Seven horses will try their luck in Saturday’s Grade II, $300,000 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park. The one-mile race is a logical stepping stone toward the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November. Going as Race 8 on a 10-race program, the Kelso will be run at 5:18 p.m. EST. Remember to play along in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#1 BATTLE OF MIDWAY (2-1, morning-line favorite) has had one start since winning last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and it was a distant second in the Pat O’Brien to Catalina Cruiser. He should improve with the rust shaken off and Flavien Prat sees fit to ship in, but it’s not guaranteed that BATTLE OF MIDWAY will return to last year’s form. The makes him a bet-against in the Kelso.
#6 PATTERNRECOGNITION (9-2) is an intriguing new face in the stakes ranks. He set a brisk pace in a high-level allowance/optional claiming going seven furlongs last time out but won anyway. He hasn’t been a “need the lead” type but should be close early under Tyler Gaffalione. PATTERNRECOGNITION has not yet won at Belmont in four tries but ran into some buzzsaws like Takaful late last year. He already has a win in his only prior effort at today’s distance. The low-weight in the field is saddled by Chad Brown.
#4 NO DOZING (4-1) could be a factor dropping out of the Grade I Forego. He had a nightmarish trip that gave him no shot in a race he probably wasn’t going to win anyway. The Kelso is a much more realistic spot for NO DOZING, who picks up David Cohen. If he can run back to his first start of 2018, a highly-rated allowance win at Saratoga, he has a shot at this. The versatile Arnaud Delacour trainee drilled a bullet for this.
The play: $10 win 6
DFJ analysis: Joel Rosario is on a longshot (STILL HAVING FUN) in the Kelso, but he has several mounts earlier in the day that make him tough to ignore.
Rosario rides the program favorite in four straight heats, Races 3 through 6, which includes Uni in the Noble Damsel (Race 4). He should rack up plenty of points in that span.
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