In the closing weekend of the Belmont Park meet, we have a couple of stakes races for 2 years old New York bred horses. Today the males, tomorrow the females.
A race for young horses is always a bit tougher to analyze as there is limited data available and it is too early to really assess the quality of the horse.
A young horse can progress in leaps and bounds, so surprises definitely happen.
But with proper analysis of pedigree and trainer trends, along with workout information and past performances, it is possible to get an idea of the forces in the race. And when you can pick the right ones, these races for young horses can generate nice payoffs.
Today we have a strong odds-on favourite facing other quality horses who might have a better spot in the race so I believe there is a bet to be made.
Number 1, HUSHION did not break out of the gate very alertly last time out which is a bit of a concern. Schooling of 2 years old is a key factor in their success and gate work is among the most important. HUSHION ran pretty well on the outside and was probably helped by the Belmont Park track bias. This trainer’s horses do better on second start than on first try but the statistics are still not very strong. His sire is not too proven with young horses and the mare has not yet produced a great foal, so pedigree is in doubt. Today, HUSHION should actually be hindered by the track bias and the other signs are not too positive so it is better to pass.
Number 2 LA FUERZA broke out of the gate poorly in his first try but rallied impressively and won by 7 lengths in a decent time for the class category. It is a bit worrying for the horse to have a bad start but obviously he has talent to overcome problems. LA FUERZA has a decent pedigree and is trained by a world-renowned trainer. His last workout was not very sharp but maybe he was just keeping warm. LA FUERZA is definitely a threat but I don’t think he is a good bet at odds-on morning line.
Number 3, RED ZINGER has a decent workout line but I am not sure how much we can read into it as he works for a trainer with a dismal record with first time starters. His bloodline is good and his star father, though new at the Stud game, has produced a pretty good offspring already. His dam has produced a winner, so his family is not bad and obviously there were some physical qualities in RED ZINGER as he sold relatively well last year. The trainer is the main worry but RED ZINGER has good blood in him and a decent workout. I think he is more of a threat than the 10-1 morning line odds reveal.
Number 4, WHAT THE LUCK is the only other horse with a win already and he actually did it in higher class and in better fashion than the likely favorite La Fuerza. WHAT THE LUCK has the best sire of the group, whose offspring tend to like distance, so the increase today should not be a problem. His trainer knows how to repeat a winning performance, therefore WHAT THE LUCK might be able to progress further. He runs fast and early from the outside which is good due to the Belmont Park track bias. The gap between racing dates is a bit of a concern but maybe the trainer had his sights on this particular race? There is a strong workout in WHAT THE LUCK’s recent past, so I think we can trust that he is fit.
Number 5 BUSTIN MATCH FOUR ran third in his last race in the mud and maybe the track conditions were not to his liking. He finished pretty far from the winner though so there is still a question mark on the performance. BUSTIN MATCH FOUR comes from a good family. His dam produced 3 winners and his sire has had good success with young starters and already a few good foals in a short stud career. His trainer fares much better on second start but the workout lines are not very impressive. BUSTIN MATCH FOUR might have a good career ahead but I don’t see signs that he can win this one here.
Young horses are a mystery and can progress from race to race or regress or can just be impressive on a first start.
Today, we see an impressive favorite but as there are no sure things with 2 years old I don’t think it is wise to take the short odds with these question marks.
I prefer the other proven winner in the group, WHAT THE LUCK. The pedigree is strong, the win last time was strong, the post position and racing style are favorable. I think there is a good chance for a strong performance.
I think that RED ZINGER making his first start against impressive proven winners will be a bit disregarded at the betting window. It is a gamble, but I believe that a place is within reach to spice up the exacta bet ticket.
WIN BET at 3-2 or more on Number 4 WHAT THE LUCK
Exacta Box 3-4