Both last years Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winners, male and female, came back big Saturday to take The Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks respectively.
With no outstanding European invaders, both New Money Honey and Oscar Performance figured prominently in their races. Chad Brown actually ran 1,2,3 in The Belmont Oaks, with two of his European imports Sistercharlie and Uni chasing New Money Honey home.
Both horses were last and next to last for much of the running and made up a lot of ground. I’d look for improvement from both going forward.
Oscar Performance was the lone speed on paper in The Belmont Derby and considering Jose Ortiz makes few mistakes it was doubtful he wouldn’t use that speed to his advantage. Coming home the last half in just over 45 it was unlikely anyone would catch him and nobody came close. Oscar Performance was a generous 5-1 in a wide open race, but I suspect his level of respect in these big races will improve.
Yoshida (JPN) ran respectable enough but had to be considered a disappointment based on all the hype he received going into the race. he has a lot of upside, but 5th in that field was not what most expected. Joel Rosario and agent Ron Anderson appeared to stick with the other Mott trainee, Good Samaritan, who finished fourth.
Practical Joke finally ran where he belongs again, a one turn mile, and he trounced an overmatched field in The Dwyer despite being forced to steady and wait on the inside before getting out. Once out under Rosario he showed who was boss.
Mind Your Biscuits showed two things:
1) He’s one of the best sprinters around.
2) Chad Brown is not the only Chad who can train a racehorse, Chad Summers apparently can as well. He’s done a fine job with Mind Your Biscuits including a perfect Dubai targeted trip and win.
Shaman Ghost was taken out of his game some due to the pace scenario in The Suburban leaving the much improved Matt King Cole the only speed. Shaman Ghost stayed close to Matt King Cole not to let him get away and left him vulnerable when the inconsistent but good when he fires Keen Ice came calling.
Overall it was an excellent and competitive day of racing. NYRA did a fine job on the card and the day. We’re heading to the Spa with lots to look forward to.