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Belmont Park Hotlist - May 23

May 21, 2021

Today’s New York Hot List races to watch – Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Belmont Park
                By Matt Shifman and Bob Ehalt

Hot List Key:
A preferred horse to watch                         B: Secondary horse to watch
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

2nd race [NY, Md 40000, 7F TURF] – (5) Bella Principessa took to the grass in her first try when she stalked and rallied to finish third beaten less than a length. She is entered on Saturday and is first on the AE list, but this is an easier field, although it does represent a cut back from the 1 1/16 mile distance. (1) Adriatic Rose faced the top choice in their last start. She finished fifth but was less than a length behind the other one. That was her first start of the year and showed a big improvement for the David Donk runner. (4) Little Ms Scarlet improved when she made her second career start which was a switch to the grass in a six-furlong sprint. (7) Bertinga takes the blinkers off after her 2021 debut for the Bond barn.

4th race [NY, Md Sp Wt, 1 1/6 mi TURF] – (4) Ocala Dream (B) rallied from ninth and last in his 2021 debut to finish third which was his third career start. Trainer Tom Morley had to make a last minute jockey change when Junior Alvarado was injured in the previous race. (9) Neuro (C) got back on the turf after racing during the winter on the main track. He was bet down from 9-1 to 9-2, pressed the pace, got the lead, and finished second going a mile in the same race as the top choice. (6) Clever Fellow had the lead in the stretch in his first turf start for Chad Brown and ended up second as the odds-on favorite. (7) Shinjuku ran third in his last three starts and now makes his first turf start with Johnny V. in the saddle. He was entered for the grass in his debut last year. Trainer Horatio DePaz has a 20% win rate going dirt to turf.

6th race [Alw 50000s, 7F] – (1) Indian Counselor steadily improved since being claimed for $25,000 by Mertkan Kantarmaci with a win in a N3L for $35,000 and then a second in a first-level allowance. (3) Mr Phil won his N3L two races back and then had the lead and lost by a nose in the move up to allowance company. (4) Dangerous Edge is in excellent form which he used to win a N2L $40,000 claimer last time out. (5) Uncle Moonlight broke his maiden by two lengths in his 2021 debut for Michelle Nevin. This a big step up in class normally, but this is not a strong starter allowance field.

7th race [Alw 50000s, 1 mi TURF] – (9) Rose E Holiday moved from dirt to turf and finished third while moving up to a significantly harder spot against winners in a similar starter allowance. She ran well in all three of her starts and has room to improve. (7) Mopolka won her last two starts, last year in a N2L claimer and then in her 2021 debut in a N3L spot where she was claimed by Linda Rice. (5) Our Little Jewel was a front-end winner of her last start in a N3L condition at Aqueduct by more than two lengths. (2) Killer Dress won a starter allowance on the grass in her last start in February at Fair Grounds for Michael Stidham.


Best bets:  Bella Principessa (2nd); Indian Counselor (6th). Best value: Ocala Dream (4th); Rose E Holiday (7th).



last race

Today's Race




C on 5/9


Entered for Main Track Only.


Ocala Dream

B on 4/23


Rallied late for third in 2021 debut.



C on 4/23


He had the lead and finished second in his return to the grass.