Timeform's US team pick out their three best bets for Friday...
"The best bet of today’s US action is Chase My Tail in race 2 at Belmont..."
The best bet of today's US action is Chase My Tail in race 2 at Belmont (20:31 BST). Rudy Rodriguez has only had this filly since the spring, and has already elicited improvement from this ex-Chad Brown trainee. Chase My Tail does have a small layoff to overcome, having not run for 54 days, but that is rarely a concern with runners from this barn. The slight drop in claiming class from $32k to the $20k level may also be construed by some to be a negative, but this is not true for Rodriguez, who tends to primarily place his horses where they have the best chance of success, regardless of the claiming tag.
The six-and-half furlong allowance race for New York-bred horses at 23:06 BST is competitive enough, and Station Chief looks to have been put in too short on the Morning Line at 3.5, given the level of his form. The fact that he's lightly-raced in comparison to some of his rivals probably goes a little way to explaining the short price, but he would have to improve if he is to justify that confidence. Station Chief also looks likely to face competition for the early lead, and all things considered, looks worth taking on.
Harpoon was earmarked as a Triple Crown horse for Todd Pletcher earlier this year, but disappointed in several starts, and Pletcher is now attempting to reinvent him as a turf horse. On the face of it, a seventh-place finish on his turf debut last time was a shade disappointing, but that was a decent race, won by the useful Deep Speed, who has a Timeform form rating of 109. Whilst Harpoon was a little below the level he's shown on dirt, he gets blinkers on today, and should come on for that first experience of the grass. This allowance opposition is not too taxing, and now could be the time that Harpoon belatedly starts to fulfil his promise.
Timeform US SmartPlays
Belmont race 2 (20:31 BST) win back #5 CHASE MY TAIL @ 3.39/4 or longer
Belmont race 7 (23:06 BST) win lay #3 STATION CHIEF @ 3.814/5 or shorter
Belmont race 8 (23:37 BST) win back #7 HARPOON @ 4.03/1 or longer