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Will Toast of New York burn or be burned in US debut at Belmont today?

Dances With Fate
Dances With Fate
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Toast of New York makes his United States debut this afternoon in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (formerly the Jamaica Handicap) at Belmont Park against a field of 11 including Sheldon,. Adelaide (runner-up to Eagle Top in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20th), Flamboyant. Dance With Fates (making his first start since finishing 6th in the Kentucky Derby). Gailo Chops, Pornichet (3rd in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains), Mr. Speaker, Global View (winner of the 2014 American Turf Stakes on the Churchill Downs turf), Gala Awardsm. and Bobby’s Kitten. Bobby’s Kitten has been in the money in all 6 of his turf starts, including 3rd in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf race. The Belmont Derby Invitational will also serve as a rematch between Bobby’s Kitten and Global View who finished the $500,000 Penn Mile one and two, respectively.

.It should also be noted that Dance With Fate posted a 1-3/4 lengths victory in his only turf start on January 24th at Santa Anita, although he won by the same margin on the polytrack surface at Keenland in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes prior to his Derby loss. He will be ridden today by jockey Corey Nakatani who rode him in both of these races.

Although bound to be the betting favorite, on name alone, Toast of New York comes to the race with top credentials, having won three straight races by a combined total of 30-1/2 lengths with regular rider Jamie Spencer. Those wins all on synthetic surfaces in England, as well s his last race (a 2-1/2 victory) in the United Arab Emirates Derby on March 29th, however, are making handicappers wonder just how well he will do here on the turf, not to mention his long lay-off after 3 months.