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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Hallandale Beach, FL, May 7, 2021 – The true opening day of the Belmont Stakes spring-summer meet has finally arrived.

At once that’s whimsical but true as important horses once again are running in important races on Long Island, with five graded stakes sprinkled among the attractive 11-race program.

The lone hinky aspect is an unfavorable weather outlook–and six of the 11 races are scheduled for the turf.

Of those five graded events and six grass races there are two, the G3 Beaugay, an apparent bridge-crosser for some nice fillies and mares, and the prestigious Grade 1 Man o’ War, events likely to remain on their intended surface.

And speaking of the Belmont Stakes, the G3 Peter Pan, often a harbinger of winning Belmont form, has attracted a half-dozen, of which three loom as potential “Test of the Champion” combatants on paper.

We’ll take a handicapping look-see at the 9-furlong Peter Pan, as well as another Grade 3, the Runhappy for sprinters on dirt. We’re back Saturday morning with more value spots, hopefully for both surfaces.



DESERVING FAVORITE:  3-Chateau (8-5)

EARLY LINE VALUE:  2-Town Classic (12-1)

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box 2-3-4 [Firenze Fire (7/5)]


DESERVING FAVORITE:   2-Nova Rags (5-2)

EARLY LINE VALUE:   4-Wolfie’s Dynaghost (9-2) to win at 4-1 or greater

EXOTICA:   Exacta Box: 2-4-3 [Promise Keeper (7-2)]. Exacta Box: 2-4-6 [Risk Taking (7-5)]



DESERVING FAVORITE:  5-Sinful Dancer (2-1)

EARLY LINE VALUE:   2-Thunderbird Café (8-1) to win at 6-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Key Box:  2 // 3.5.9   Exacta Key Box: 5 // 2.3.9  Trifecta Key: 5 // 2.3.9

G3 BEAUGAY      Race 6

DESERVING FAVORITE:  1-Harvey’s Lil Goil  (8-5)

EARLY LINE VALUE:  3-Nay Lady Nay (4-1) to win at 4-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box:  1.2 [Lemista (5-2)].3

G3 Vagrancy        Race 7

DESERVING FAVORITE:  5-Honor Way (3-1)

EARLY LINE VALUE:  3-Victim of Love (4-1) to win at 4-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box: 3.5.6 [Pacific Gale (5-2)]  Exacta Box: 3.5.7 [French Empire (7-2)]

Grade 1 Man o’ War     Race 10

DESERVING FAVORITE:  1-Sovereign (8-5)

EARLY LINE VALUE:  3-Ziyad (6-1) to win at 6-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box:  1.3.5 [Channel Cat (10-1)]  Exacta Box: 1.3.8 [Gufo (2-1)]  Trifecta Key: 1 // 3.5.8

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17 Responses

  1. The Test of the Champion may have Malathaat. The last time Todd went The Oaks/Belmont route was with Rags to Riches who won them both and was the first filly to win Belmont since 1905 and the third filly ever to win the big race in Elmont. Todd loves this filly, very gentle around the barn and the picture of class. Jphnny V would have to choose Medina Spirit, one would think, especially if Medina captures Preakness Stakes. Look for Irad Ortiz to wind up on Malathaat, ha, ha.

  2. C, Wanted to see Essential Quality in the Belmont. I’ll take Malathaat, who might be the better “horse.” Great storyline, of course, writers always look for the story first. There are plenty of other races to bet on. Johnny would choose Medina if he wins Preakness, he’s an honorable man. But my guess is that, off the record, he would choose Malathaat in that spot…

  3. Does anyone miss ” Philips” picks? … By the way, what happened to ” K Pettyjohn”?😁🤐 … 🐴🐎🧲

    1. GR, The elipses represent personal attack which were edited out; should have deleted entire comment but others may be wondering. Don Phillips volunteered to handicap Aqueduct winter. Well, it’s now Belmont Spring/Summer… As for Mr. Pettyjohn, there were philosophical and creative differences. HRI wishes him all the best…

  4. Saturday May 8,2021

    Belmont Park
    9th- Nova Rags (2-1) Think Doubles

    10th-Field Pass (6-1) Rosario goes to Gufo. Maker/Saez off a mile tightener for this 4 year old son of Lemon Drop Kid. A repeat of last puts him in the winner’s circle. Certainly bred for distance. Play with the 2,3,8 and add the 1,5 for your triple’s and super’s.

    Let’s go get the bad guy’s- Vin

    1. Nova Rags extremely logical, no issue. We’re boxing with Horse to Watch Wolfie’s Dynaghost.

      1. John for me it’s the only other horse worth playing. The only problem I have is the trainer has not won graded stakes and his strike percent is, let’s call it bad.

        1. If my life depended on it, would pick Nova Rags Vin. Fortunately, that’s not the case…

  5. Medina Spirit tested positive for Derby. Baffert again. Mandaloun may now be moved up to first depending on how the story unfolds. Not a good look for the sport. If anybody needs to be squeaky clean right now it’s BB. ENOUGH! This is getting old, JP.

    1. It’s beyond old, C. This could blow the whole game up, like the circus, dog racing, etc. If proven, the only tack is to bar him for life and the next horse that tests positive for a “move-up” substance be barred for racing for six months with no change of trainers. Then maybe these owners won’t be searching out these cheaters any longer…

      1. I think Medina will still go, with Concert Tour, in Preakness for Baffert. Watch him win again, ha, ha. He has got to be worried after this positive result on MS. Hard to believe he would risk it so soon after Arkansas ruling. Weird.

        1. There’s no shortage of hubris among the privileged and entitled power elite in this country. None.

          1. Larry Colmus call of Derby ends with (Larry yelling like he does at finish of all big races), “Bob Baffert has done it again!” It is so reckless, if proven true, of Baffert to take a chance on getting caught. Pretty boneheaded move if, again, proven to be true. Mandaloun would move up, like Country House the year MAX was DQ’d (for interference, not drugs). Servis is now gone and BB may be on his way out also, huh?

  6. Racing has already long ago decided that baffert can do whatever he wants and it will always be excused and his ridiculous alibis will always be accepted.

    Meanwhile, Rick Dutrow is serving a TEN YEAR suspension. The world of racing is a joke

    1. If the Medina Spirit drug positive allegation proves true, Bob Baffert should be barred for life.

  7. On a positive note, the top two finishers in the Beugay were beyond impressive and I think we’re going to get a fun summer and fall with them banging heads. Both of them are flat out legit.

  8. Agreed, but I think clouds are beginning to obscure my view of silver linings…

    Seriously, those fillies were very good.

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