Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle contenders in both turf stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, the $200,000 Noble Damsel (G3) and the $500,000 Sands Point (G2). Clement will send out a pair in each race.
Clement will saddle Love Train (6-1) and Annecdote (7-2) in the Noble Damsel. Love Train returns off a two-month break after a good-looking score against second level optional claimers on July 12 at Belmont Park.
Annecdote makes her U.S. debut with the addition of Lasix. The filly was last seen checking in 10th in the Duke of Cambridge (G2) at Ascot in June.
In the Sands Point he sends out longshot Walk Close (15-1), who won her first three starts, a pair by a nose including the Wild Applause in her stakes debut two back. Last out in the restricted Tenski she was bumped hard at the break and came with a good late run to finish fourth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths for the top spot. The winner Miss Frost returned to win the Riskaverse at Saratoga by 4 3/4 lengths on Aug. 29.
Breaking just to her outside will be her stablemate Sea Queen, who was fourth in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) in her last outing. She ran well over the Belmont Park turf two and three back in a runner up finish in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and a win in the Wonder Again.
There is plenty of great turf stakes action north of the border on Saturday afternoon with a pair of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races for juveniles.
A field of 12 juvenile fillies will go in the $200,000 Natalma (G2) with an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) up for grabs.
Later on the card the juvenile boys will go in the $200,000 Summer (G2) which drew a field of nine. The winner earns a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
My Best Plays for Saturday includes my strongest plays from Belmont Park and Woodbine including all of the stakes action.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 7 The Noble Damsel G3 (Post time 4:13 ET)
Baffle Me 5-1
Tokyo Time 4-1
Devilish Love 6-1
Analysis: Annecdote makes her U.S. debut here for the Christophe Clement barn and off nearly a three-month break. The filly won five of 13 starts across the pond including a Group 3 at Goodwood last summer. She came up short last out in a 10th place finish at Ascot in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2), a race won by Integral, who came back to win the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes in her next start at Newmarket. She makes her U.S. debut with lasix and this is just her third start this year. We should catch a fair price on her.
Baffle Me made a mild late bid to finish fourth last out in the restricted De La Rose at the Spa going a mile. Although it was restricted (non-winners of a graded stake in 2014), it was a good group. The runner up Dayatthespa is a Grade 1 winner who won the state bred Yaddo in her next start on Aug. 24. The third place finisher Pianist is a multiple graded stakes winner. The mare has done some of her best running over the turf here, winning three of five and may end up getting overlooked on the tote here.
Tokyo Time took Alw-2 optional claimers gate to wire last out in a sharp effort at the Spa. The runner up Keening came back to beat Alw-2 foe sin her next outing at Saratoga on Sept. 1. She is sharp right now for the Shug barn and looks primed for another good effort in the third start of her current form cycle.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,9 / 3,5,6,9
TRI: 6,9 / 3,5,6,9 / 3,5,6,8,9
Michael Dempsey’s full card reports for the entire fall championship meeting at Belmont Park from Sept. 5 until Oct 26. The package includes “Super Saturday” on Sept. 27 which will feature six graded stakes, including five Grade 1 races, headed by the 96th edition of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles. New York Showcase Day will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18, and will be comprised of eight stakes races restricted to New York-breds, with purses totaling $1.75 million.