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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


OK, we all know that the obvious single at Belmont Park Sunday is going to be Sistercharlie as she shoots for her sixth straight–and seven of her last eight Grade 1 runs–victory in the Flower Bowl. Remarkable, really.

So the idea is to find a little value surrounding her and it will depend on how the G3 Belmont Futurity and G1 Frizette shake out. Either way, the 2x1x2 sequence won’t bust out players at the cost of $4.

In the Futurity, I’m not sure if we’ve seen any winning turf debuts more compelling that those of Freewheeler (5-1) and Four Wheel Drive (9-5). Several have run faster but none have been more visually impressive.

Even while beating state-breds, Freewheeler’s momentum carried him six wide entering the stretch and once corrected in the lane, drew off with powerful giant strides. Irad abandons him here but Johnny makes an able replacement for Todd Pletcher.

Ortiz landed on Four Wheel Drive who broke maiden on debut in stakes company at Colonial Downs.

After stalking a well regarded value he took the lead without urging, separated himself from the competition, then responded with a strong, late turn of foot for Wesley Ward. He looms the most probable winner.

The Frizette is challenging as there are three fillies going a mile for the first time off a single start. And we believe two of those are the horses to beat. Either or both may have a big future.

Daphne Moon (9-2) intrigues because despite a tardy start, she gathered herself, rallied on her own at the turn, drove pace the pacesetters and lengthened stride the farther she went. And that was 7 furlongs, no easy ask on debut.

But Wicked Whisper (2-1) is wicked fast. Don’t know if it was just her precocity and that, coupled with inherent class, indicates there’s more where that came from. Still galloping on the lead into the lane, she drew off and also appeared to get stronger at the end. Love front-running out-wells!

Sistercharlie notwithstanding, we’ll go on record with Four Wheel Drive and Wicked Whisper to win.

YESTERDAY: Leinstar ran too good to lose, a little wide throughout, forced to fire early and was nailed by one-run closer; very good second… I’ve tried Bourbon War; freshened, on turf, with cheek pieces; time for you to jump on because we just got divorced. He never would have won, given the dynamics, but showed none of the pop from early this year; look for him at Gulfstream… Vasilika could have had a better trip and actually did well to finish fourth but never was a threat. She will love returning to Santa Anita and yesterday’s race should do her some good… Something had to go wrong with River Boyne; no tactical speed and finished last?!

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