Fog of War returns in Paradise Creek at Belmont Park
By NY Hot List Staff
In horse racing, you win some and you lose some.
While the Metropolitan Handicap has been a very nice addition to the Belmont Stakes undercard, the shift has taken a good deal of the fun out of the Memorial Day weekend cards at Belmont Park.
On Saturday, the lone stakes is the $100,000 Paradise Creek, a seven-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-olds. There are no stakes on Sunday and Monday’s card features six stakes for state-breds.
It’s a far cry from the days of Forego, Conquistador Cielo and Holy Bull posting Memorial Day victories, yet at least the Paradise Creek offers the return of a turf runner who could be a top performer by year’s end.
Peter Brant’s Fog of War has not raced since Sept. 16 when he won the Grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine in his second start, beating War of Will, who won the Preakness last weekend.
Trained by Chad Brown, the War Front colt has been working steadily for his return and should be able to live up to his morning line odds of 8-5 if he returns in top form.
One of main threats includes Mucho (3-1), the runner-up in last year’s Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes who will be making his turf debut.
Pole Setter (9-2) returns to turf after starting his career with two starts on grass. The son of Take Charge Indy won his debut on turf at Ellis Park and then was sixth in the $400,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes. Switched to the main track after that, he was winless in five starts until he captured an April 7 allowance race at Keeneland in his last start.
Strike Silver (6-1) will try to move forward after finishing 11th in the Palisades Turf Sprint in his 2019 debut. At two, he rallied from 11th in the final furlong to win the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland for trainer Mark Casse.
“I thought that he was a nice horse on the dirt but thought that the turf would move him up,” Casse said. “I didn’t feel that he was as good as some of our other horses so we gave him a shot on the turf. Last time at Keeneland, it seemed like he didn’t really have running on his mind but since then he’s trained well. When you have a 3-year-old that’s already won a stake there aren’t a whole lot of options and sometimes you end up running in races that aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. I prefer to stay with straight 3-year-olds this time of year.”
The rest of the field includes Dunph (15-1), Pulsate (10-1), Ian Glass (15-1) and Uncapped (8-1).