Today’s the biggest day of the Belmont Fall Meet, with four Grade I races, all with “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup implications. Knowing that that alone will not be enough to draw people to the races on a Sunday, NYRA is also giving away green folding chairs. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m looking forward to grabbing mine.
In the third race, Bobby Flay’s Catmosphere comes back in an ungraded stakes race after breaking her maiden at first asking on the 8th of September. JJ Castellano rode her up the rail and she drew clear to win by a length and a quarter. I’m happy to say I had her that day at 10–1; she’s 3-1 on the morning line today. She faces Sherine, who won a maiden race at Saratoga by six and a half, and finished third in an ungraded stakes against colts the next time out, losing by three after stumbling at the start.
The sixth is a turf sprint for two-year-old fillies, with twelve horses likely to go to the post. The Cat’s Affair caught my eye (surprise, surprise); this filly is trained by Barclay Tagg and sired by Tale of the Cat, just like Tale of Ekati, the impressive two-year-old colt.
What am I going to say about the big races that hasn’t been said by people far more knowledgeable than I? Can the new and improved four-year-old Lawyer Ron get ten furlongs, as he was unable to do last year? Can Discreet Cat return to form after a ten-month layoff and illness? Can Ginger Punch, who’s finished first or second in eleven of her twelve starts, keep her three-race win streak going, and will she be supplemented to the Breeders’ Cup?
What a race the Beldame figures to be, with Sugar Shake, Indian Vale, and Unbridled Belle (longshot winner of this summer’s Delaware Handicap) all coming out to take on Ginger Punch–and I have to hope/think that Miss Shop can compete here as well–she ran well against Ginger Punch in the Ruffian and with a little more distance in that race, I think Miss Shop would have caught her. She gets the extra distance today in a much bigger field–who knows? And in a less interesting story than those headliners, will Ice Cool Kitty really race after winning on Thursday?
Several of today’s races feature a bet that other tracks in the country have long featured, but at which habitués of NY racing could only look longingly: the .10 superfecta. I tried it at Keeneland without success, but am happy to give it a shot today.
And in slightly comforting news: When Indian War Dance finished out of the money yesterday, 42% of the players left in Belmont Fall SHOWdown were eliminated. So at least I had company.