2017 Metropolitan Handicap Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will play host to the G1 Metropolitan Handicap on Saturday, June 10. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's portion pf the $1.2 million purse when they take to Belmont Park's dirt track and race one mile.

A large and competitive field of 12 will line up in the Met Mile - race 9 on Belmont Park's uber-stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:41 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all 12 combatants for this lucrative G1 stakes - a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race for the Las Vegas Dirt Mile.

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2017 Metropolitan Handicap Entries at Belmont Park

Mor Spirit 5-2

Bob Baffert trained Ringling has 12 career starts with five wins and five second place finishes. He enters on a nice two-race win streak - the G3 Steve Sexton Mile by 5 3/4 lengths last time out at Lone Star May 7 and the minor Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park March 18. Before that was a quality second in the G2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita February 4 and a fourth in the G1 Malibu Stakes on that track December 26. He was tenth in the Kentucky Derby and before that had consecutive second place finishes - as favorite behind Exaggerator in the G1 Santa Anita Derby April 9 and in the G2 San Felipe Stakes on this track March 12. He had terrific wins in the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 6, 2016 and in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity with a 96 Beyer Speed Figure December 19, 2015 as well. Mor Spirit had been a threat virtually every time out and is seriously trending upward ahead of this weekend. Mike Smith has been tabbed to ride the tepid morning line favorite from post 9.

Sharp Azteca 9-2

Consistent Jorge Navarro trained colt has five wins, three seconds and a third-place finish in 11 career starts. He won the G3 Pat Day Mile Stakes at Churchill Downs last May and has been good in six starts since - a third last time out in the G2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan March 25 followed a nice win in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11, 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 competitive lately, placing in five straight races and shoots for a first G1 score Saturday from post 5 with Paco Lopez aboard.

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Rally Cry 5-1

Todd Pletcher trained colt has three wins, a second and three third place finishes in eight career starts - competitive every time out. He arrives off an Allowance score on this track April 30, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream March 15, a third in the minor Easy Goer Stakes here last June and an Allowance score on this track last April. Before that was a sixth in his only graded stakes action to date - the G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March, 2016. Rally Cry has two wins and a second-place finish in three starts on his track and will be after a first stakes win Saturday. John Velazquez has the mount on the morning line third choice from gate 2.

Awesome Slew 6-1

Mark Casse trained colt has 12 career starts with four nice wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. Last time out was a decent second in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 after a good win in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 8 and another second in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11. Before that was a third in the minor Sunshine Millions Classic January 21, another third in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes December 17, a slightly disappointing fifth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 24 and a career best result - a dominating, gate-to-wire seven length win in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes on that track September 5. Awesome Slew hasn't been afraid of top company, has placed in five straight starts ahead of this weekend and will have Joel Rosario in the saddle from the outside gate 12.

Tommy Macho 10-1

Has placed in 11 of 14 career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher - five wins, a second and five 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 seven starts since. Last time out was a decent third in the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 8 after another OK third in the G3 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11, a terrific 5 3/4 length win on that track in the G3 Hal's Hope Stakes January 14. He also had a good 3 3/4 length win over the terrific Stanford in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream in February, 2016. Tommy Macho has been competitive nearly every time out and will chase his fourth graded stakes score Saturday with Luis Saez in the reins from post 11.

Tom's Ready 15-1

Dallas Stewart trained colt has just three wins in 53 career starts to go along with four runner-ups and a third-place finish. Last time out was an OK third in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 after a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and one of his wins - in the G3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs October 1. Before that was an ugly ninth in the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27 and another win in the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park June 11. He also had a disappointing twelfth in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, a second in the G2 Louisiana Derby last March 26 and a second in the G3 LeComte Stakes in January of 2016. He has been a tad up and down in his career but chases his third graded stakes score in six starts Saturday. Javier Castellano rides from gate 8.

Denman's Call 15-1

Has placed in six of nine career starts for trainer Doug O'Neill - two wins, one second and three third place finishes. He off a disappointing seventh in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 after a career-best win in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita March 11 and consecutive thirds in Allowance Optional Claiming races. He was just OK in 2016. Denman's Call has been decent so far in his career and chases his second graded stakes score in three starts Saturday. Tyler Base will be in the irons from post 3.

Solid Wager 15-1

Peter Miller trained gelding has eight wins, three seconds and five third place finishes in 34 career starts. Last time out was an OK fourth in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 after a third in the minor Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita February 26, a fifth in the minor Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita January 28 and a career-best effort - a win in the G3 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita December 31. He won the minor Cary Grant Stakes at Santa Anita before that. Solid Wager was very good this past winter and hopes to get back to that form Saturday with Victor Espinoza aboard from gate 4.

Economic Model 15-1

Chad Brown trained colt has 10 career starts with three wins, three runner-ups and two third place finishes. He enters off an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct April 23 which followed an eighth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, another third in the G3 Bold Ruler Handicap on this track October 29 and two respectable seconds - in the G3 Dwyer Stakes here July 9 and the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27. Before that was a two-race win streak - the minor Easy Goer Stakes with a 101 Beyer Speed Figure June 11 and an Allowance Optional Claiming by four lengths May 4 - both at Belmont Park. He arrives in decent form, will chase his first win in a year and will have Irad Ortiz guiding him from post 7.

Inside Straight 15-1

Has 20 career starts for trainer Robertino Diodoro with seven wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. He arrives on a very nice two-race win streak - the G2 Oaklawn Handicap April 15 and an Allowance Optional Claiming March 10 - both at Oaklawn Park. He placed in his four previous starts as well including an Allowance score in October and consecutive thirds in minor stakes action - the Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park January 13 and the Zia Park Derby in November. His other graded stakes results were a fourth in the G3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in August and a ninth in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in September. Inside Straight has been a sneaky threat the last eight months and will be in search of his first graded stakes score Saturday. Angel Arroyo has the mount from the rail.

Mohaymen 20-1

Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt finished second (albeit by a wide margin) in Eclipse Awards voting behind Nyquist for two-year-old males in 2015. He was undefeated in his first five career starts (four graded stakes) but hasn't been the same since. Last time out was a fourth in the G3 Westchester Stakes on this track May 6 which followed an eleventh in the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27 and three straight disappointing fourth place finishes - in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 30, in the 2016 Kentucky Derby and in the G1 Florida Derby April 2. Mohaymen was a favorite on last year's Triple Crown trail but has failed to place in five starts since that time. He hopes for his first win in 16 months Saturday with Jose Ortiz guiding him from gate 6.

Virtual Machine 30-1

has hit the board in eight of 10 career starts for trainer David Cannizzo - two wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a respectable second in the G3 Westchester Stakes on this track May 6 which followed two straight wins at Aqueduct - an Allowance Optional Claiming March 24 and a maiden score February 16. He also has a runner-up finish in the minor Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park in April, 2016. Virtual Machine has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and will be after a first stakes score from gate 10.


2017 Metropolitan Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:41 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Inside Straight 15-1 Angel Arroyo Robertino Diodoro
2 Rally Cry 5-1 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
3 Denman's Call 15-1 Tyler Baze Doug O'Neill
4 Solid Wager 15-1 Victor Espinoza Peter Miller
5 Sharp Azteca 7-2 Paco Lopez Jorge Navarro
6 Mohaymen 20-1 Jose Ortiz Kiaran McLaughlin
7 Economic Model 15-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown
8 Tom's Ready 15-1 Javier Castellano Dallas Stewart
9 Mor Spirit 5-2 Mike Smith Bob Baffert
10 Virtual Machine 30-1 Manuel Franco David Cannizzo
11 Tommy Macho 10-1 Luis Saez Todd Pletcher
12 Awesome Slew 6-1 Joel Rosario Mark Casse

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OTB Schedule - Sunday, Jun 25

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Ajax Downs 1:09 PM
Albuquerque 3:31 PM
Arapahoe Park 3:01 PM
Australia A 10:30 PM
Australia B 10:45 PM
Australia C 11:05 PM
Belmont Park 1:31 PM
Belterra Park 1:24 PM
Buffalo Raceway 12:39 PM
Century Downs 3:12 PM
Clonmel (IG) 2:30 PM
Emerald Downs 5:00 PM
Flagler Eve 7:00 PM
Fort Erie 1:24 PM
Georgian Downs 6:04 PM
Gowran (IRE) 9:09 AM
Greyville (SAF) 5:46 AM
Gulfstream Tropical 1:24 PM
Harrahs Philly (Chester) 12:44 PM
Hastings Park 4:52 PM
Hawthorne (H) 8:10 PM
Hexham (UK) 8:54 AM
Hippodrome 3R 12:40 PM
Iowa Greyhound Park Mat 2:00 PM
Laurel Park 1:13 PM
Lone Star Park 3:40 PM
Los Alamitos (QH) 9:27 PM
Monmouth Park 12:50 PM
Mountaineer Park 7:00 PM
Mullingar (IG) 10:18 AM
Orange Park Mat 1:34 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:04 PM
Pleasanton 4:45 PM
Pocono Downs 7:30 PM
Pontefract (UK) 9:10 AM
Prairie Meadows (TB) 2:01 PM
Presque Isle 5:25 PM
Rideau Carleton 6:30 PM
Ruidoso Downs 3:01 PM
Running Aces 7:00 PM
Santa Anita Park 4:01 PM
Saratoga Harness 12:25 PM
Scarborough Downs 1:33 PM
Southland Twilight 5:00 PM
Summerside 12:03 PM
Tioga Downs 1:10 PM
Tri-State Twi 5:01 PM
Wheeling Downs Eve 5:06 PM
Wheeling Downs Mat 1:01 PM
Woodbine (TB) 1:10 PM
Worcester (UK) 9:10 AM

Pegasus World Cup

Pegasus World Cup
Arrogate wins the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup - the world's richest Thoroughbred race - on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at Gulfstream Park.

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