We go back to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York for Friday’s feature, an $85,000 allowance optional claiming race over six furlongs on the inner turf for 3-year-olds and up (F&M). The six-horse field in race seven of the 8-race card is slated for a post time of 6:12 p.m. ET.
#6, Jc’s Shooting Star, Manuel Franco, 8-5
The veteran of 46 career starts (6-9-11) is making her sixth start of the 2019 season (1-1-1), where she has finished in the top three in two of his last three races. Her last start was a third-place finish in the $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga on August 15. Manuel Franco, who has been on Jc’s Shooting Star for all five starts under trainer David Donk, returns for another shot at the horse’s first win since an allowance optional claiming race at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day. The pick.
#7, Souper Striking, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 6-1
Souper Strking leaves from the outside post with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard. This will be the fifth jockey change on this horse in as many starts and it could turn out to be a wise decision. In five starts this year (0-0-1), Souper Striking finished third in the $100,000 Susquehanna Stakes at Penn National on June 1. In her last 12 starts, she has raced in 10 stakes races, including the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs in March 2018. A stakes veteran, she will definitely improve with Ortiz aboard today, it just won’t be enough. Runner-up.
#5, Filibustin, Kendrick Carmouche, 4-1
Trainer Gary Contessa has wanted to try Filibustin on the turf for some time and finally gets his shot today for her first-ever start on grass. Her last start, a second-place finish in a race that actually was taken off the grass at Aqueduct back on April 19. In four starts this year, she is 1-1-0, but has posted five wins and four seconds in 18 career starts. I like the fact Contessa is taking a shot here to see what she finally has on the turf. Kendrick Carmouche is aboard. In the mix.
#2, Factorofwon, Javier Castellano, 5-2
In seven starts this year, Factorofwon is 1-3-0. She gets some relief today as she has ran in four straight stakes races, including her last, a seventh-place finish in the $78,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes at Monmouth Park on August 10. After a three-race layoff, jockey Javier Castellano returns to the horse after a sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Kenneland on April 13. By himself, Castellano is a “factorofwon” to win this race, I just don’t think it will be enough. Just out of the money.
By Lou Monaco