Today we have the 84th running of the Westchester (G3) at Belmont. It's for 3YO and upwards going a mile for a purse of $150,000. There is a field of 7 entered (no scratches at this writing) and it's a highly contentious group. Anyone of them has a shot at winning this one, three are coming off the bench and we have a couple of G1 winners. Since it's a short field I will focus on the three contenders and one dark horse/Bombs Away opportunity.
#1 Boys At Tosconova ML 5/2
I know he hasn't posted the big Beyer's like some of the others and he hasn't won a graded race in awhile, but you can't ignore his eight for eight in the money either. Other factors are one for two at Belmont, two for two at this distance, and he has improved in each of his last three races. He has been working out well and has won twice after layoffs. Richard Dutrow has one of the best records with layoffs and returning winners. I also like he has Dominguez back in the irons. His pressing style fits this group and see no reason that this lightly raced 4YO doesn't have a big race today.
#6 To Honor and Serve ML 7/5
Frankly, the morning line should be even money on him. He has the decided class edge winning one G1, the Cigar Mile in November, and three G2 races in his career. Like the #2, he is two for two at a mile and one for one here at Belmont (his maiden first try). There is no doubt he has the speed to get on top of this group and be gone. The only reason I have him in the place slot his that he hasn't done well off layoffs. He might be one that needs a race before finding his groove again, not a bad thing, but some horses need one.
#5 Marylin's Buy ML 6/1
He has won two in a row as a 6YO, the last outing being the G3 Excelsior at Aqueduct. He seems to have responded well to Anthony Dutrow training and seems versatile going a mile or longer. He had a bullet workout a week ago and looks ready to go today. His running style is to stay close which will put him in a good spot if the front two falter. I also like the JohnnyV is taking over the reins today, a big plus.
Dark Horse/Bombs Away:
#7 Bold Deed ML 12/1
He is taking a big step up in class today. He has been handling state breds for most of his career with one minor stakes race to his credit. He likes the mile distance and will definitely take off and try to go wire to wire. Michael Hushion does well in this situations winning 21% in stakes races and his dirt/route record is really good. His workouts say he is ready, get's Castellano for this one and I like his chances to upset this group.
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