Prat for Ortiz Times Two

Flavien Prat will ride two horses in two stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday that were both ridden by Irad Ortiz last out. He will probably win them both. Irad is serving a suspension stemming from an incident at Royal Ascot and Prat looks like the beneficiary of that.

Life Is Good is back from the trip to the desert where he was beat on the square in the mile and a quarter Dubai World Cup. Personally, I do not think it was the distance that beat him. I think it was the trip out to the desert and the fact some of our horses just don’t run well there. I see no issue with the cut back to 7 furlongs even from the rail post.

It will be interesting to see if Life Is Good returns to his best form or at least shows he may a race away from getting back to it. The Breeders’ Cup Classic as we know is a mile and a quarter. If Life Is Good meets Flightline there the distance may be the equalizer for one of them. I think they both can get it under the right circumstances, but I also think neither is at their very best going that far. That said I do not believe Speaker’s Corner or anyone else in the John Nerud is good or fast enough to handle Life Is Good unless somehow the desert burned him out. Todd Pletcher would likely know that, and he wouldn’t be here if that was the case. A star should show he is back on Saturday. It will be hard to find value betting on him, but me, I would not bet against him either. There is no value in a losing wager.

It will also be interesting to see how Irad’s brother Jose rides Speaker’s Corner. If he goes early with Life Is Good, he probably compromises any chance he may have to win. The same can be said if he doesn’t. Can he out gun him and get clear? Is Prat a one and done sub for Irad or does he keep the mount if he wins? Stay tuned.

Early Voting, Jack Christopher, and Zandon may have some new company along the three-year old murderers’ row in the Chad Brown barn. After the Dwyer Nabokov may join the ranks of the top three-year old colts. This $775,000 purchase ran a very useful and educational debut at Keeneland and my comment after the race was this colt can run and won’t lose next out. He didn’t as he took a field of maidens’ wire to wire at Belmont. Chad runs his back in this spot and that tells me he feels he belongs with these types of horses. Obviously, he came along a little slower than the big three in the Brown barn, but he is here now and now is what counts.

It is a tall order to go from a maiden special weight race into a Graded stake like The Dwyer and face a horse like Charge It who was a green runner up in The Florida Derby and earned a shot at the Run for the Roses, but this Uncle Mo colt belongs. He is perfectly drawn outside to give Prat options if he needs any.

I suspect Prat will be listening and singing along to I Love New York on his drive home from Belmont on Saturday. By the end of the year Chad Brown might have the 4 best three-year old colts in the country. Not bad for a turf trainer.

Enjoy the races. Patience, bombs are coming.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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