Portmagee could be isolated up front in the Intercontinental

The Grade III, $250,000 Intercontinental Stakes is the headliner on a terrific Thursday card at Belmont Park. A seven-furlong turf event for fillies and mares, the Intercontinental goes as Race 8 on a nine-race program. The 10-horse field will go postward at approximately 5:48 p.m. EST. Be sure to try out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game this week!

#8 PORTMAGEE (8-1) looks like the lone speed despite the presence of a big field in the Intercontinental. She’s 2-for-2 over this course, going gate-to-wire each time at six furlongs. Her latest Belmont victory came in the License Fee, which was her first try in stakes company. She’ll be asked to go another eighth of a mile under Irad Ortiz Jr. today, but her pedigree says she can handle it.

#9 TAKE THESE CHAINS (5-2, morning-line favorite) could be dangerous going up in class for Chad Brown. She’s 3-for-3 lifetime, handling a gradual step up in company each time. TAKE THESE CHAINS overcame a 10-month layoff in her latest outing and won in convincing fashion. Javier Castellano will once again have the call on this talented filly.

#4 FAIR POINT (8-1) was well-beaten by PORTMAGEE in the License Fee, but that was her first start since last fall. This Shug McGaughey-trained mare had a strong 2016, which culminated with a win in the Grade III Senator Ken Maddy at Santa Anita. Prior to that she garnered four ITM finishes in four turf sprints, with two occurring at today’s course and distance. One of those two results at Belmont was a win, while the other was a runner-up finish behind Grade I Just A Game-bound Roca Rojo. McGaughey runners making their second start off a layoff fire at 17%, so FAIR POINT merits consideration today.

The play: $2 exacta 8/4,9, $2 exacta box 8/9, $1 exacta box 4/8 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Javier Castellano is poised to have a big Thursday at Belmont Park. He has six mounts at 4-1 or below in odds, and his first three mounts are favorites. That includes 8-5 choice New Money Honey in the Grade III Wonder Again Stakes. Later on he’ll ride favored TAKE THESE CHAINS for Chad Brown in the Intercontinental.

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