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Post Time: Brooklyn - Belmont Double Trouble

By Gene Kershner

ELMONT -- Friday’s feature race at Belmont Park is the 125th running of the $200,000 Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap to be run one full lap over the 1 ½-mile track. The distance is the same as Saturday’s final jewel of the Triple Crown and will be the first leg of a special double wager with the Belmont Stakes offered by the New York Racing Association. The Brooklyn has been won in the past by greats such as Whirlaway, Kelso and Forego, that is run at the same distance as the final leg of racing's Triple Crown. 

The Friday feature will line up eight horses in the gate including two South American invaders, Quick Casablanca (4-1) and Calidoscopio (5-2) and 2011 Belmont champion Ruler on Ice (8-1). The latter won last November's Breeders' Cup (BC) Marathon at Santa Anita in an upset at 17-1.  

Let's take a look at the field for the Brooklyn and put together some Brooklyn-Belmont double bets. Post postion, trainer, jockey, odds in parenthesis. 

1 - Birdrun (Mott, Alvarado, 12-1) Winner of the 2011 edition of the race, beating that year's Breeders' Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer in doing so. Ended up stumbling at the break in last year's edition and was never a factor in the race. Has only run once since, in last month's non-graded stake the Albert the Great where he finished third. We know he can get the distance, but has the 7-year-old's time already come? 

2 - Keep Me Informed (Toscano Jr., Maragh, 20-1) Major step up in class for this optional claiming winner, a son of A.P. Indy (1992 Belmont Stakes winner). Others seemingly more intriguing in here.

3 - Quick Casablanca (Clement, Rosario, 4-1) After competing in his first race stateside in the Good Reward, a turf race, trainer Clement switches him to the dirt to see if he'll improve on a different surface. He has never missed the board in 12 starts, but tough to tell whether his South American form will hold up in this company. Rosario stays aboard after guiding him to a third place finish in the Good Reward behind Teaks North. 

4 - Calidoscopio (Puype, Gryder, 5-2) The defending BC Marathon champ tries to rebound from his 2013 debut where he finished fifth at Santa Anita in a Grade 3 at the mile and a half distance after a long layoff. It was his first try at the distance in 41 starts. Seems like a vulnerable favorite to me. I'm playing against.  

5 - Percussion (Pletcher, Velazquez, 3-1) Solid connections come out of a big win in the Albert the Great over Fast Falcon. His sire, Bluegrass Cat finished second behind Jazil in the 2006 Belmont Stakes, so there is staying power in the pedigree. Including him in my double bets.  

6 - Fast Falcon (Zito, Lezcano, 7-2) Sharp recent workout suggests he's fit and this could be his breakout race. The 4-year-old has only won 1 of 13 career starts, but has run well over the Belmont surface with three seconds in four tries and finished third in last year's Travers just behind the dead heaters.

7 - Flashy Sunrise (Stewart, Saez, 20-1) Longshot hopeful for the Stewart barn and West Point Thoroughbreds. He will be attempting to complete the double with Golden Soul (for Stewart) and Freedom Child (for West Point) on Saturday should the son of Flashy Bull pull the upset on Friday afternoon. Like Keep Me Informed, has only won an optional claimer and could be in over his head here.  

8 - Ruler on Ice (Breen, Ortiz, 8-1) The Roman Ruler progeny returns to the scene of the crime for trainer Kelly Breen after winning the back half of this double two years ago this weekend. He was working lights out before his second place finish in the Majestic Light on Monmouth's opening weekend. The former Belmont champ hasn't quite lived up to his laurels since that day, other than a third place finish in the 2011 BC Classic.  

Post Time Outlook: 1-Fast Falcon; 2-Quick Casablanca; 3-Percussion  

Brooklyn - Belmont $1 Doubles: 3,5,6 with 2-Freedom Child, 3-Overanalyze, 7-Oxbow,  9-Revolutionary and 13-Unlimited Budget (alphabetically listed).  (cost - $15)

We'll be live-blogging the Belmont Stakes day card starting around 3:00 p.m. up through the time the Belmont horses reach the paddock on Saturday afternoon, right here at the Sports, Ink blog, so check back on Saturday afternoon for live coverage from Belmont Park.  

The field for the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap:

 

PP

Horse

Jockey

WGT

Trainer

Odds

1

Birdrun

J Alvarado

117

W I. Mott

12-1

2

Keep Me Informed

R Maragh

115

Toscano, Jr.

20-1

3

Quick Casablanca

J Rosario

120

C Clement

4-1

4

Calidoscopio

A T. Gryder

122

M Puype

5-2

5

Percussion

J R. Velazquez

119

T A. Pletcher

3-1

6

Fast Falcon

J Lezcano

119

N P. Zito

7-2

7

Flashy Sunrise

L Saez

115

D Stewart

20-1

8

Ruler On Ice

I Ortiz, Jr.

118

K J. Breen

8-1

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

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