Closing Day of the spring-summer meeting Sunday at Belmont Park and The Saratoga Special’s John Shapazian scoped out the card in advance of Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course in less than a weeks’ time.
Check out John’s picks below and don’t forget to grab a copy of The Special around town, or download the digital edition right here on thisishorseracing.com every day we print an issue. John offered his parting words after serving up his picks for Sunday’s 11-race card.
“Hope to see you at the Spa,” he said. “Preferably waiting in line at the IRS window.”
FINAL FLURRY moves to the main track, drops to a new claiming low, faces a weak field. MUSELET makes her first start of the year, shows a series of steady drills. MUGU outran her 33-1 odds in her debut, shorter price today. 1-2-4
MAGSAMELIA is the horse for the course, 6-for-13 on the Belmont lawn, should be stalking the pace. RESILENT ONE looks for three straight victories, may have peaked in her last, must deal with speed to her inside. PERU takes a drastic drop for a tag, questions, your call. 10-7-8
REFINANCE is second race back from the bench, the horse to beat. RAREST QUALITY moves to the outside post, goes turf to dirt, will be part of the early pace. KARMA DELIGHT takes blinkers off, drops again after a dull effort on the turf. 5-8-1
I STILL MISS YOU is 2-for-2 in her career, must avoid a speed duel with PURE SILVER. MISSBIGTIMES did not do much running in her debut, should improve second time out, will benefit if the early leaders fizzle in the lane. 4-2-1
THE POOCH adds blinkers, timid vote in a weak field of maidens. SHADES OF BROWN has not done much on the track but does show a bullet work June 25. PHYCHIC ENERGY flatten out in his last. 6-9-8
JUPITER RISING and entry mate VOODOO SONG (AE) are career-ending starters for Mike Hushion. LEAD BY EXAMPLE comes off an eight-month hiatus, some fair turf attempts last season. HERE COMES TOMMY relished the lawn in his last, goes out for John Morrison. 1-1A-4-5
TUG OF WAR cuts back to 7 panels, afforded an edge. ACKERET stepped up his game June 25 and fired a bullet July 8 for Joe Parker. GENTRIFY drops to a claiming low after a couple dull efforts. 1-3-7
MANIACAL, the gelded son of Kitten's Joy, disappointed in his last effort, attracts Johnny V. for Wesley Ward, may atone today in a closely matched field. TASTE OF TALENT draws the hedge for Joe Sharp and THE ZIP ZIP MAN figure close. 5-1-10
EMPRESS JINGU is second race back from a years layoff, should move forward off that attempt. MISS FREEZE takes on winners after drawing off in her maiden score. COZZY SPRING loved the Belmont slop, will appreciate any moisture in the track. 1-3-9
EL TALENTO missed by a nose May 28, the Paul Pompa-Todd Pletcher trainee has lots of upside potential. DIAMOND JIM tries the turf after some promising works on the Saratoga lawn. AIR VICE MARSHALL appeared to have no excuses at odds on in his last, raced in Grade 1 stakes in Europe. 1-11-5
DJULPAN came up a neck short for Mike Maker, looks well spotted. UNBROKEN CHAIN ship in from Gulfstream and uncouple entry mate SON OF OAHU would be no surprise. 6-4-1