A field of nine will line up on Monday in the Belmont Park feature, the $200,000 Knickerbocker (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course led by the Bran Lynch trained Heart to Heart.
The five-year-old son of Grade 1 turf winner English Channel was fourth in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in his last outing on June 4, beaten 7 ½ lengths by Midnight Storm, who returned to win his next two starts.
Irad Ortiz Jr. picks up the mount and will break from the two post as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
His main foe appears to be Jay Gatsby (3-1), who has lost photos in his last two starts, beaten a nose in the Lure Stakes and a neck to Ring Weekend in the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) in his last start.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will give a leg up to Javier Castellano, the leading jockey at the fall Belmont Park meeting.
Can’tstopbelieving is coming off a win in the Cliff Hangar (G3) at Monmouth Park and has run three consecutive triple digit Beyers. Trainer Graham Motion, who has been red hot in recent weeks will give jockey Jose Ortiz a leg up and is 5-1 on the morning line.
Mr Maybe (10-1) could add some value to the exotics if he runs back to his win in the John’s Call at Saratoga in his last outing. The gelding won the 1 5/8 mile marathon by 2 ¼ lengths, his fifth win in a dozen career starts on the lawn.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Knickerbocker G3 (Post time 5:19 ET)
#5 Heart to Heart 5-2
#2 Jay Gatsby 3-1
#1 Can’tstopbelieving 5-1
#4 Mr Maybe 10-1
Analysis: Heart to Heart returns off a for month break for the Lynch barn that is 14% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. The five-year-old was fourth in the highly graded Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in his last outing. The top three in that race all won next out. The winner Midnight Storm won the Eddie Read (G2) and Del Mar Mile (G2), runner up Tourist won Fourstardave (G1) and was a close up third in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Saturday, and the third place finisher Twentytwentyvision won the Rolling Green at Golden gate Fields and then was a good third in the John Henry (G2) at Santa Anita on Saturday. Our top pick has won 8 of 15 in his career on turf and has run well fresh.
Jay Gatsby is coming off a pair of tough beats. Last out he stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to miss winning the Bernard Baruch ‘Cap (G2) by a neck and two back he was beaten a neck in the restricted Lure. His last pair of speed figs are tops in here and he was a sharp winner here three back in a key race beating optional claimers.
Can’tstopbelieving tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Cliff Hangar (G3) last out at Monmouth Park matching his career top. Two back he was fourth in the Bowling Green (G2) behind Flintshire, who returned to win the Sword Dancer (G1) in his next outing. Motion has been sending out live runners at the meeting and this guy comes in here in the best form of his career.
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5 / 1,2,4,5,6
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Reports includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race during the two-day Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.
The Breeders’ Cup offers 13 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Santa Anita.