The Grade III, $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes, which serves as the local prep for July’s Belmont Derby, is set for Saturday at Belmont Park. The 1 1/8-mile turf heat drew a field of eight seeking graded stakes glory. Post time for the Pennine Ridge, Race 8 of nine on the day, is 5:18 p.m. ET.
#7 SEISMIC WAVE (6-1) was winless in two starts as a juvenile but has developed nicely at three, breaking his maiden at Gulfstream in February before returning to win the Cutler Bay Stakes the following month. He was thrown into the deep end in the Grade I American Turf at Churchill Downs last time out but held his own, finishing fourth. SEISMIC WAVE was the only one aside from eventual winner Digital Age to make an impactful move from off the pace. Had Joel Rosario given him clear sailing earlier in the stretch, it’s quite possible this Tapit colt would have improved his position. The extra 1/16th he gets in the Pennine Ridge should work to his advantage. Rosario stays aboard the Bill Mott trainee.
#1 VALUE PROPOSITION (5-2, morning-line favorite) has just one start under his belt but it was an impressive one, as he broke his maiden by 4 1/4-lengths at Belmont Park on April 27. He made up eight lengths from his position at first call in the 1 1/16th-mile heat under Rosario, who notably lands elsewhere. However, the red-hot Jose Lezcano takes over on this Chad Brown trainee. VALUE PROPOSITION should improve in his second start, but this is a tall order for the probable post-time favorite.
#3 DEMARCHELIER (9-2) has won each of his first two starts for Brown with sweeping late moves under Javier Castellano, who maintains the assignment in the Pennine Ridge. His speed figures are a bit underwhelming though, hence the higher morning-line odds. It’s worth mentioning that DEMARCHELIER beat the top pick in his career debut on Nov. 21.
The play: $10 win 7
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking