Shapazian’s Belmont picks – Memorial Day

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The final day of the extended Memorial Day weekend and Belmont Park serves up its best card of the quartet Monday afternoon.

The 10-race card features six stakes that make up the Big Apple Showcase for New York-breds, including a pair of races on the grass and the featured Commentator going 1 mile on the main track. A few other allowance and maiden heats are sprinkled throughout the card and The Saratoga Special’s John Shapazian offers his race-by-race analysis here.

Race 1

BROOKLYN SPEIGHTS makes his second start of the year for Wesley Ward, may also go well on the main oval.  THE GREAT SAMURAI drops to a more realistic level.  SHADES OF BROWN is not impossible at a price.   3-1-6

Race 2
ROYAL INHERITANCE will be tough to beat if moved to the main track.  On turf, LADY JOAN makes her 2017 debut after some decent efforts at Saratoga last summer.  FABULOUS LADY and LAURA’S PATROIT figure close.  12-8-3-7

Race 3
GREAT EXPECTIONS ships in from Santa Anita to face state breds, faces younger rivals, appears better than these.  FROST PROOF flashed some speed in his Gulfstream debut against open company.  PIRATE’S TREASURE can get a minor award.  7-5-8

Race 4
ANCIENT SECRET has three steady drills at Saratoga after wintering in Florida, the Lake George winner from 2016 appears a solid choice.  FREUDIE ANNE is the one to catch for Tom Morley.  FOURSTAR CROOK, uncoupled stablemate of the top choice, is 6-for-9 on the lawn.  7-8-5 

Race 5
GOT THE GIST must overcome a tough outside post but attracts Irad Ortiz Jr. for her turf debut.  MADAME AMBASSADOR is the one to beat, getting class relief.  QUESTEG would not be a surprise.  10-6-9

Race 6
KATHRYN THE WISE stretches out, faces tougher, and must avoid a speed duel, but the daughter of Uncle Mo has been impressive in her first two races.  PICCO UNO and JULES N ROME will be part of the early pace.  11-5-3

Race 7
SYNDERGAARD disappointed at odds on after a rough trip in last, must show up with his “A” game to best BOBBY THE FLEEK, who did not take to the sloppy going on the Kentucky Derby undercard.  RUNAWAY LUTE has been firing bullets in the morning.  6-5-7

Race 8
DIVERSIFY cuts back in distance, will try and take them all the way on the lead.  GOVERNOR MALIBU is second off the bench, will be closing if there is a pace meltdown.  HIT IT ONCE MORE may surprise.  5-9-4

Race 9
FOX RULES is the horse to beat on the main track.  On turf, MACAGONE has run well on the lawn with give, can win one for Bill Mott.  Tough old veterans KHARAFA and LUBSH always show up and continue to amaze.  9-1-10-2

Race 10
BLUEGRASS FLAG stretches out to 7 furlongs but appears to be the controlling speed.  HOLIDAY DISGUISE goes out for Linda Rice and Lady Sheila Stable.  NOBLE FREUD disappointed in last.  3-8-9