Holiday Disguise can’t hide from bettors in Dancin Renee
By Bob Ehalt
After Justify’s Triple Crown sweep and a card with 10 stakes, it would be next-to-impossible to avoid a letdown after last week’s Belmont Stakes.
So let’s not be too rough on Saturday’s card at Belmont Park, which is topped by the $125,000 Dancin Renee, a 6-furlong sprint stakes for fillies and mares bred in New York State.
The field of seven is led by Holiday Disguise, the 6-5 morning-line favorite trained by Linda Rice.
The highly consistent 4-year-old is turning back to six furlongs after registering a nose victory in the one-mile Critical Eye in her last start. Overall, the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday has won six of her last eight starts with a second- and third-place finish in the other two tries. Included in that stretch is an impressive length victory in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.
“She’s been doing well and is coming off the Critical Eye at a mile, but we were looking for a race between here and Saratoga, and this fit pretty well,” Rice said. “I think it’ll work. Frankly, the mile is a little long for her. We think her ideal distance is seven (furlongs), but this is within her range of effectiveness. I’m hoping they set a fast pace in front of her and she can close through the stretch, that’s the kind of style she prefers.”
Trainer Charlton Baker will send out a pair of challengers in Absatootly (3-1) and Cozzy Spring (5-1).
Absatootly disappointed in the La Verdad, finishing fifth, but was third against open company in the Garland of Roses prior to that.
Cozzy Spring is coming off a head loss in an open allowance race. In her last seven starts, she posted four wins with a second and a third.
Picco Uno (8-1) returns to state-bred competition after finishing fifth in the Distaff Handicap. Two starts before that she was second in the Garland of Roses.
Still There (4-1) will get tested for class in the Dancin Renee after rolling to decisive victories in her two career starts. In her last race, she registered a 7 ½-length score in an allowance race that was washed off the turf and moved to the sloppy main track at Belmont. Prior to that, she captured her career debut at Keeneland.
Bluegrass Fling (15-1) and Bobby’s Song (20-1) round out the field.