ELMONT, N.Y. – With rain likely to disrupt turf racing on Friday, perhaps the best race on Belmont Park’s nine-race program is the $55,000 starter allowance scheduled for seven furlongs on dirt.
The race, for horses that have started for a claiming price of $50,000 or less and are eligible for a first-level allowance condition, drew a field of 10 males. However, trainer Jason Servis said Wednesday he is likely to scratch the appropriately named Dark N Cloudy, a horse he claimed on Oct. 3.
Five of the remaining nine are coming off a victory, including Potomac, a 3-year-old who has won three straight and who has proven to be a hot commodity at the claim box. In the seven races in which he’s been eligible to be claimed, Potomac was taken five times. Tom Morley is the most recent horsemen to claim Potomac, doing so for $35,000 for owners Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch.
“He looked like a seven-eighths, one-turn-miler type, and we have quite a few of those during the winter at Aqueduct, so I thought he would fit quite well,” Morley said.
Potomac, a son of Speightstown, won in the mud for $20,000 at Belmont in June.
Morley said Potomac’s rail draw could be more of a hindrance to him than the mud. He would prefer to see the horse rate like he did winning for $16,000 in Saratoga than having to be on the lead like he was here in June.
Singapore Trader will likely be favored dropping out of a third-place finish in the Albany Stakes on Aug. 24. He is eligible for this race by virtue of a 13 3/4-length victory in an off-the-turf maiden $40,000 claiming race at Saratoga on Aug. 12.
Consensus Thinking was claimed by Rudy Rodriguez for $40,000 from Chad Brown on July 28. Rodriguez slapped some blinkers on the ridgling, and he scored a 3 1/2-length victory in maiden special weight company here on Sept. 1.
Trustworthy, Bon Raison, and Strong Side look like others who could contend for a top-three spot in this race.
Potomac, by Speightstown
Last 3 Beyers: 75-86-72
◗ He is 1 for 1 over a wet surface and 2 for 3 at Belmont
◗ Junior Alvarado rides. Alvarado is 3 for 7 with a $2.92 ROI for Morley this year.
Singapore Trader, by Flatter
Last 3 Beyers: 81-74-66
◗ Turns back to the distance of his lone win and drops in class after running third behind Sea Foam in the $250,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga.
◗ Should get a nice stalking trip from post 7 under John Velazquez.
Bon Raison, by Raison d’Etat
Last 3 Beyers: 81-79-62
◗ Has won his last two including a front-running victory for a $35,000 claiming tag in his first start for Gary Contessa, who has won 12 races at this meet.
Consenus Thinking, by Mineshaft
Last 3 Beyers: 89-71-71
◗ Ran the best race of his career winning maiden by 3 1/2 lengths last out with blinkers added for the first time.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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