It is another short field at Belmont Park in this $100k Stakes race but the race will likely still be interesting with horses well matches speed figure wise and a question mark on the overwhelming favorite.
The morning line odds favorite, TWISTED TOM, comes back from a long rest after a hard battle that saw him best opponents on a richer stake at the track last year.
He draws the outside post and will need to be back in condition to beat this field but based on class, he has the upper hand.
Should he fail to come back successfully from the extended vacation, come-from-behind horse PAT ON THE BACK might pick up this race and based on speed figures he is actually the one to beat today.
A surprise wire-to-wire win from speedy horse HIT IT ONCE MORE is possible and if he is in form and his opponents too patient, he can make use of the Belmont Park track bias to score an upset.
In the 3rd race of Belmont Park on July 1 2018, the field notes are as follow:
Number 1, WINE NOT has been rested a month and a half, maybe in preparation for this race, and shows some sharp workouts. He failed in his last race, which was his first one of 2018, but posted a career best speed figure so there might be room for improvement. At 5 years old we can wonder if he can progress though. He has found success in the past at Belmont Park, and at the distance, but on class it is a step up today. Against quality opposition it is hard to see him prevailing but, sharp, he could well grab a place with his come from behind style.
Number 2 PAT ON THE BACK finished second twice in a row in stakes company and came close both times. He posted field-topping speed figures in both tries so today might be the day when he breaks his curse. He never finished out of the top three at Belmont Park but never won at the distance though and his last win was exactly one year ago. He has good finishing speed and should manage to stay close to the action throughout. His trainer has been on a tear this week and PAT ON THE BACK has his place at this class level. He just needs the speed horse to collapse in front and the morning line odds favorite to still be groggy after the long layoff to win this one.
Number 3, HIT IT ONCE MORE is the biggest longshot in the field according to the track handicapper, but I suspect that his career high speed figure which dwarfs the opposition will still attract him a few fans. He did win a stakes race earlier this year in New York but the last few outings have been sub-par. HIT IT ONCE MORE will need to bring his A-game here to win but if he can get the easy lead he craves, why not? It looks unlikely that his opponents will do him this favour and it is best to pass on him today based on recent form.
Number 4, CAN YOU DIGGIT placed a couple of times in stakes class this year but lost to his rival on the inside at Aqueduct in February. His success rate at Belmont Park and at the distance is pretty good and he can play the pace both ways. He has a quality workout this week so might be sharp but on paper he does not have the class required to win today.
Number 5 TWISTED TOM is an all-or-nothing kind of horse with 7 wins and no place in ten starts. He has three wins in a row at stakes level but those came last year, and he has been out of action for 8 months now. His trainer is pretty good at bringing horses back after long layoffs and the workouts this month are pretty sharp. He never lost at the distance and can come back from behind or grab the lead early when needed. He is the classiest of the bunch and has been able to win coming back from rest in the past, albeit with shorter vacations. If he is at his best he will be hard to beat.
It all hinges on the sharpness of TWISTED TOM after a very long vacation but the workouts and trainer angle say that he might be ready to go.
His opposition is nothing to thumb your nose at but, class-wise, TWISTED TOM is hard to beat.
If everyone takes a patient approach pace-wise, HIT IT ONCE MORE might go wire-to-wire and if the odds are good enough, it might be worth a gamble.
Second morning line-odds favourite, PAT ON THE BACK, has not won in a while but his trainer is very hot right now and his speed figures and tactical versatility make him a good choice at the right odds.
JUNE 30 BELMONT PARK RACE 3 BETTING ADVICE
WIN BET at 10-1 or more on Number 3 HIT IT ONCE MORE
Exacta 3-2 box for a nice payday if TWISTED TOM is not coming back at his best