Memorial Day weekend moves onto Sunday and a nine-race card awaits at Belmont Park highlighted by the return of last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up Destin.
John Shapazian likes Destin in the $90,000 allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Who else does The Saratoga Special’s leading handicapper fancy? Check out his picks below, and don’t forget to check back for his special Memorial Day selections Monday.
SET THE TRAPPE can either stalk the pace or take them all the way on the lead depending on KOHLHASE who did not show his normal speed in last, maybe falling out of form. MAJOR LEAGUE takes another plunge in price, your call. 3-2-1
TAPCEPTIONAL should have little trouble with this group if the race is switched to the main track. On turf, SOPHIA’S CHOICE stumbled in her last effort, attracts Javier Castellano, makes 12th attempt at her maiden score, faces a weak field. SHRINK and SHE’S ALL LOVE both have not been seen in a year, may show some life. 16-1-6-3
BUSTIN IT will try to take them gate to wire. STEVE’S IMAGE could get the first run at the top choice should he weaken in the lane. TIMBER will appreciate any left over moisture in the track. 9-7-8
BASELINE tries the lawn for Graham Motion, adds blinkers, adds Javier Castellano, in a field that is 0-for-76. CONSUMERCONFIDENCE always takes a lot of tote action, not impossible. MADEYOURPOINT showed some ability in last. 1-5-8
The lightly raced DUQUESNE WHISTLE has the most upside potential, stumbled in last, may get the perfect trip behind the inside speeds of CAUSE FOR SURPRISE and WRONG BEN. 6-4-5
EL TALENTO can boss this group, faces winners but was impressive in last effort. MUTARAAMY broke poorly, has several breaks between races. BANCROFT HALL tries the turf for Danny Gargan. 2-4-7
MR SINGH has run well in the U.K., will appreciate any “give” in the turf, maybe better than these. CLOSING BELL attracts Johnny V. for Bill Mott. MUNJAZ has not won a race since 2014. 3-6-1
DESTIN has not been seen since last year’s Travers, raced against the best 3-year-olds last year, the one to beat. TOUCHOFSTARQUALITY also comes off the bench, should get an aggressive ride from Jose Ortiz. SPLASHTASTIC may get a minor award. 7-4-2
ASTOUNDING returns to the lawn where he raced well in the soft going. SURTAP comes off a Brad Cox claim, dangerous. SNOWFLY is not impossible with a clean trip. 6-10-5