Review of Belmont Park Stakes Races on June 8

Race 3. Easy Goer Stakes. For three three-year-old at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Purse $150,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Still Dreaming Rajiv Maragh Graham Motion 8/1
2 Dream Maker Julien Leparoux Mark Casse SCR
3 Grumps Little Tots Irad Ortiz, Jr. Jason Servis 12/1
4 Outshine John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 9/5
5 Majid Luis Saez Rudy Rodriguez 6/1
6 Alwaysmining Javier Castellano Kelly Rubley 6/5

Outshine trip in the Wood was well planned but not performed as designed. He is better than that and he has some speed to be stalking the leaders. He needs to returned to his past ability to have a chance to be competitive.

Alwaysmining got the class test in the Preakness and wasn’t quite up for it, but he did a bit more running than the chart indicates. He was close to a solid pace all the way before taking an outside run to contention around the turn; cuts back and returns to a softer spot from a nice outside draw and his speed should play in this race.

Still Dreaming has much to prove going forward but he has shown some signs along the way and the one-turn route distance might his ideal race. He was trying gamely through the stretch while having to angle off the inside all the way, and kept gaining ground last time over a distance that might be a bit sharp for him.

Dream Maker has the ability, but he has been his worst enemy out there for the most part. He had a slow start in the Pat Day Mile, before making a strong wide run around the turn and racing on well for 3rd. He needs to mentally prepared for this race plus find some racing luck. He is good enough to go with these horses.

Our Top Three Picks:

    • Alwaysmining
    • Outshine
    • Still Dreaming

 

 

Race 4.Longines Just a Game Stakes,(GIT). For four-year-old and up fillies and mares at 1mile on turf. Purse $700,000.

Entries:

PP Filly/Mare Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Daddy Is a Legend Manuel Franco George Weaver 6/1
2 Bellavais John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher 12/1
3 Beau Recall Irad Ortiz, Jr. Brad Cox 4/1
4 Rushing Fall Javier Castellano Chad Brown 4/5
5 Capla Temptress Joel Rosario William I. Mott 20/1
6 Environs Jose L. Ortiz Chad Brown 8/1
7 Got Stormy Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse SCR

 

Rushing Fall could be undefeated with some racing luck. She has won three Grade 1 races and she  won her 4yo debut. She likes to be on lead but can stalk the leaders and out kick them turning for home. She is this one outrun to the wire.

Daddy Is a Legend needs to grow up mentally and focus on running during a race. She also has the  ability to be competitive in this race. She was short in her first start off her layoff and this distance is perfect for her.

Environs won her US debut an allowance race . She didn’t break sharply from the gate when stepped up in the Distaff Turf Mile, and disliked the soft turf. She has the ability to be a factor in this race.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Rushing Fall
  • Environs
  • Daddy Is a Legend

Race 5. Ogden Phipps Stakes,(GI). For four-year-old and up fillies and mares at 11/16 miles on dirt. Purse $700,000.

Entries:

PP Filly/Mare Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Come Dancing Manuel Franco Carlos F. Martin 6/5
2 Midnight Bisou Mike E. Smith Steven M. Asmussen 1/1
3 Pacific Wind Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad C. Brown 12/1
4 Escape Clause Tyler Baze Don Schnell 9/2
5 Mopotism Mario Gutierrez Doug F. O’Neill 15/1

Come Dancing will try to keep her impressive 2019 form intact. She has the ability, but past issues have prevented her from fulfilling her ability. She has made significant improvements this year and has looked to be at this class level least this good in her last two starts. She has speed  from the rail and will be forwardly placed.

Midnight Bisou is the horse to beat. She will be trying to extend her win record at this distance to a perfect 8 for 8, including all three of those prior Grade 1’s.She ran one of her races in her only start over this track. She will be a factor at the wire.

Escape Clause a 20-time winner who has taken her game to the majors over the past seven months and she exits a strong effort in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. She has speed but is likely going to have to race two very nice horses at different times in this race, and that will not be easy for her.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Midnight Bisou
  • Come Dancing
  • Escape Clause

Race 6. Jaipur Invitational Stakes,(G1T). For three-year-old and up at 6 furlongs on turf. Purse $400,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Undrafted Tyler Gaffalione Wesley A. Ward 12/1
2 Om Joel Rosario Peter Miller 8/1
3 Dirty Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. Jeremiah C. Englehart 12/1
4 Gidu John R. Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher SCR
5 Diamond Oops Mike E. Smith Patrick L. Biancone 30/1
6 Disco Partner Irad Ortiz, Jr. Christophe Clement 3/1
7 Belvoir Bay Flavien Prat Peter Miller 5/1
8 World of Trouble Manuel Franco Jason Servis 1/1
9 Wild Shot Julien R. Leparoux George R. Arnold, II 30/1

Disco Partner is returning to a course that he has won each of his last five sprints races. He is looking for his third straight Jaipur and barely missed  in 2016 in a race that did not set up for him. His form may look odd but he with a little racing luck he should have won the Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct in November.

World of Trouble is the one to beat. He has four sprinting win on turf. His only loss was in the Breeders’ Cup. He was much the best at Churchill last time. He should be a gate-to-wire winner.

Belvoir Bay has a shot in here to be on the board. He ran well off the layoff when closing ground.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • World of Trouble
  • Disco Partner
  • Belvoir Bay

Race 7. Acorn Stakes,(GI). For three-year-old fillies at 1 mile on dirt. Purse $700,000.

Entries:

PP Filly Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Serengeti Empress Irad Ortiz, Jr. Thomas M. Amoss 5/2
2 Jeltrin Leonel Reyes Alexis Delgado 12/1
3 Cookie Dough Javier Castellano Kiaran P. McLaughlin 6/1
4 Bell’s the One Corey J. Lanerie Neil L. Pessin 20/1
5 Fancy Dress Party Joel Rosario Ben Colebrook 10/1
6 Proud Emma Flavien Prat Peter Miller 20/1
7 Guarana Jose L. Ortiz Chad C. Brown 2/1
8 Queen of Beas Manuel Franco Jorge R. Abreu 12/1
9 Ce Ce Victor Espinoza Michael W. McCarthy 9/2

Queen of Beas proved her worth in her first three starts. She missed time leading up to that Eight Belles last month which offers up something of an excuse. She finished third that was won by a  front-running winner. The pace in this field should increase her chances of being on the board.

Guarana had an impressive win in her debut win. She ran over the slop sprinting. She is stepping up against the best in this field. She needs to prove herself today, but she should finish on the board.

Ce Ce looked like a nice filly when she won her debut with a solid figure. She followed with second place finish. She will be competitive from the outside. Her big obstacle will be the distance.

Serengeti Empress is the filly to beat. She won wiring the Kentucky Oaks. She should be forwardly placed with speed to her outside.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Serengeti Empress
  • Queen of Beas
  • Guarana

Race 8. Woody Stephens Stakes,(GI), Presented by Mohegan Sun. For three-year-old at 7 furlongs on dirt. Purse $700,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Honest Mischief Javier Castellano Chad C. Brown 6/1
2 Much Better Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert 5/1
3 Borracho Jose Lezcano George R. Arnold, II 15/1
4 Complexity Jose L. Ortiz Chad C. Brown 4/1
5 Landeskog Tyler Gaffalione Doug F. O’Neill 12/1
6 Nitrous Ricardo Santana, Jr Steven M. Asmussen 10/1
7 Strike Silver Irad Ortiz, Jr. Mark E. Casse 20/1
8 Hog Creek Hustle Corey J. Lanerie Vickie L. Foley 20/1
9 Mind Control John R. Velazquez Gregory D. Sacco 5/2
10 Lexitonian Joel Rosario Jack Sisterson 15/1
11 Wendell Fong Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. Jeremiah C. Englehart 10/1

Honest Mischief is making his stakes debut. He made an impressive career debut despite settling for second. He built upon that first run at Keeneland in last race to overtake that field on the turn, and then widen down the stretch. He has enough speed in here to let him stalk the leaders. He needs to improve to have a chance finishing on the board.

Mind Control should be able to handle and the field. He has a versatile running style and he has proven to be unfazed by fast paces in his last couple of races.

Complexity had an impressive debut win at Saratoga.  He followed that effort with a win the Grade 1 Champagne. He had a poor performance for his Breeders’ Cup effort.  This distance may fit his running style. He can be the horse coming off the bench that finds the board.

Our Top Three Picks:

    • Mind Control
    • Honest Mischief
    • Complexity

 

 

Race 9. Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap,(GI). For three-year-old and up at 1 mile on dirt. Purse $1,200,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Coal Front Jose L. Ortiz Todd A. Pletcher 6/1
2 McKinzie Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert 5/2
3 Mitole Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steven M. Asmussen 3/1
4 Thunder Snow Christophe Soumillon Saeed bin Suroor 5/1
5 Tale of Silence Julien R. Leparoux Barclay Tagg 30/1
6 Promises Fulfilled Luis Saez Dale L. Romans 12/1
7 Firenze Fire Irad Ortiz, Jr. Jason Servis 4/1
8 Pavel Mario Gutierrez Doug F. O’Neill 20/1
9 Prince Lucky John R. Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher 12/1

Firenze Fire is facing a talented field in the Met Mile. He should be forwardly placed  in the one-turn Met Mile. He has won his three prior starts at Belmont – a Grade 1 win in the Champagne at 2, a  win in the Dwyer last year , and a win in the Runhappy last time. He needs a clean break to get an early position for a competitive finish.

McKinzie is talented enough to have tried to make a major handicap  but he is at his best in shorter races and may be tailor-made for this race. He won against lower class horses last month at Churchill Downs. He is consistently fast and should be on the lead. His best effort would allow him to be on the board.

Pavel has always been a graded stakes horse but finding the distance he likes has been the challenge. He should find the cutback in distance to his liking. He should be staking the leaders till the turn for home. He is our longshot play of the day, but this is no easy task for him for finding a place on the board.

Mitole is extremely  fast and has shown that he can rate, somewhat. He will be trying the seven furlongs distance for the first time.  He is going up against a different class of horses and the speed should hold up to the wire.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • McKinzie
  • Firenze Fire
  • Pavel

Race 10. Manhattan Stakes,(GIT). For four-year-old and up at 1 1/4 miles on turf. Purse $1,000,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Raging Bull Javier Castellano Chad C. Brown 10/1
2 Catcho En Die Luis Saez Naipaul Chatterpaul 20/1
3 Robert Bruce Jose L. Ortiz Chad C. Brown 6/1
4 Qurbaan Mike E. Smith Kiaran P. McLaughlin 8/1
5 Channel Cat John R. Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher 20/1
6 Bandua Tyler Gaffalione Kiaran P. McLaughlin 30/1
7 Olympico Kendrick Carmouche Chad C. Brown 6/1
8 Bricks and Mortar Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad C. Brown 7/5
9 Epical Tyler Baze James M. Cassidy SCR
10 Channel Maker Joel Rosario William I. Mott 9/2

Bricks and Mortar is the horse to outrun. This will be his third Grade 1 of the year already has capture two Grade 1 stakes. He has shown no weaknesses since returning from the layoff. He followed the field in the slow paced race at Fair Grounds for a win. He was even better last time race when he was allowed to settle and make his typical strong run through the stretch.  

Olympico found conditions to his liking in his stateside debut. He also showed talent in that race, and pulled away from the field near the wire. This race is against a higher level of horses and over firmer ground. He needs to improve against this field and getting Lasix gives him a chance on being on the board.

Channel Maker is a very talented horse. He has improved his speed this year and  has improved his talent this year at Saratoga. He was a confirmed closer but seemed to find traffic at the back of the pack last year. The change in running style makes him more competitive and he exits a  Grade 1 win where he stalking the leaders and was able to pull away for the victory.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Bricks and Mortar
  • Channel Maker
  • Olympico

Race 11. Belmont S. Presented by NYRA Bets. For three-year-old at 1 1/2 miles on dirt. Purse $1,500,000.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Joevia Jose Lezcano Gregg Sacco 30-1
2 Everfast Luis Saez Dale Romans 12-1
3 Master Fencer (JPN) Julien Leparoux Koichi Tsunoda 8-1
4 Tax Irad Ortiz, Jr. Danny Gargan 15-1
5 Bourbon War   Mike Smith Mark Hennig 12-1
6 Spinoff Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 15-1
7 Sir Winston Joel Rosario Mark Casse 12-1
8 Intrepid Heart John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 10-1
9 War of Will Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse 2-1
10 Tacitus Jose Ortiz Bill Mott 9-5

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Joevia Jose Lezcano Gregg Sacco 30-1
2 Everfast Luis Saez Dale Romans 12-1
3 Master Fencer (JPN) Julien Leparoux Koichi Tsunoda 8-1
4 Tax Irad Ortiz, Jr. Danny Gargan 15-1
5 Bourbon War   Mike Smith Mark Hennig 12-1
6 Spinoff Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 15-1
7 Sir Winston Joel Rosario Mark Casse 12-1
8 Intrepid Heart John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 10-1
9 War of Will Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse 2-1
10 Tacitus Jose Ortiz Bill Mott 9-5

 

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Joevia Jose Lezcano Gregg Sacco 30-1
2 Everfast Luis Saez Dale Romans 12-1
3 Master Fencer (JPN) Julien Leparoux Koichi Tsunoda 8-1
4 Tax Irad Ortiz, Jr. Danny Gargan 15-1
5 Bourbon War   Mike Smith Mark Hennig 12-1
6 Spinoff Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 15-1
7 Sir Winston Joel Rosario Mark Casse 12-1
8 Intrepid Heart John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 10-1
9 War of Will Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse 2-1
10 Tacitus Jose Ortiz Bill Mott 9-5

 

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Joevia Jose Lezcano Gregg Sacco 30-1
2 Everfast Luis Saez Dale Romans 12-1
3 Master Fencer (JPN) Julien Leparoux Koichi Tsunoda 8-1
4 Tax Irad Ortiz, Jr. Danny Gargan 15-1
5 Bourbon War   Mike Smith Mark Hennig 12-1
6 Spinoff Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 15-1
7 Sir Winston Joel Rosario Mark Casse 12-1
8 Intrepid Heart John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 10-1
9 War of Will Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse 2-1
10 Tacitus Jose Ortiz Bill Mott 9-5

Tacitus was one of only a few horses to have had any kind of a trip excuse in the Kentucky Derby when losing position early and then having to take plenty of dirt while in behind horses, and he was finishing as well as anyone at the end of the Derby to get up for 4th (placed 3rd). A winner of a pair of Derby preps while showing some nice versatility and an ability to overcome adversity on the track, Tacitus gives the impression that the distance of the Belmont will be no issue for him – he is certainly bred to get this far – and he is a 3-yearold with plenty of room still to improve;  He looks ready to take a step forward in winning a Classic.

Intrepid Heart lacks the seasoning one might want to have in hand for a 3-year-old heading into the most demanding race of the year. He will try to make up for that shortcoming with talent and pedigree.  He should have no trouble getting this distance, and he showed plenty of ability while winning his first two career starts, before stumbling at the start and settling for 3rd last time in a Grade 3 Peter Pan.

War of Will was a promising 2-year-old on turf, but he has left that surface behind since making the switch to dirt last November, and enters this Belmont as the lone Grade 1 winner in the field. He was involved in the incident that led to Maximum Security’s disqualification in the Derby, before fading in the stretch. The Preakness had a softer field with the top four from the Derby electing to pass and he took advantage to become a classic winner while sitting a perfect trip in that race. He faces a longer distance and tougher field in this race.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Tacitus
  • Intrepid Heart
  • War of Will

Race 13. Woodford Reserve Brooklyn Invitational Stakes,(GII). For four-year-old and up at 1 1/2 miles on dirt. Purse $400,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Marconi Jose Lezcano Todd A. Pletcher 9/2
2 Campaign Javier Castellano John W. Sadler 7/2
3 Sonneteer Corey J. Lanerie J. Keith Desormeaux 10/1
4 War Story Irad Ortiz, Jr Jorge Navarro 5/1
5 Biblical Luis Saez Todd A. Pletcher 20/1
6 Rocketry Joel Rosario James A. Jerkens 7/2
7 You’re to Blame Jose L. Ortiz Todd A. Pletcher 3/1
8 Realm Junior Alvarado Barclay Tagg 15/1
9 Forewarned Manuel Franco Uriah St. Lewis 30/1

Campaign has plenty of talent and he seems to have figured out racing. He has won four of his last six races. His last win was over Beach View in the Tokyo City, giving him a second win over a mile and a half.

Marconi has always had the ability be a nice horse . His past problem was finding the correct distance that he wanted. The race distance seems to one he prefers and allows him us his tactical speed to use and he provides him an advantage. He should be able to set a comfortable pace and find a place in top three.

Rocketry has recorded triple-digit Beyers in his first two dirt starts last year. He is coming into the race off two solid 2019 performances. He maybe finding nearing his peak in his upcoming third 2019 start. He will be closing on the leaders down the stretch.  The added distance will allow him to find a place on the board.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Campaign
  • Marconi
  • Rocketry

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