Saturday’s 150th running of the Belmont Stakes is bolstered by a staggering nine additional stakes races. We’ll analyze a pair of them here. This weekend is among the best of the year to play FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game, so jump in!
Belmont Race 4 (Post time: 1:24 p.m. EST)
The Grade I Acorn Stakes
#3 MONOMOY GIRL (4-5, morning-line favorite) enters the one-mile Acorn off a gritty win in the Kentucky Oaks. She drew much better here than she did that day (post 14) and continues to train well for Brad Cox, even posting a five-furlong bullet work on May 27. MONOMOY GIRL’s tactical versatility gives Florent Geroux options; look for them to cruise as the shortest of the day’s favorites.
#7 TALK VEUVE TO ME (8-1) stretches out off a solid second in Churchill’s Eight Belles but will still have to negotiate just one turn. She gets a noteworthy rider upgrade to Jose Ortiz and will carry eight fewer pounds than MONOMOY GIRL.
#5 CALEDONIA ROAD (3-1), last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, aced her comeback allowance race over this course. She’ll reunite with Mike Smith, who guided her home first two starts ago, but must improve in the speed figure department to have a shot at the win.
The play: $5 exacta 3/5,7 ($10)
Belmont Race 8 (Post time: 4:02 p.m. EST)
The Grade I Just A Game Stakes
#7 A RAVING BEAUTY (5-2, morning-line favorite) was last seen springing a minor upset in last month’s Beaugay Stakes. She hadn’t raced since October but made light work of that Grade III field for Chad Brown. She’s eligible to improve off that in the one-mile Just A Game under Irad Ortiz Jr, who retains the mount.
#3 OFF LIMITS (7-2) has dropped two straight to start her season after ending 2017 on a four-race win streak that culminated with a strike in the Grade I Matriarch. Her off-the-bench fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Hillsborough can be dismissed, and she was a respectable third behind Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook, principle contenders in Friday’s New York Stakes, when last seen in the Jenny Wiley. A RAVING BEAUTY’s stablemate gets a key rider change to Javier Castellano.
#1 ON LEAVE (9-2) has started the year with two narrow graded stakes defeats, her last coming to PROCTOR’S LEDGE. However, her fortunes may change upon returning to Belmont, where she’s 4-for-5 lifetime.
The play: $5 exacta 7/1,3 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Irad Ortiz Jr. has 11 mounts on Belmont Stakes day, chief among them being HOFBURG in the feature. Ortiz Jr. also rides Pacific Wind (7-2) in the Odgen Phipps, Disco Partner in the Jaipur, World of Trouble in the Woody Stephens, and A RAVING BEAUTY in the Just A Game, giving him multiple chances at big points in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Meanwhile, at Churchill Downs, Corey Lanerie should have a fine day. He’s the only rider in the top five staying at his home track on Saturday. As a result, he’ll ride all 11 races, with all but one mount being 9-2 or less on the morning-line. Five of those assignments are favored, including Lovely Bernadette in the featured Mint Julep Handicap.
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking