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Belmont Park Picks: Our Rankings for the Mike Lee Stakes
SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2020
by: Rich Bieglmeier
Only one of two stakes races with a jackpot of at least $100k today: The Mike Lee Stakes. We've got eight, foaled in New York, runners chasing the crown over seven Belmont, dirt furlongs.
This is how we rank them:
Dream Bigger at Aqueduct
DREAM BIGGER (PP: 4 ML 2-1) is the morning line favorite. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez's horse won its last race by 7 3/4 lengths. It's been our experience that horses that run big races usually another the next time out. That's been one of Rodriguez's best angles, following a W with another at 21%. The pre-race fav should be first or second from the jump and will look to run an opening quarter in no less than 23 seconds. Any faster than that and the morning line choice could fade.
GANDY DANCING (PP: 3 ML 9/2) debuted with a BANG! Despite being brushed at the start and going wide through the turn and into the stretch, Chad Brown's trainee ran away from a field of eight by 6 3/4 lengths. He hasn't raced since the maiden score on March 15th, but his training sessions are similar to his dominant first run and Brown wins after the maiden W at 27%. If GANDY DANCER improves, even just a little in round two, he could be two and OH.
Captain Bombastic getting home 1st at Belmont Park
CAPTAIN BOMBASTIC (PP: 6 ML 5/2) has never missed the board in five races with two wins, two seconds and a third. Oh, the pair of Ws came in his two Belmont outings, but those were his first two races and he's lost ground late in his last two while flattening in the race before that. His speed figures (tied for top last race number) say he's a top contender; faltering late says fade win, maybe a piece of the place or show money.
THREE JOKERS' (PP: 8 ML 10-1) past fractions say he'll take charge out of the gate, as he has in each of his three starts. However, he faded in his last two races as he stretched out to 7 furlongs and 1 mile after debuting with a wire to wire win at 5 1/2 furlongs. In the 7 furlong run, he was nipped at the wire, losing by a head. He returns to the distance after running the mile and could be a factor if he's stronger as a three-year-old.
CITY MAN (PP: 2 ML 5-1) got his career off to a fast start, winning his first two races, including a $200,000 non-graded stakes in race number two. Since he's third place by a neck away from three consecutive fourth-place finishes. Trainer Christophe Clement tried him on grass last time out and bring the son on MUCHO MACHO MAN back to dirt, a 20% winner for the trainer.
BOURBON BAY (PP: 5 ML 8-1) is a Triple Crown nominated horse but hasn't run like one despite hitting the board in each of his five outings. As he's moved into non-graded stakes company, he gets off to a mid-pack start and modestly improves his position but never threatens the winner, just flat efforts. He'll have to show much more to get the W today.
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Good luck at the races!
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