2017 Kelso Handicap Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Kelso Handicap comes our way this Saturday, September 23 at Belmont Park in Elmont. New York. A purse of $300,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to take to Belmont Park's dirt track and race one mile.

A competitive field of six will line up in the Kelso Handicap - race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 5:45 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all six entries for this intriguing G2 stakes.

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2017 Kelso Handicap Entries at Belmont Park

Sharp Azteca

Consistent Jorge Navarro trained colt has six wins, four seconds and a third-place finish in 13 career starts. He won the G3 Pat Day Mile Stakes at Churchill Downs last May and has been good in eight starts since - a 7 1/4 length win last time out with a 109 BRIS Speed rating in the G3 Monmouth Cup July 30 followed a respectable second with a 106 Beyer Speed Rating in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap here June 10, a third in the G2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan March 25 and a nice win in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11. Before that was a good second in the G1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita December 26, a win in the minor City of Laurel Stakes November 19 and a second in the minor Super Derby Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs August 6. Sharp Azteca has been seriously trending upward ahead of this weekend, has hit the board in seven straight races ahead of this weekend, has four wins, a second and a third-place finish in six starts at a mile and hopes to keep an impressive run going Saturday from post 5. Paco Lopez has the mount on the 124-pound highweight.

Tom's Ready

Dallas Stewart trained colt has just four wins in 18 career starts to go along with four runner-ups and two third-place finishes. Last time out was a respectable third in the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 26 which followed one of his wins - the minor Leemat Stakes at Presque Isle Downs July 9, a seventh in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 10, an OK third in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 and a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Before that was another one of his wins - the G3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs October 1, an ugly ninth in the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga last August 27 and another win in the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park June 11, 2016. He also had a disappointing twelfth in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, a second in the G2 Louisiana Derby last and a second in the G3 LeComte Stakes in January of 2016. Tom's Ready has been a tad up and down in his career, has placed in two straight starts and has looked good in works leading up to this race. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle from the rail.

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Divining Rod

Has placed in 13 of 15 career starts for trainer Arnaud Delacour - five wins, three seconds and five third place finishes. 2015 results include a second in the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a third in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby (both at Tampa Bay), a terrific win in the G3 Lexington Stakes and three straight thirds including the Preakness Stakes, the minor Ohio Derby and the G2 Indiana Derby. He ended 2015 with a fifth in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes in August before being sent to the sidelines for 13 months. Since his return to action Divining Rod has three wins and two seconds in six starts. Last time out was a fourth in the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 26 after a 6 1/4 length win with a lofty 106 BRIS Speed Rating in the minor Polynesian Stakes at Laurel Park August 12, consecutive seconds - the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in November and the G2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland in October and two Allowance Optional Claiming scores. Divining Rod has been in every race so far in his career and hopes to be again Saturday when he leaves from gate 4 with Daniel Centeno aboard.

Bird Song

Ian Wilkes trained colt has placed in eight of 13 career starts - five wins, two seconds and a third-place finish. He has three wins, two seconds and a third in his last eight starts overall. Last time was a fourth in the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga July 29 which followed his worst result in a while - an eighth in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 17. Before that was good 1 1/2 length front-running win in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 5, a third in the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 15, another good win in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 and a second to start his year in the G2 Hal's Hope Stakes in January. Bird Song had been a factor in every race of 2017 before his last two starts but has two wins and two seconds in four starts at this distance. He will be in search of a strong bounce back off an uncharacteristic pair of efforts with Julien Leparoux in the irons from the outside gate 6.

Tommy Macho

Has placed in 13 of 17 career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher - five wins, a second and seven third-place finishes. He won the G3 Discovery Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct to end his 2015 campaign and has been OK in 10 starts since. He enters off a disappointing seventh in the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 26 which followed four straight third-place finishes - the G2 Belmont Sprint Championship July 8, the G1 Metropolitan Handicap June 10, the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 8 and in the G3 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11. Before that was a terrific 5 3/4 length win at Gulfstream in the G3 Hal's Hope Stakes January 14. He also had a good 3 3/4 length win in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream in February, 2016. Tommy Macho has been OK lately but will chase a strong bounce back Saturday from gate 2. Joe Bravo gets the call.

Ross

Irish bred Peter Schiergen trainee has just four wins in 25 career starts with five seconds and a third-place finish. He made his North America debut last time out and finished a distant tenth in the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 26 after an Allowance score at Deauville August 4 and three straight runner-up finishes - the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan March 25 and the Group 3 Burj Nahaar on that track March 4 included. He failed to place in five starts prior to that. Ross had been trending up before last time out and hopes to make some noise on North American soil Saturday. Rajiv Maragh will be in the saddle from post 3.


2017 Kelso Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Tom's Ready 8-1 Joel Rosario Dallas Stewart
2 Tommy Macho 10-1 Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher
3 Ross (IRE) 20-1 Rajiv Maragh Peter Schiergen
4 Divining Rod 2-1 Daniel Centeno Arnaud Delacour
5 Sharp Azteca 4-5 Paco Lopez Jorge Navarro
6 Bird Song 12-1 Julien Leparoux Ian Wilkes

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OTB Schedule - Saturday, Oct 21

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Ascot (UK) 8:25 AM
Australia A 9:40 PM
Australia B 10:07 PM
Australia C 10:20 PM
Australia D 10:29 PM
Batavia Downs 6:00 PM
Belmont Park 12:25 PM
Birmingham Eve 7:25 PM
Birmingham Mat 2:00 PM
Catterick (UK) 8:50 AM
Century Downs TB 2:50 PM
Charles Town 7:00 PM
Charlottetown 6:00 PM
Daytona Beach Eve 7:25 PM
Daytona Beach Mat 1:05 PM
Dayton Raceway 6:15 PM
Delaware Park 1:15 PM
Delta Downs 6:30 PM
Durbanville (SAF) 7:16 AM
Evangeline Downs 6:35 PM
Fairyhouse (IRE) 8:54 AM
Ffos Las (UK) 9:10 AM
Finger Lakes 1:10 PM
Flagler Mat 12:15 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:00 PM
Freehold Raceway 12:30 PM
Golden Gate Fields 3:45 PM
Gulfstream Park West 1:15 PM
Hastings Park 4:50 PM
Hawthorne 4:10 PM
Iowa Greyhound Park Mat 2:00 PM
Keeneland 1:05 PM
Laurel Park 12:15 PM
Lone Star Park 7:35 PM
Los Alamitos (QH) 9:00 PM
Market Rasen (UK) 8:11 AM
Monmouth at Meadowlands 7:00 PM
Mornington 9:50 PM
Northfield Park 6:00 PM
Northlands Park (H) 8:30 PM
Northville Downs 7:00 PM
Orange Park Eve 7:45 PM
Orange Park Mat 12:35 PM
Palm Beach Eve 7:00 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:00 PM
Parx Racing 12:55 PM
Penn National 6:00 PM
Pocono Downs 6:30 PM
Remington Park 8:07 PM
Retama Park 7:45 PM
Rosecroft Raceway 6:40 PM
Sanford Eve 7:00 PM
Sanford Mat 1:30 PM
Santa Anita Park 3:30 PM
Saratoga Harness 6:45 PM
Scarborough Downs 1:30 PM
Seoul Korea 9:45 PM
Southland Eve 8:30 PM
Southland Mat 2:00 PM
Stratford (UK) 8:55 AM
Thistledown 1:40 PM
Tri-State Twi 5:00 PM
Turffontein (SAF) 6:30 AM
Turf Paradise 2:55 PM
Vernon Downs 6:45 PM
Wheeling Downs Eve 5:30 PM
Wheeling Downs Mat 1:00 PM
Will Rogers Downs 1:00 PM
Wolverhampton (UK) 12:40 PM
Woodbine (H) 7:30 PM
Woodbine (TB) 1:00 PM
Yonkers Raceway 7:10 PM
Zia Park 2:10 PM

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