It's a real quiet weekend of Stakes racing as the horse
racing world gets ready for next week's extravaganza that is the Breeders' Cup
(can't wait for the races, but all the legwork, analysis, research, writing,
it's going to a few long days).
We'll try to sharpen up our handicapping skills before the
Big Show at Keeneland next weekend with today's Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont
The ninth race could take a different shape with morning
line favorite PHAT MAN (PP: 6 ML 2-1) scratched along with the longest shot on
the board WENDELL FONG (PP: 3 ML 10-1) out as well. That leaves four horses to
compete for the Bold Ruler title.
Speed usually plays well in skinny fields. SHARE THE RIDE
(PP: 2 ML 5/2) and MAJESTIC DUNHILL (PP: 5 ML 5/2) flashed speed in their most
recent starts; however, frontrunning hasn't been the norm as both made the
style change from closing to sprinting a short time ago.
SHARE THE RIDE didn't have any early 1s in his past 10
performance lines until his last two efforts. MAJESTIC DUNHILL was near the
back, like way back, in the nine starts prior to his last when he ran right off
the leader all the way around the track.
Early pace figures and fractions say SHARE THE RIDE is the
faster of the two and should edge out to the lead when the gates open. MAJESTIC
DUNHILL will likely fly co-pilot. SHARE THE RIDE faded, hard, in his last start
despite getting easier fractions than he did in his previous effort and today
he adds a furlong; worrisome.
dueled from gate to wire in his last start and could move forward today in his
third run off the bench. His resume says round three should be close to his
best in the three-race cycle but, again, dull fractions in his last race raise concerns.
It's especially troubling given he ran faster in slop two back than he did on a
fast track in his last go.
Tiring legs from the two "frontrunners" could set the race
up nicely for ARCH CAT (PP: 4 ML 10-1) as he could get the perfect trip,
sitting right behind the leaders, patiently running his pace, and then hitting
the gas out of the turn. His late pace figures are tops in the remaining field
with PHAT MAN on the sideline watching. If he's within a length or so entering
the stretch, he'll be hard to hold off at the wire.
MIHOS (PP: 1 ML 4-1) will likely be last in line after the
race starts, racing in ARCH CAT's shadow. His late pace numbers are right
inline with ARCH CAT's and the two will likely come in tandem as they approach
With only four horses in the Bold Ruler field, two sprinters
and two stalkers, early fractions are the key. If the opening quarter is 22.5
or slower and the half run at 46 or more, speed wins. Anything faster is likely
to be too fast for the newfound running styles of SHARE THE RIDE and MAJESTIC
In a short field, the front two should be able to control
the pace. MAJESTIC DUNHILL showed more stamina than SHARE THE RIDE in his last
start, so we give the 5 the edge for the win.
Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.