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US racing tips: Tom Collins sides with tactical speed in Belmont Park feature

1 of 1

Javelin
8.27 Belmont Park
1pt win

Mentality
10.04 Belmont Park
2pts win

The feature $70,000 Hessonite Stakes (10.04) at Belmont Park on Friday evening looks a wide open affair, despite the fact that only six runners will go to post asSadie Lady is a main-track-only entrant and the weather looks good for turf contests to go ahead.

Finding the speed is much harder than usual, though, and that could mean we are set fare for a steady early gallop that won't suit the likes of Purrageous Dyna and morning line favourite Saratoga Treasure, who both come from off the pace.

Hannah's Smile is interesting from the inside gate under Manny Franco. She has the tactical speed to sit handy to the pace along the rail and was in the form of her life before an absence. Put a line through her latest run and she's a big player.

However, she showed very little in allowance optional claiming company on her return at this track and I can't support her with any confidence.

Instead, I fancy the chance of Wesley Ward's Mentality, who looks the obvious one to go forward and dictate affairs in this 6f event under rider Dylan Davis.

The five-year-old will receive weight from a couple of her rivals and will relish the return to the Belmont Park turf, on which she has recorded form figures of 131311 throughout her 14-race career.

Mentalitywas last successful over course and distance in a $80,000 allowance optional claimer in September last year, whereshe was allowed to roll along behind the leaders who set blistering fractions, before pouncing in the straight.

This contest will be run in stark contrast to that, but she has proved in the past that she can dictate and kick off the final bend to win races and hopefully it will be much of the same this time around.

The only other bet on a card that looks full of solid short-priced favourites is the Irad Ortiz-ridden Javelin, who may go off at relatively skinny odds in the $27,000 claimer (8.27).

There are a few early speed sorts in this race– Blue Belt, Blinded Vision and Toohottoevenspeak– which may well set it up for the fast-closing jolly, who was last seen finishing a gallant second from off the speed here after a four-month break.

Javelin may have needed the ran and certainly wasn't favoured by his draw in gate 13 and the fact he was slightly hampered by a loose horse rounding the homebend. Nevertheless, he made eyecatching headway along the rail before being switch six-wide to challenge in the straight.

By that point the eventual winner had kicked clear, but Javelin stayed onwell tohead the aforementioned Blue Belt for second.

This seven-year-old hasn't won since April last year, but will have come on plenty for that reappearance effort and is the best horse in this field.


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He made eyecatching headway along the rail before being switch six-wide to challenge in the straight
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