After Frostmourne won the G2 Penn Mile on June 3rd, some thought that a try in the G1 Belmont Derby was in the cards. Trainer Christophe Clement, on the other hand, is taking the more conservative route, sending Frostmourne to Delaware Park on Saturday, where he is the 8-5 favorite in the G3 Kent Stakes.
We’re going to take a small shot against him.
Kent Stakes (G3) – 3/yo, 9 furlongs, turf – #6 Frostmourne (8-5) is the well-deserving favorite, but stretches out to a mile and an eighth for the first time off the flat-mile of the Penn Mile, not an insignificant difference. Aside from his 8.5 furlong debut, when he beat a very weak field, his two best races were going a flat mile. There’s nothing wrong with Frostmourne, who is obviously the horse to beat, but it’s possible he might not have the same punch finishing at this distance, and there is a horse that very well might be improving as he stretches out.
That horse, our pick, is #2 Lunaire (9-2) for trainer Tom Albetrani. Lunaire won his turf debut at Tampa on February 17th, beating two next-out winners, and then was third in a Gulfstream stakes race on May 6th. But it was his Belmont race on June 9th that caught our eye.
The pace that day was incredibly slow – the first half mile was run in 49.43 seconds and the last half mile was run in 45.21 seconds. Lunaire, meanwhile, managed to make up five lengths into the last quarter mile (run in 22.10 seconds). Additionally, the winner of that race, Bricks and Morter, came back to impressively win the Manila Stakes last week and the runner-up, Snap Decision, is stakes placed and came back to win an allowance race.
Further, Lunaire is by Malibu Moon and half to Sadler’s Joy, a marathon type runner that is a G3 winner going a mile and a half and also trained by Albetrani.
The 2-1 second choice is #5 Master Plan, who won the local prep for this race, but even though that was a stakes race, the race Lunaire came out of was stronger.