Pretty slim feature pickings at Belmont to start Jockey Club Gold Cup week, leaving us with an optional claiming NX2 for state-bred sprinters.
And what a potpourri: 3-year-olds, elders, speed types, stalkers, ralliers, class moves both up and down. Only six horses and a little of everything.
We’re willing to err on the side of sharpness, recent Linda Rice re-claim Gypsum Johnny (4-1). He’s not as fast as several, or as classy, but he was super sharp winning his last for $16 and is entered back for $40K by a clever claiming barn.
We like that he’s drawn outside in a small field, has tactical speed, a stalking style and can kick on, especially given today’s shorter trip. But he’s a four-time winner at the trip but more significantly owns a lifetime (16) 6-3-4 Belmont Park slate.
If he stays in contact with the field on the backside, he can kick by by Junior Alvarado on the re-ride.
Taking Gypsum Johnny to win, no price restrictions, and key-boxing exactas with Leaky Cup (7-2) and Binkster (7-5).
YESTERDAY: For a reason completely unknown to me, Carrera Cat was quarter-horsed to the lead, helped sap a speedy rival in a head-to- head battle, setting the table for the winning, perfect-trip 1-4 favorite. The rider never gave the 8-1 filly and chance to spring an upset.