Trainer Nick Zito could not think any more highly of Tracy Farmer’s Commentator, the standout in Wednesday's competitive $200,000 Tom Fool Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Commentator is 9-for-12 with valid excuses for each of his losses. The speedy New York-bred son of Distorted Humor is nicely drawn with post six of seven for the seven-furlong Tom Fool, part of a 10-race Independence Day card that also includes the Dwyer (gr. II).
The biggest accomplishment of Commentator’s career is wiring the field in the 2005 Whitney (gr. I), beating the future Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winner Saint Liam.
“He’s such a cool horse,” trainer Nick Zito said. “He’s doing everything right. He’s such a treasure.
“This race isn’t going to be easy. There is some other speed in the race, but the post is good for him. Commentator is going to run his race. Corey (jockey Corey Nakatani) is going to let him come out of there and let him run his race.”
Commentator is coming off an 11 1/4-length victory in the Richmond Runner for New York breds at Belmont May 28, his first start of the season.
“He’s had five weeks since that race and he’s been training great,” Zito said.
Commentator may have his hands full in the Tom Fool if West Point Stable’s High Finance is able to run back to his eight-length allowance win at Belmont May 27 when he set fast fractions and drew off with plenty left. The only problem for High Finance is that each time he runs a huge race, he usually regresses in his next start.
“I would have preferred another few weeks between starts, but you can’t always pick and choose what you want,” said trainer Richard Violette Jr. “He needs to run back to his last race, but this is a different kettle of fish he’s running against.”
Godolphin Stable’s Rondo is likely to flash his typical early speed and join Commentator on or near the lead. Rondo comes off a four-length allowance win, but will be running farther than 6 1/2 furlongs for the first time in his six-race career Wednesday.
Trainer Bobby Frankel brings Saint Anddan into the Tom Fool fresh after the 5-year-old made his last start a winning one in the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby Day.
Will He Shine won the True North (gr. II) on Belmont Stakes Day when he slipped up the inside to beat Suave Jazz and Dashboard Drummer. The 5-year-old faces much tougher horses this time.
$200,000 Tom Fool Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 4:43 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Awesome Twist (KY), 115, Javier Castellano
2. Istan (KY), 116, Kent J. Desormeaux
3. High Finance (KY), 114, John R. Velazquez
4. Rondo (KY), 114, Edgar S. Prado
5. Will He Shine (KY), 117, Garrett K. Gomez
6. Commentator (NY), 119, Corey S. Nakatani
7. Saint Anddan (KY), 119, Rafael Bejarano