Best bet: TAMMANY GIANT (8);
Best value: LOOKIN AT BLESSING (3)
FIRST: King of Spades is riding a forward line on the numbers and owns a win at the distance; call based on price. Bootlegger makes first start since moving to Rudy Rodriguez barn; big-time player. Cumberland River was a clear-cut winner the first time he touched Belmont grass June 1; right in the thick of this.
SECOND: Arch Contender is 0-for-23 but was a better-than-looks fourth in last and lands in weak field; now or never? Unforeseeable drops, returns to dirt and adds blinkers; dangerous. Potomac exits same June 3 race as Unforeseeable and owns fast dirt numbers; must be considered.
THIRD: Lookin At Blessing compiled tight work tab for return to surface of only victory; history repeats. Maimo has won last two races by a combined 16 1⁄2 lengths; very dangerous. Crea’s Bklyn Law is speedy and could prove tough on a soft lead; don’t ignore.
FOURTH: Soar from Shadows notched swift late-pace figure when second to a repeat winner in last; her turn Thursday. Windjammer has the benefit of speed and the rail on tight-turned course; dangerous. Amazing Audrey bested second selection by more than a length when aided by slow fractions May 18; proceed with caution at short odds.
FIFTH: Playwright demolished a field by 13 lengths last time and owns faster back numbers; pairs up. Diplodocus drops and moves to dirt for Brad Cox; very interesting. Cookie Crisp exits same last race as Diplodocus and was a fast-figured winner on dirt in December; big-time danger.
SIXTH: Scorpion Bowl moves to grass for Linda Rice after convincing maiden win in last; handles surface switch. Awsum Roar has delivered strong efforts in all four grass starts; could easily take this. Citizen Matzo took backward step in last after game win in prior; move to grass could lead to rebound.
SEVENTH: Rectify has worked three times since speed and fade in last; set for best in third start since six-month layoff. Global Positioning owns more speed than he has been showing and has trained sharply since last out; very playable. Bass River Road owns very fast back figures; don’t ignore.
EIGHTH: Amabilis gets added real estate to work with after non-stressful sixth in last; three tight works in the interim seals the deal. New Money Honey is 3-for-3 on Belmont grass and hails from Chad Brown barn; can you say underlay? Brooks House was over her head in Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico last time; dangerous at this level.
NINTH: Tammany Giant wheels back in a hurry and gets favorable cutback in distance after speed and fade on June 10; amplified kick predicted. Throw the Deuce runs late and could be aided by additional furlong. Con Em gets Lasix and could improve at big price in second start. Minus Two was second to a repeat winner in lone start on Belmont grass; very interesting.