Best Bet: MONSTER BEA (12); Best Value: PROMISES FULFILLED (7)
FIRST: War Canoe consistently logs the field’s fastest late-pace figures. La Moneda is 2-for-2 on Belmont turf. Bonita Springs makes first start since claimed by Linda Rice.
SECOND: Dark Vader has trained sharply since game victory in last. Mask regressed in last after fast-figured wins in previous two starts. Breaking the Rules is 2-for-2 and added ground could play to strength.
THIRD: American Girl is quick from the gate and could play out as the controlling speed. Abel Tasman packs potent kick and fast figures on “A” efforts. Unchained Melody delivered subpar effort in last but is right in the thick of this on best.
FOURTH: Talk Veuve to Me notched new pace top in last start and could be sitting on breakthrough in third start of form cycle. Monomoy Girl is an impressive 6-for-7 but will offer paltry price; for chalk lovers only. Gio Game has trained sharply since determined win in last.
FIFTH: Hard Study owns fast final fractions and is riding a three-race winning streak. Outplay is speedy and could play out as the controlling front-runner. War Story, a clear-cut winner of Brooklyn last year, consistently delivers strong efforts.
SIXTH: Conquest Tsunami projects as the quickest of the quick with aggressive ride. Pocket Change has yet to taste defeat in three starts; worth long look at long price. Disco Partner set world record when winning Jaipur last year; must consider.
SEVENTH: Promises Fulfilled has trained swiftly since fading in Derby; set for best. Kanthaka could be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat. World of Trouble and Strike Power are speedy, rested and own swift numbers on “A” efforts.
EIGHTH: Proctor’s Ledge made sustained rally to win last; more to come. Lull owns a win and a second in two starts on Belmont turf and can be effective from on or off the pace. Off Limits packs powerful late wallop on best; very dangerous.
NINTH: Bee Jersey could get the early jump in ultra-contentious Met Mile. Awesome Slew makes peak start of form cycle and owns fast late-pace figures on best; very dangerous. Good Samaritan took backward step in last after handy victory in previous start; bounce-back threat.
TENTH: Robert Bruce overcame slow fractions to win stateside debut for Chad Brown; more to give. Beach Patrol, also from Brown barn, delivers strong efforts with machine-like consistency. One Go All Go can prove to be a tough customer when allowed an unchallenged lead.
ELEVENTH: Hofburg endured horrible journey in Derby and fired 5-furlong bullet this past Sunday; spoils the party. Justify needs no introduction; for those that think horse racing is a spectator sport. Gronkowski gets the meds for U.S. debut; don’t dismiss. Blended Citizen made grinding rally to win Peter Pan; worth considering.
TWELFTH: Monster Bea was pace and position compromised in last; set for best in third start of form cycle. Macagone, another that makes peaking start of cycle, is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Battle of Blenheim is rested, owns fast figures and hails from Chad Brown barn; need more?
THIRTEENTH: Hammerin Aamer has worked three times since ultra-game second in last; more to come. Devine Dental exits fast-paced, front-running score in last at Parx; very playable at fat price. Hyndford was a six-length winner in first start on Belmont loam; big-time threat. Myakka River made first start in nearly a year last out; improvement expected.