Kelso Handicap 2013 Contenders at Belmont Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Kelso Handicap comes our way from a very busy Belmont Park in Elmont New York this Saturday, September 28. A purse of $400,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward as they go one mile on Belmont Park's dirt track.

A field of seven will line up in the Kelso Handicap - race 6 on Belmont Park's ridiculously stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:41 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all seven entries for the second stakes contested on Belmont Park's Saturday card. A berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile is on the line in the Kelso.

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2013 Kelso Handicap Race Favorite Entries

Graydar - lightly raced Todd Pletcher trained colt has just five career starts with four wins - the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap last time out way back in March, the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in February, an Allowance Optional Claiming December 6 by 4 1/2 lengths - earning a 103 Beyer Speed Figure and a maiden score back in April. Sandwiched in there is a third place finish in an Allowance at Belmont Park last September 15. He returns to the track after nearly six months away but there is no denying the talent of this impressive colt. He has two wins and a third place finish in three starts at this distance, is the 120 pound highweight and will have Edgar Prado in the saddle from post 2 as the likely favorite.

Hymn Book - Shug McGaughey pupil won the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in impressive fashion in February 2012 but struggled a tad after that before a decent second in the Grade 2 Suburban behind Mucho Macho Man last July 7. He won the minor Frank Martin Stakes October 19 and finished 2012 with a fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile and then took nearly six months off. Since his return he has three starts and three seconds - in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup last time out, in the minor Criminal Type Stakes June 14 and in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 3. He has placed in 10 of 16 stakes races and will be looking to better his string of seconds this week. Hymn Book will break from the 5-hole carrying 116 pounds and jockey John Velasquez.

Kelso Handicap 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Jackson Bend - was impressive in 2011 and the early part of 2012 during a streak of four wins, a second and three third place finishes in eight starts including wins in the 2011 Forego, the Grade 3 Hal's Hope and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap. He also had a third in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Sprint during that time. He fell off a bit toward the end of 2012 culminating in a disappointing seventh in the 2012 Forego Stakes before injury sent Jackson Bend to the sideline for nine months. He returned June 8 to a fifth in the minor Ponche Handicap at Calder and followed that with an OK third in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap also at Calder. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 1 Forego behind Strapping Groom after a third in the minor Housebuster Stakes at Gulfstream August 3. If he can find his 2011 form, Jackson Bend could be a serious threat in the Kelso. He will have Javier Castellano in the irons from post 4 as part of a coupled entry with...

Easter Gift - Chad Brown trained colt has been good this year with three wins and two seconds in five starts but he races in graded stakes company for the first time since October (an eighth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby). He is coming off a second in the minor Alydar Stakes at Saratoga August 22 after three straight wins - the best being in the minor Mountainview Handicap at Penn National June 1. Mike Smith gets the mount from the rail Saturday.

Kelso Handicap betting at Belmont Park with

Brujo de Olleros - had four wins in five starts in his native Brazil before shipping to North America. In four starts on North American soil he was fourth in the minor Majestic Lights Stakes at Monmouth last July 29 and fourth in the Grade 2 Bowling Green here in September 2012 before a nine month layoff. He returned to action June 22 and finished a good second in the minor Donald LeVine Handicap and recorded a win last time out in the minor Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park August 19. He will have Alan Garcia in the saddle from post 7.

Souper Speedy - Thomas Albertini trained colt is coming off a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga August 16 after a fourth in the Grade 3 James Marvin in July. Earlier this year he had a win in the minor Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park June 7 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 23. His only other graded stakes action came back in November - a very respectable second in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes to O'Prado Again at Aqueduct. He has four wins, two seconds and a third place finish in nine career starts and enters the Kelso having won three of his last four overall.

Praetereo - last raced in graded stakes company in 2012 when he posted two straight sixths. He has since concentrated on Allowance Optional Claiming races for trainer David Jacobson with a win July 7 on this track, a second last time out here and a pair of thirds. Praetereo has just four wins, two seconds and six third place finishes in 24 career starts and steps up in company for the first time in over a year Saturday.

2013 Kelso Handicap Entries & Odds

Race 6 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:41 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Easter Gift M. Smith C. Brown
1A Jackson Bend J. Castellano S. Gold
2 Graydar E. Prado T. Pletcher
3 Praetereo J. Alvarado D. Jacobson
4 Hymn Book J. Velazquez C. McGaughey III
5 Souper Speedy J. Lezcano T. Albertrani
6 Brujo de Olleros (BRZ) A. Garcia R. Mettee

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