Rocket Fuel
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - GAMBLING

Ruler on Ice wins the 2011 Belmont Stakes with Jose Valdivia Jr. in the irons. Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire.

It’s easy for a Grade 2 stakes to be overshadowed by all the glitz and glamour of the Grade 1 tests stuffed into Belmont Stakes weekend at Belmont Park.

Yet for all the black-type hype, Friday’s Grade 2 $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap can hold its head as high as any of the stakes that will be contested in the upcoming days at beautiful Belmont.

Included in the field of eight is both a Belmont Stakes winner and a Breeders’ Cup winner, unusual components for a race that’s unusual in and of itself.

The Brooklyn is one of only two graded dirt stakes during the spring Belmont meet in which the participants will be asked to race one lap around the track, putting it in the same company as the sport’s most well-known 1 ½-mile race, the Belmont Stakes.

In some instances, the 1 ½-mile Brooklyn is viewed as a dress rehearsal for out-of-town Belmont Stakes riders unfamiliar with the dynamics of the oval. Yet, Friday’s race stands out more for a couple of participants who are highly accomplished at elongated distances.

We’re talking about 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and 2012 Breeders’ Cup Marathon victor Calidoscopio.

Ruler On Ice is certainly well versed in the trip and if the forecasts calling for a chance of rain on Friday prove correct, it would enhance his hopes. For those with short memories, Ruler On Ice captured the Belmont Stakes on a soaked, sloppy track.

If your memory is hazy about that, it’s probably because Ruler On Ice has not done much in the past two years. He’s yet to win a stakes since the Belmont, and in three 2013 starts his only top-three finish was a second last time out in the $75,000 Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth - on a sloppy track.

Calidoscopio, the 122-pound highweight, is also looking for his first stakes win since his victory on one of the sport’s biggest stages, but he’s only raced once since that stellar day in November. Bred in Argentina, Calidoscopio was fifth in the 1 ½-mile Grade 3 Tokyo City Stakes at Santa Anita on March 23 but should be in better shape for this jog around the track.

CALIDOSCOPIO WINNING THE BREEDERS' CUP MARATHON STAKES

Calidoscopio

Photo courtesy Eclipse Sportswire.

Yet as much as back class makes Ruler On Ice and Calidoscopio the stickouts, recent form points in another direction for the most likely winners: Quick Casablanca and Fast Falcon.

Like Calidoscopio, Quick Casablanca has spent most of his career in South America. The Chilean import was a Grade 1 winner in Argentina and was third in a 1 ¼-mile turf stakes last month at Belmont in his U.S. debut. That May 15 race also was his first start in a year and should have him poised for a top effort in Friday’s marathon.

While this will be his first trip beyond 1 ¼ miles, Fast Falcon’s neck loss in last year’s Travers at 1 ¼ miles indicates he should be able to handle the added distance. He’s also coming off a sharp effort in which he had to move sooner than usual and lost by a nose to Percussion in the $88,000 Albert the Great Stakes at Belmont Park.

Percussion is also entered in the Brooklyn and promises to be the one they will have to catch, but if you’re playing the exotics you would be wise to also include Birdrun. Winner of the 2011 Brooklyn and runner-up in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Marathon, Birdrun can handle the distance with aplomb and can be forgiven for a 13 3/4-length loss in the Albert the Great, which was his 2013 debut.

Like a few others, he certainly has the credentials to win a Grade 2 stakes.

Ehalt’s selections:

1. Quick Casablanca

2. Fast Falcon

3. Calidoscopio

4. Birdrun

$200,000 Brooklyn Handicap

Belmont Park, Friday, Race 10, 5:45 p.m.

3-year-olds and older, 1 1/2 miles

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Birdrun (FL)

J. Alvarado

117

W. Mott

2

Keep Me Informed (KY)

R. Maragh

115

J. Toscano Jr.

3

Quick Casablanca (CHI)

J. Rosario

120

C. Clement

4

Calidoscopio

A. Gryder

122

M. Puype

5

Percussion (KY)

J. Velazquez

119

T. Pletcher

6

Fast Falcon (KY)

J. Lezcano

119

N. Zito

7

Flashy Sunrise (KY)

L. Saez

115

D. Stewart

8

Ruler On Ice (KY)

I. Ortiz Jr.

118

K. Breen

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView