Belmont Park – 5th race – 8-Val D’ Isere (12-1)
This second-time starter probably is worth a bit of a gamble at anywhere near her listed morning line price of 12-1 in this maiden special weight grass affair over 10 furlongs on turf for fillies and mares. Made her debut vs. similar competition last month and ran better than the line will show, trailing to the top of the lane and then closing with interest to wind up fifth, beaten only five lengths, without being knocked about. She galloped out well past the wire to indicate more was there to give if she had been asked. Let’s see how much progress she can make today with the switch to J. Ortiz. The daughter of Cape Blanco from the Michael Dickinson barn should be fitter and tighter and could offer excellent value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.
Belmont Park – 8th race – 5-Blacktype-Fr (6-1)
May have been a tad rusty when launching his comeback in a difficult spot but should benefit greatly from the outing while returning to the conditioned allowanace ranks after finishing fifth in the Fort Marcy S.-G3 over yielding ground last month. The Cristophe Clement barn has strong stats with second-off-layoff runners (20% with this angle), so we’re expecting this French-bred to be tight as a drum for this competitive event. I. Ortiz, who has won twice with this import in the past, takes the mount, further indication that we’ll see the best this gelding has to offer today. Let’s hope to get close to his 6-1 morning line in both the straight pool and in our rolling exotics.