal off from his main rival by taking early position, but there are several others who also might decide on early prominence so is by no means a match within a match. Actually, it’s about as open as it can get.

Princess Cadey (10-1) ships in for Maryland-based super trainer Claudio Gonzalez and that makes her a must-use. For deeper bankrolls there’s also Hopeful Growth (10-1), high on upside but a tad light on pedigree.

Queen Bridget (8-1) going turf to dirt for another move-up trainer, John Ortiz/ Prior to her turf run was a show finish to a filly named Gamine. So anything’s possible.

G3 KENT STAKES

Singling Gufo (5-2) who is heading south on 95 for Christophe Clement in search of black type. A chestnut son of Declaration of War, he’s 3-for-4 on turf, 2-for-2 since adding Lasix, and won his only attempt at today’s trip.

Sunsation (6-1) went wire to wire beneath Joe Bravo going 1-1/8 miles after finishing a willing second to impressive maiden breaker On Base (15-1), one of two uncoupled entrants from Jonathan Thomas. Sunsation is 2-for-3 with blinkers added.

The other, Talking (12-1), makes his second start exiting the Sunsation race, a season’s debut in which he suffered through a troubled trip. Bred and raced by George Strawbridge, he’s the preferred Thomas with Daniel Centeno in the boot. The trainer is profitable in stakes company and in LAY-2 scenarios.

BELMONT PARK

GRADE 1 METROPOLITAN HANDICAP

The three favorites have close to an aggregate 90% chance of winning the storied Met Mile. Arguably, McKinzie (2-1) should have won it last year but couldn’t get out of a lock-box in time to catch Mitole, even if he was flying fastest at the finish. He’s won all three one-turn races on the page.

At the end of the year, willing to take a price that Code of Honor (3-1) will have a better season. His last was an ideal prep, a lifetime best without reaching the bottom. Turning back with faster here, can he get up in time? Of course he can. Will he? I don’t know; it’s your call. Could be the value in here.

Vekoma (5-2) absolutely freaked taking the G1 Carter, earning a minus-5 on the Thoro-Graph scale, about 10 lengths faster than he’s ever run in his left.

The figure is monstrous and either you believe in the bounce theory, or you do not; I do. He’s a must use in any sequential, any direction, but we will not be betting him straight.

Having stated the above, Endorsed (10-1) and Mr Freeze (8-1) are not without a puncher’s chance. ‘Freeze’ is generally underrated and has run as fast as anywhere here, Vakoma’s Carter aside. Endorsed made an early mid-move and held very well when Code of Honor came calling.He gets eight pounds from the favorite and seven from ‘Code’ and a probable change of tactics.

GRADE 1 MANHATTAN STAKES

Chad Brown will saddle three of the eight and, of course, any could win. Among Instilled Regard (2-1), Devamani (9-2) and Rockemperor (5-1), were prefer the favorite least of the three and likely will bet on one of the other two straight, price dependent. Using all three horizontally but, wait, there’s more…

Sadler’s Joy (7-2) will get there one of these afternoons and have a thought that the turnback to 10 furlongs might help his late kick, providing the pace is halfway honest. Gelded seven year old Dot Matrix (6-1) would not be a shocker.

Cannot be surprised by a horse that’s 10-for-30 lifetime on turf with five exacta finishes. Prepped for this locally, coming off a freshening. It’s Brad Cox and ‘Flo’ is having some kind of spooky stakes season. We’re using them all.

G2 Suburban Stakes

Today’s the day that Tacitus (9-5) officially runs out of excuses. His form is excellent, he figures to sit a pocket setup, is forward looking, and love the idea Bill Mott blew him out rapidly after re-adding blinkers. He’s our second single.

The logical suspects beyond the early line favorite are Mr. Buff (2-1), Mr. Winston (7-2), and Moretti (5-1) are preferred in that order after that.

The PLAY: 50-Cent Pick 5:

1 2 3 // 6 // 2 3 5 // 1 2 4 5 7 // 1 = $22.50

[check back tomorrow in the FRA section for any late, straight thoughts]

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