CONDITION KING AT BELMONT

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.

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2 Responses

  1. As you have written, nowadays speed is class. I simply can’t visualize Gypsum’s speed beating class in this field; the 7 yr. old lady is facing classier foes. Methinks Sudden Surprise with Kendrick up is ready for her best race of year; if I get 5/1 at post time, I’ll splurge a bit. Binkster will make the race close.

  2. I began with a declarative statement, but I think you misread what I wrote; the headline gives it away.

    My filly has present condition, she is not as fast, nor as classy on paper, as her rivals.

    Took her at her quoted odds because she’s sharp, with added conditioning turning back off the 7F win.

    I wrote “if she stays in contact with the field on the backside” — that she might use her conditioning late.

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