A field of nine line up in Monday’s feature at Belmont Park, the $100,000 State Dinner which is for four-year-olds and upward which have not won a stakes race in 2017.
The Michelle Nevin trained Touchofstarquality is the 5-2 morning line favorite and appears to be the one to beat in the 1 1/16 mile test on the main track. Rajiv Maragh picks up the call on the seven-year-old, who ran second in the race last year.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out a pair of runner in Hard Study (5-1), who is coming off a victory against Alw-2 optional claimers and Madefromlucky (4-1) who was fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap (G3) in his last outing.
Seymourdini (3-1) figures to take some action after winning his last two starts at Laurel Park by a combined 25 ¾ lengths. The Linda Rice trainee has won four of his eight career starts.
Completing the field are Doyouknowsomething (15-1), Discreet Lover (30-1), Ocean Knight (8-1), Virtual Machine (12-1) and Realm (15-1).
Belmont Park is running on Monday with a nine-race card and on the Fourth of July and will be dark on Wednesday and Thursday.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 8 The State Dinner Post time 5:18 ET
#8 Touchofstarquality 5-2
#4 Hard Study 5-1
#2 Seymourdini 3-1
#5 Madefromlucky 4-1
Analysis: Touchofstarquality makes his second start off a seven-month layoff for the Nevin barn. This gelding ran second in this race last year, setting the early fractions and unable to hold off the winner late. In his comeback race last out against optional claimers he sat off the pace and split rivals to get up and win by 1 1/4 lengths in a sharp effort. He has landed in the exacta in seven of his nine trips over the main track here. Maragh takes over as Ortiz lands on our third choice in here. He should get a good tracking trip behind what could be a lively early pace.
Hard Study is one of two in here sent out by Pletcher. The colt comes in here off sharp wins against Alw-1 and Alw-2 foes in his last two starts. He ran well three back in a runner up finish in the Mr. Sinatra. Johnny V. sticks on this guy who also should be able to work out a good trip sitting off the pace.
Seymourdini is coming off big back to back scores at Laurel Park beating Alw-2 and Alw-3 optional claimers, winning by a combined 25 3/4 lengths. He went gate to wire in both scores. Ortiz was aboard this guy for his first two wins, both coming at the Big A. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers but will have some company early.
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,8 / 2,4,5,8
TRI: 4,8 / 2,4,5,8 / 2,4,5,7,8
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