Nick Shiambouros heads back to Belmont Park with two selections from the Saturday card…
Papa Smooth to graduate
Race 7 21:13 Belmont Park – Papa Smooth
Papa Smooth is an interesting runner in this $40k maiden claimer on the turf.
This gelding finished down the field behind Devious Mo in a Stakes race on the main track at Aqueduct last month. He was forced to steady in the early stages, and was always fighting a losing battle. He had previously finished a close fourth in a maiden claimer on the main track.
The decision to try the turf makes sense as he is out of an Unbridled’s Song mare. Trainer Mike Maker is an astute conditioner and has a 15% strike rate with dirt to turf runners. BSP is recommended.
Tobys Heart to take Grade 3
Race 10 22:52 Belmont Park – Tobys Heart
Tobys Heart is my best bet of the day in this fascinating Grade 3 on the turf.
This filly beat Going Good in a Stakes race at Keeneland last month. She made a strong four- wide move at the entrance to the straight, and got up close home to win a shade cosily. This was an excellent effort and should have more to offer over today’s seven furlong distance.
This represents her toughest assignment, but I do not think we have seen the best of her. With many of the leading riders down at Pimlico for the Preakness, the capable Manny Franco has the riding assignment. Anything around 4.57/2 will do.