The Racing Dudes team has been off to a white-hot Belmont Park start as the Meet Statistics suggest. Saturday’s Belmont Park card gives us the Pebbles Stakes, which has provided some of the best turf racing on the NYRA circuit. Does Chad Brown win for the fourth time in five years with Blowout or Seek and Destroy, or do one of these other turf runners have something to say about that? We also have three maiden special weight (MSW) races for fillies to preview as well.
Belmont Meet Statistics (9/6 through 9/12):
|Races||Top 4 Wins||Top 4 Exactas||Top 4 Trifectas||Top 4 Supers|
Race 4: $62,000 MSW for New York-bred 2-year-olds going 6 furlongs on the dirt
Rudy Rodriguez sends #4 Maru (7/2) out to makes her debut. She has dirt pedigree from Competitive Edge, who won the 2014 Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in his 2-year-old campaign. Manny Franco will look to continue his fantastic start to the Belmont Park meet after winning five on Friday’s card.
#6 Saratoga Beauty (3/1) makes her way back to the track after navigating tough Saratoga fields in her first two starts. In her debut as a favorite, she did very little running, though in her next start, she broke away very well but couldn’t hold off eventual winner Critical Value in the stretch. Her experience gives her an upper hand in this spot; she is as a major threat.
Todd Pletcher has been rolling at Belmont Park, winning at 42% since the meet started. He sends out #3 Magnetique (9/2), who comes back to the track after a poor debut. Risky Mischief went on to win that race by open lengths, but Magnetique was nowhere near the front runners when it mattered. Her morning works suggest that she has talent, so bettors should expect a much-improved performance.
One of Tom Morley’s most hyped 2-year-olds is #7 Bella Rose (5/1). Despite being purchased for only $25,000 as a yearling, she has great bloodlines. In 2005, her sire, Bellamy Road, won the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) and finished second in the Travers Stakes (G1). This filly comes to the track with good connections who will hope to see her win first time out.
Ricky’s Picks: 4-6-3-7
Race 6: $75,000 MSW for 2-year-old fillies going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt
Chad Brown has waited all summer for #7 Octava (9/2) to make her debut on the track. She worked out numerous times up at Saratoga, but Brown picked this spot to let run. Her most recent morning effort was :48.11 going 4 furlongs over the local dirt. She has a great pedigree being by Medaglia d’Oro, one of the best American runners who’s been even better as a sire. Expect big things from this filly.
Todd Pletcher has his own filly making her debut in #3 Mrs. S (5/2). Manny Franco makes his way aboard this filly, a notable move because he and Pletcher have shared a lot of success, winning 27% of their team-up efforts.
The second Brown runner in this field is #1 Secondary Market (7/2), who makes her second career start at this level. On debut, she had a horrid beginning and was left at the back of the pack for the first half of the race. The hot pace up front allowed her to find her best footing late and roll home in the stretch. The extra 1/2-furlong here should help her better deploy her strong turn of foot in the stretch.
One of the most interesting tidbits on this card is Jose Camejo making his 2019 Belmont Park training debut with #6 Gray Haze (9/2). Camejo, known for his success at Delta Downs and Evangline Downs, brings his filly to New York. She hopped in the air in her debut and took herself out of the race before she ever got going. I’m not sure what to make of this filly, but I’m certainly intrigued.
Ricky’s Picks: 7-3-1-6
Race 7: $75,000 MSW for 2-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the outer turf
#3 Indochine (8/5) is the horse to beat after losing to a pair of very good fillies, Voting Agreement and Boston Beauties, in her debut. She came on late, but after watching multiple replays, she looks better suited to run at a much longer distance. Chad Brown enters her into this one-turn turf mile in a great opportunity to break her maiden status.
Brown’s other runner in here is #11 Coalition Building (3/1). One of the deadliest trios in New York is back as Klaravich Stables and Javier Castellano team up with Brown. Her sire, Lemon Drop Kid, enjoyed Belmont Park, having won the Woodward Stakes (G1), the Suburban Stakes (G2), and the Brooklyn Handicap (G2) here in 2000. Not only that, but her damsire, War Pass, won the local 2007 Champagne Stakes (G1). She has the pedigree to handle the distance in her debut and should be very dangerous.
Bill Mott has a filly here, #10 Antoinette (10/1), who I’m very excited to see. Mott likes to use a work pattern of turf, dirt, and then a race for his grass runners, which he used with her. Very few fillies in North America are asked to take on these conditions while going this distance on the turf on debut, but Mott is always reliable. It’s not wise to leave this first-timer off of any tickets.
#6 Windfall Profit (6/1) made her debut over the Saratoga turf on August 11. Joel Rosario was forced to rate this filly down on the rail for the entirety of the race. She kept bobbing her head, letting everyone know that she wanted to run, and after incredibly slow fractions, no one was beating Morning Gold, the post-time favorite who had prior experience. A slightly better post position and more experience could see Shug McGaughey and his connections in the winner’s circle.
Ricky’s Picks: 3-11-10-6