First, of course, we must give props to Quality Road in the Met Mile for another fine performance. Sure, he had to work a bit to keep the very game Musket Man from catching him at the end, but he never seemed as though he was digging as deeply as he possibly had to – his 114 Beyer for the race is below his high point (although certainly impressive). He may appear next in the Suburban, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic as his ultimate goal (although one still suspects that the mile is his ideal distance).
And so to the Belmont – we’ll have more on the undercard (which is almost always one of the best race days of the year) and the race itself later in the week, but here are a few initial thoughts:
- Post positions were drawn today, but in this race, it really doesn’t matter (matter matter matter matter).
- Ice Box still looks like the class of the field.
- Uptowncharlybrown will be the human/equine interest story on the broadcast – and I hope he does well.
- It’s unlikely to be a race that joins this august list – but the unexpected can happen, and it’s always worth watching to see if it does.
Beyond the Belmont, word is in this week that Rachel Alexandra is likely to make her next start on June 12th. While this is good to hear, it’s also somewhat problematic for two reasons. First, there’s no confirmation yet as to which race it will be – it could be the Obeah (at normally-easily-accessible Delaware Park), the Stephen Foster or Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs or, perhaps, the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont. Taken alone, each of these options has a variety of positives and negatives, but there is one overarching thumbs down for all of them – the US takes on England in the World Cup that day…