Heading to Bank in Critical Eye at Belmont Park

Critical Eye

A field of eight line up in the $200,000 Handicap at Belmont Park on Monday. (Photo credit © George Zilberman | Dreamstime.com).

A field of nine fillies and mares will go one mile on the main track at Belmont Park on Monday in the $200,000 Critical Eye Handicap, one of six stakes on the card.

Monday is New York Breeders’ Showcase Day at Belmont Park with $900,000 in purses up for grabs for state breds in the six stakes races.

Mrs. Orb is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Critical Eye. The Michael Miceli trainee was beaten just a neck in last year’s edition. The six-year-old mare makes her first start since winning the state bred La Verdad in the mud at Aqueduct back in January.

The John Terranova trained Bank Sting get the call as she makes her first start in a stake since she ran fourth in her debut back in 2019 in a New York Stallion Series race. After a 14-month layoff she has won three in a row and looks ready to step back into the state bred stakes ranks.

Mrs. Orb Wins the La Verdad

The co-feature on Monday is the $200,000 Commentator, which drew a solid field of seven that will go one mile on the main track. Mr. Buff is the 7-5 morning line favorite.

The John Kimmel trainee set the early fractions and weakened to finish third in the Westchester (G3) in his last outing.

The gelding is making his fourth attempt at winning the Commentator. He was eighth in 2018, third in 2019 and second last year to Funny Guy. He reunites with his regular rider Junior Alvarado.

“I think having his regular rider back aboard will help him,” said Kimmel. “Last time, the rider didn’t really know him and for him to go a half in 48 and not open up on the field when he can go 45; I’m not sure why he didn’t open up. He got pressured on the outside and before he asked him to change leads, he went to the stick and this horse, when he gets to his outside lead, has a whole other gear.”

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America’s Day at the Races will be broadcast on FS2 from 12:30 to 8:30 ET.

Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Monday’s featured race of the day:

Belmont Park

Belmont Park Race 9 The Critical Eye Handicap 5:12 ET

8 Bank Sting   6-1

4 Mrs. Orb   3-1

6 Espresso Shot   7-2

7 Love and Love

Bank Sting

This filly has won three in a row since coming back off a long layoff. She had made her debut back in December of 2019 with a fourth in a New York Stallion Series race in the mud. She has reeled off three in a row, a smart looking winner versus state bred Alw-2 optional claimers in her last outing in the slop going seven furlongs. She won at today’s one mile distance two back. Her last out Beyer seems like it is light but of the five she beat that have come back, none ran very well. She does own the top last out BRIS speed figure. She did win last out as if she has room for improvement and I like the stretch back out to a mile as well as her 6-1 morning line. It also would not hurt if there is still some moisture in the racing strip.

Mrs. Orb

The Miceli trainee was beaten just a neck in this race last year. She has not started since winning the state bred La Verdad in the mud back in January going seven furlongs. She was placed in the sales at Keeneland but did not reach her reserve and after spending the winter in Florida is back with Miceli who is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. She has worked well and has run well off breaks including her neck loss in this race last year which was off a four-month break.

Espresso Shot

This mare was third in the La Verdad behind Mrs. Orb and then came back to win the state bred Bioggio’s Rose last out. She pressed the early pace and finished gamely to win by two lengths. Her win over the main track here came in her maiden breaker which was way back in 2018 going long in a race washed off the grass. She returns here off nearly a three-month break for the Abreu barn that is 21% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and this is her best distance, a winner of three of six at the trip.


WIN: Bank Sting to win at 4-1 or better.

EXACTA: 8 / 4,6,7 and 4,8 / 4,6,8


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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