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At a Look: Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes

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The wrap-up of Belmont Park’s summer time meet has been enhanced in recent times by the rescheduling and renaming of what was as soon as referred to as the Backyard Metropolis Stakes as a part of a turf-centric closing weekend at Huge Sandy.

The Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes joins the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes as the primary legs of NYRA’s Turf Triple Collection, which was launched in 2019 with this pair and follows up with two races at Saratoga Race Course in late summer time after which two extra again at Belmont Park (or, this yr, Belmont on the Huge A) within the fall.

Since its makeover, the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks has tended to attract the perfect 3-year-old turf fillies in North America and a few gifted international shippers to compete for a hefty purse and accompanying status, and this yr’s race actually matches the invoice.

1. Mission of Pleasure (2-1): This filly enters having received 4 of her earlier 5 begins, together with two Grade 3 stakes, and in her solely miss she clipped heels, altered course twice within the stretch, and nonetheless completed solely a size out of first behind a front-running winner in a Grade 2. Search for rider Tyler Gaffalione to save lots of floor from the within put up and preserve her in contact with the leaders earlier than angling out for a stretch drive. A number one win candidate.

JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione; TRAINER: Graham Movement

2. Strikingly Spun (15-1): Exits runner-up end in a 1 3/8-mile allowance-optional claiming race at Belmont a month in the past by which she stalked the chief, solid forward within the stretch, however yielded late to lose by a neck to a filly coming from off the tempo. This can be a powerful spot to make her stakes debut, although, and a number of other different contenders have the identical operating type however are sooner.

JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz; TRAINER: Joe Sharp

3. Speirling Beag (8-1): Irish-bred filly makes her North American debut after successful two of seven begins in Europe together with two thirds. She received a Group 3 stakes in Eire final fall going 1 1/8 miles in a sport effort over turf rated as delicate, heading off a persistent challenger within the stretch run. This filly will get a lift if Belmont’s turf will get some moisture Saturday, though the forecast calls for less than a 30% probability of rain.

JOCKEY: John Velazquez; TRAINER: Graham Movement

4. Papilio (4-1): Since delivery to the U.S. from her native Eire, this filly has received one in all 4 begins with two runner-up finishes and a fourth-place effort by which she misplaced by solely a size. She was blocked within the stretch however recovered to complete a size and a half behind Mission of Pleasure in her newest outing 5 weeks in the past and her velocity figures match up effectively with this discipline.

JOCKEY: Javier Castellano; TRAINER: Mark Casse

5. Prerequisite (5-1): The primary of two entrants from the barn of high turf coach Chad Brown enters off of a pace-setting win in a Grade 2 stakes over this inside turf course final month, when she gamely held off a problem by Be Your Finest to win by a neck. Earlier than that race, she broke her maiden on the inside turf and employed stalking ways to take action. She’s a menace to go gate-to-wire once more below Irad Ortiz Jr., however this can be a harder discipline and the added distance could not swimsuit her.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.; TRAINER: Chad Brown

6. Be Your Finest (10-1): Irish-bred filly raced a number of lengths off of the tempo within the abovementioned effort vs. Prerequisite, and swung vast for a sustained stretch rally that got here up simply quick. That was a pleasant enchancment off of a seventh-place end to start out her sophomore marketing campaign by which she was 5 ¾ lengths behind Papilio in a one-mile, Grade 2 stakes at Keeneland. She’s an outsider as a win candidate however is actually able to spicing up the unique payouts with a second or third.

JOCKEY: Luis Saez; COACH: Horacio DePaz

7. Aspray (6-1): Undefeated filly has proven an attention-grabbing flip of foot in all three of her wins, together with her stakes debut final out on the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes undercard at Pimlico. This well-bred Chad Brown trainee will attempt a mile and 1 / 4 for the primary time and in addition will race with out Lasix (furosemide) for the primary time, however on the optimistic facet red-hot jockey Flavien Prat retains the mount. Needs to be closing like a rocket late.

JOCKEY: Flavien Prat; COACH: Chad Brown

8. Freydis the Purple (15-1): Intriguing longshot (bred in France by a Japanese sire out of a German dam) has improved in her two races at 3, particularly in her final when she broke her maiden in profession begin quantity six by weaving by means of the stretch at Churchill Downs and successful a 1 1/8-mile race going away. Her velocity figures want to enhance by 10-15 factors with a purpose to have any probability at successful this Grade 1.

JOCKEY: Junior Alvarado; TRAINER: Ken McPeek

9. Aspen Grove (8-1): Irish-bred filly by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify travels stateside to check simpler firm after ending final of 10 within the Irish One Thousand Guineas. She completed third in a Group 3 race previous to that and her solely victory got here final August. She could also be overbet because of the “Euro shipper” attraction and has but to race past a mile.

JOCKEY: Oisin Murphy; TRAINER: James Stack

THE PICK: Mission of Pleasure

LIVE LONGSHOT: Be Your Finest

SUPERFECT: 1-7-3-4

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