The $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes kicks off the weekend action at Belmont Park Friday. The Bongard, a two-year-old seven furlong sprint on the dirt, cards a solid five-horse field and is slated as race three of the day’s 8-race card. Post time is scheduled for 4:04 p.m. ET.
#3, Moonachie, Jose Ortiz, 8-5
One of two Jeremiah Englehart-trained horses in the field, Moonachie is coming off an impressive 10-length debut victory from post three in a maiden special weight race at Saratoga on Aug. 28. Ortiz is back in the saddle again and also leaves from post 3 again, which means one thing, a win again. The pick.
#4, City Man, Joel Rosario, 7-5
The Christophe Clement-trained City Man, with Joel Rosario aboard, looks to make it 3-for-3 in his debut season. Both wins came at Saratoga, with the last a 4 ¾ length triumph over today’s race entrant, Cleon Jones, in the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes over 6 ½ furlongs on Aug. 23. City Man kicked clear in the last eighth mile and kept urging to the end for the win. Runner-up, but not by much.
#2, Cleon Jones, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 9-2
The other Englehart-trained horse in the field is Cleon Jones, named after the great New York Mets outfielder. After a fifth-place finish in his debut on June 23 at Belmont Park, Cleon Jones came back with his first career win by 3 ¼ lengths at Saratoga on July 28 and followed that with a rallying runner-up finish from 8th place against City Man in the Funny Code Stakes (mentioned above). Contender, but doesn’t get it done.
#1, Three Jokers, Luis Saez, 7-2
One start, one win for trainer John Terranova. Three Jokers, who was bumped at the break, won by 2 ¾ lengths in a six-furlong maiden special race in his debut at Saratoga on Aug. 23. Luis Saez returns to the mount. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco