|3/13||TAM||Tampa Bay Derby||Chart||1 1/16 miles||5th||89|
|4/17||KEE||Coolmore Lexington GII||Chart||1 1/16 miles||3rd||91|
Strengths: Finished only a little more than two lengths behind Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in the Tampa Bay Derby after a troubled trip. He comes into this off the best performance of his career, rallying from well off the pace in the Lexington Stakes to finish a gaining third to Exhi, who has since won another stakes, his third in a row. Makes his first start for a trainer who is very good at bringing horses into big spots off freshenings, and the positional speed he showed in the Tampa Bay Derby suggests he could be prominent early here, with a moderate to slow pace expected.
Weaknesses: His big effort in the Lexington came on Keeneland's Polytrack, and it's difficult to predict how that form will transfer to dirt in the Belmont Stakes. He has yet to even start in a Grade 1 race and is 0 for 3 in races around two turns, while 2 for 2 in sprint races. That, and his miler's pedigree, suggests that the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont could be well beyond his reach.
Strategy: Despite the fact that he came from next to last in a field of 12 in the Lexington to be third, it would be a surprise, given the scarcity of speed in this event, if he wasn't a prominent early factor here. He might even lay as close as third in the early stages behind First Dude and Interactif, but how close he is early depends entirely on how fast the pace is.
Value: The highest price he has been so far in his five-race career was 4-1 in the Lexington. But he is facing a much better group Saturday, and concerns over how far he really wants to go could put him in the neighborhood of 12-1 to 15-1. If you think the pace will be so slow that it might carry this one deep into the race, then he could be used underneath in exotic wagers. Otherwise, he is a bit of a stretch.
Sire: Limehouse showcased his versatility by winning at distances ranging from 4 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. He was a Grade 2 winner both sprinting and routing and received nine triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures from 21 starts, highlighted by a 112 top. From a small sampling, Limehouse's best progeny have done their best running in sprints and middle-distance races.
Dam: Uptowncharlybrown is a half-brother to Startjumpin Marnie, a stakes-winning sprinter at 6 1/2 furlongs. Their dam won 1 of 8 starts racing exclusively in Puerto Rico. Her lone victory came at seven furlongs. She is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed sprinter Fire and Glory. The third dam is stakes-winning turf performer Estrella Fuega. This is the female family of Irish St. Leger winner Leading Counsel and multiple stakes winner Typecast.
Outlook: This seems more like a nine-furlong pedigree than one befitting a true stayer, but Uptowncharlybrown has plenty of stamina and class deep in the female family. He acts like a router and may see out this trip given the right pace and race flow.