2014 Federico Tesio
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Mike Smith
Damsire: Mr. Prospector (Golden Sonata)
Notable Races: Federico Tesio (2nd); Private Terms (3rd); G2-Jerome (4th); G2-Remsen (6th)
At the bare minimum, at least we can say that Matuszak is coming into the Belmont off of the best two races of his career, even if neither one resulted in a victory. The son of Bernardini finished second in the Tesio at Pimlico on April 19 and was third in the Private Terms in early March. Those are respectable performances even though they came against suspect fields. Additionally, Matuszak turned in a pair of sterling works at Belmont over the last month (one over the training track), so he appears to be coming into the Belmont in good condition. On the other hand...
The horse that beat Matuszak by almost nine combined lengths in the Tesio and the Private Terms, Kid Cruz, flopped oh-so-badly in the Preakness; I'm not sure how that reflects anything but "poorly" on Matuszak. It's hard to put a lot of value into the two best races of Matuszak's career when he couldn't win either of two minor stakes races and the horse that beat him was crushed three weeks ago when he ran against several in this field. Furthermore, Matuszak has yet to beat winners, holding a lone win against Maiden Special Weight company at Churchill Downs last September as his only victory. How do you get behind that in the Belmont?
We're (again) in dart throwing territory. If you're looking to cash in if California Chrome flops on Saturday, pencil in Matuszak into every ticket you construct.