The Grade I, $1 million Belmont Derby is among the many important races taking place at Belmont Park this Saturday. The first leg of the initial Turf Trinity series drew a field of 14. Post time for the Belmont Derby, Race 9 on an 11-race card, is 5:44 p.m. ET.
#3 SEISMIC WAVE (5-1) was probably best in the Grade III Pennine Ridge last time out but moved very late under Joel Rosario and was nosed out for the victory in Belmont’s eponymous Derby prep race by DEMARCHELIER. He was a fast-closing fourth behind DIGITAL AGE in the Grade II American Turf two starts back. SEISMIC WAVE has competitive speed figures and is training better than ever for Bill Mott. He is just one of many contenders in a wide-open renewal of the Belmont Derby.
#4 ENGLISH BEE (30-1) will go off at boxcar odds in this race but is far from impossible. The Graham Motion (10-4-2-2 at the meet) trainee was last seen taking Pimlico’s James W. Murphy Stakes on Preakness day. ENGLISH BEE has never raced beyond 1 1/16th-miles but is bred to get 1 1/4-miles being by English Channel out of a stakes-placed Kitten’s Joy mare. Junior Alvarado will have the assignment.
#13 DIGITAL AGE (9-2, morning-line favorite) took a contentious renewal of Churchill’s American Turf when last seen. The Chad Brown trainee, who races alongside three stablemates in the Belmont Derby, drew poorly but must be respected off recent speed figures. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be aboard undefeated DIGITAL AGE once more.
#12 DEMARCHELIER (6-1) is a perfect 3-for-3 lifetime, just like barnmate DIGITAL AGE. He showed good kick in the six-path to take the Pennine Ridge last time out. Javier Castellano will try to work out a decent trip on DEMARCHELIER from this far outside post.
#8 SOCIAL PARANOIA (8-1) moves up if there’s a scratch. He broke his maiden with ease off the bench back in March before settling for third two straight times in the American Turf and Pennine Ridge. SOCIAL PARANOIA will be ridden by Manny Franco.
The play: $2 exacta 3/4,8,12,13, $2 win 4, $1 exacta 12,13/3 ($12)
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