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Belmont Park Hotlist - September 18

September 16, 2020

Today’s New York Hot List races to watch – Friday, September 18, 2020 at Belmont Park
                By Matt Shifman and Bob Ehalt

Hot List Key:
 A:
A preferred horse to watch                           B: Secondary horse to watch
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

2nd race – (3) Me and Mr. C was claimed from his most recent start at Saratoga by Michael Maker for $40,000. He has several stakes races in his record and Maker has been a hot trainer who plays that claiming game on the grass as well as anyone. He drops this one in for $32,000 looking for the win. (1) Gravitas has two wins and two seconds in his four career starts for Jonathan Thomas and he now finds this claiming race that is restricted to 3-year-olds. Last out, he won for $30,000 at Monmouth Park against older horses. (4) Pepper Pike returns to the turf for Steve Asmussen where he ran third for $40,000 at Saratoga. (2) Doubly Blessed is another claim by Maker who took this one from Thomas at the Spa on closing weekend and Luis Saez gets on board.

4th race – (1) You’re to Blame ran second in the Birdstone at Saratoga which is a marathon distance stake similar to Friday’s feature race. Trainer Todd Pletcher does a lot of things really well and winning these long races has become another one of them. (4) Rocketry is a regular in this type of race and in his two starts this year he has a second and a third. He was a nose behind the top choice last time out for Jimmy Jerkens. (2) Counter Offer will switch from turf to dirt where he made a brief appearance on the 2019 Kentucky Derby trail for Ian Wilkes. (3) Danny California won an allowance at Saratoga last time and it’s very hard lately to discount any runner from the barn of Orlando Noda.

5th race – (2) Cross Keys (B) was claimed by Jeremiah Englehart for $25,000 at Saratoga in July from a race where she lost all chance at the break. In her debut, she was well bet in a NY-bred maiden special weight where she ran fourth going a mile at Belmont Park. She now goes seven furlongs which should fit well. (1A) Mebs Web is part of an entry for Hall of Famer Nick Zito who had a second and a third at the Spa this summer and that makes her a threat in a field like this. (6) Belleza also has two very good starts this year at this same $25,000 level. Last start she was third behind a filly that came back to win her next start. (3) Bankers Beast debuted on the grass in a maiden special weight at Belmont against state-breds and then switched to the dirt as the favorite. Now, trainer Michael Stidham drops her in for a tag for the first time which is a 38% winning move for him.

8th race – (5) Baby Boss was claimed at Saratoga for $32,000 by Kelly Breen who is on his way to winning the trainer title at Monmouth Park. Her last three starts were against open company. Breen now moves her back to NY-bred company to make what will be her second start of the year. (3) Good Credence fits well in these second-level state-bred allowances. She had a troubled trip last time at Saratoga and once again ships to New York from Monmouth Park. (4) Jewel of Arabia is the winner of her last two starts, a maiden breaker and then a first-level allowance. In the last race she recorded a career high speed figure for Christophe Clement. (1) Letmetakethiscall has series of competitive races where she has used her early speed successfully. She was claimed for $40,000 from a win in a similar spot in her last start.

 

Best bets:  Me and Mr. C (2nd); You’re to Blame (4th). Best value:  Cross Keys (5th); Baby Boss (8th).

No.

Name

Letter/
last race

Today's Race

Comments

(2)

Cross Keys

B on 7/29

5

Claimed from her second start where she lost all chance at break.

(1A)

Mebs Web

C on 8/12

5

She hit the board twice at Saratoga for Hall of Famer Nick Zito.