A field of nine grizzled veterans take to the main track at Belmont Park on Friday in the New York bred $125,000 Commentator at one mile, and I am looking for a Pat On the Back.
While the six-year-old Mr. Buff is the 6-5 morning line favorite and coming in off a 20-legth victory, I am looking at Pat On the Back, who could pull off a mild upset.
Mr. Buff is 6-5 on the morning line and making his first start since trouncing four foes in the state bred Haynesfield on Feb. 22 at a mile at Aqueduct by 20 lengths for trainer John Kimmel who will give a leg up to jockey Junior Alvarado.
“Junior worked him the last two times and said he was pretty awesome,” Kimmel said. “I’ve been down here in Florida. But he’s been working on the main track at Belmont and I think he’s doing fine. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off.
The Commentator goes off as the ninth race on a 10-race card at Belmont Park on Friday. The race will be televised on FS2.
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Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Commentator Post time 5:36 ET
8 Pat On the Back 5-1
4 Build to Suit 9-2
7 Mr. Buff 6-5
9 My Boy Tate 12-1
Pat On the Back
The six-year-old is making his first start since December where he was overmatched in the Cigar Mile (G1) where he faded to finish 10th. He was third in the state bred Empire Classic after a career top effort three back where he beat five foes in the Kelso Handicap (G2) over the main track here at a mile. He is the defending champ, winning this race off a victory at six furlongs in the state bred Affirmed Success in his previous outing. He has worked sharply for his return for the Englehart barn that is 11% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He has won three of his six trips at a mile.
Build to Suit
This guy returns off nearly an eight month break here for the Brown barn that is 28% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. The six-year-old won three of his four starts last year, winning the state bred Hudson last October at 6 ½ furlongs. He has won 6 of his 10 career starts, his lone route try at a mile here back in ‘17 where he was third against state bred Alw-1 company. He has run really well in both of his starts off the bench. Five solid works on the morning tab since returning from Florida. He gets five pounds from the favorite and the barn can have them ready to go off the bench.
The gelding is going to be a very short price in this spot. He has won three in a row and four of his last five starts. He won the state bred Haynesfield last out by 20 lengths over four overmatched foes. He did wire the field over a racing strip that was kind to speed. He also caught a speed favoring racing strip two back when winning the Jazil in the slop at Aqueduct. He picks up four pounds here for his return off a 3 ½ month break for the Kimmel barn. He looks imposing and owns solid early and mid pace numbers. There is enough other speed in here he may not have things easy early and may be worth taking a stand against here at such a short price.