Belmont to Lure Only Small Field: Ponder, Palestinian, Capot, Old Rockport, Saint Nicholas Listed as Saturday Starters, Daily Racing Form, 1949-06-07


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Belmont to Lure Only Small Field Ponder, Palestinian, Capot, Old Rockport, Saint Nicholas Listed as Saturday Starters BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y„ June 6. — A small, but select field is in prospect for next Saturdays eighty-first running of the 5,000 added Belmont Stakes, despite the absence of any real standout in the three-year-old division. The only reasonably certain candidates for the classic fixture are Calumet Farms Kentucky Derby winner, Ponder, Isidore Biebers hard-hitting Palestinian, Greentree Stables Preakness winner, Capot and Clifford Mooers Old Rockport. Mrs. E. H. Ellison, Jr.s Sun Bahram will also start if he runs well enough in todays sixth event to justify his going postward. The quartet will probably be favored in * that order, regardless of what others are sent postward. Ponder made a great, but rather fleeting impression in winning the Peter Pan Handicap on Saturday. It was a race that looked very good as Ponder swept past his field from the head of the stretch to the wire, but an analysis of the fractions indicates that the son of Pensive merely plodded past a group of staggering horses that had raced themselves to exhaustion. Ponder s final time of :38% for the final three furlongs — clocked separately — will have to be improved upon considerably if the Belmont is run at a normal pace. Curandero Wont Start Curandero, who set that blazing pace in the Peter Pan, is not expected to start in the Belmont and will have an additional 18 pounds to slow him up if he should go to • the post. This should operate in favor of Capot, who literally ran himself into the ; ground trying to chase Curandero on Saturday with 128 pounds on his back. Apart j from Citation and Count Fleet, it is doubtful if we have seen a three-year-old in the past decade who could have run six furlongs in better than 1:10 under that burden and have any more left with which to finish than the Greetree colt. Palestinian, who finished third behind Ponder and Capot in the Derby, after making a premature move, then was narrowly beaten by Capot in the Preakness, added to his following when he set a track record in the Jersey Stakes the Saturday after the t Pimlico fixture. Palestinian has speed that Ponder lacks, , but it is questionable if he has any more stamina than Capot. While only beaten a short head by that colt in the Preakness, he had dead aim at the eighth pole and was J unable to get the job done. The longer dis- tance of the Belmont, a mile and a half, , will not necessarily require any more stay- ing power than the Preakness or Peter Pan, 1 as pace, rather than distance provides the real test. Old Rockport turned in his best race in the Peter Pan since his victory in the SanteLgJ Anita Derby, but was receiving four poundjl from Ponder and was beaten almost seven lengths. An invader from the West, J. Graham Browns Saint Nicholas, has been shipped J to Belmont Park for the rich stake. Though * he brings a reputation for stamina, the fact ,j that he is by Psychic Bid renders that somewhat suspect. 1

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