There is racing on Columbus Day at Belmont Park on Monday, with a field of 11 three-year-old fillies lining up in a wide-open edition of the $200,000 Pebbles, a one-mile test on turf.
Trainer Christophe Clement, who won last year’s running of the Pebbles with Discreet Marq, is back with an uncoupled entry, and they both look like major contenders.
Walk Close is going to offer the best value among the duo, 8-1 on the morning line. The filly was fourth in the Sands Point (G2) in her last start, beaten 2 ½ lengths for the top spot. The winner of that race was Ball Dancing, who came back to run a good second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on Saturday at Keeneland.
Clement’s other contender is Indian Rainbow, who is making her U.S. debut. She landed in the exacta in five of her eight starts overseas including a runner up finish in the Prix de Lieurey (G3) in her last start. That trip was at Deaville in France on Aug. 15 at odds of 22-1. She receives Lasix for the first time.
The co-feature on the card is the $100,000 Punkin Pie for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track. The race is restricted to non-winners of a stake in 2014.
Sky Beauty runner up Katie’s Beauty is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the field of eight. Trained by John Shirreffs, the filly won her three previous starts, breaking her maiden and passing her first two allowance conditions before landing second behind Toasting in her last outing.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Monday’s featured betting race:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Pebbles (Post time 4:58 ET)
6 Walk Close 8-1
8 Kenzadargent 3-1
9 Sandiva 5-1
11 Indian Rainbow 4-1
Analysis: Walk Close won her first three starts and then ran fourth in her first two starts in stakes company. Last out she made a good late run splitting rivals to finish fourth in the Sands Point (G2) where she did not get much pace to run at. The winner Ball dancing came back to run second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on Saturday at Keeneland.
Two back our top pick was bumped hard coming out of the gate and finished up with some interest in a fourth place finish in the restricted Tenski. The winner of that race was Miss Frost, who returned to win the Riskaverse in her next start on Aug. 29. The Euro invader form the same barn might be tough but we should get a fair price on this filly.
Kenzadargent makes her third start since coming across the pond and landing with Chad Brown. The filly passed her first two allowance conditions with flying colors and with something left in the tank. She had a habit of landing in the bottom half of the exacta overseas but did it in a couple of Group 3 races including a tough neck loss in the Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp in April behind a nice filly in Vazira.
She looks primed for a top effort in her third start off a 2 1/2 month break and she has shown she can handle ground with some give to it which we may have today.
Sandiva was off poorly in her U.S. debut and checked in seventh in the San Clemente (G2) at Del Mar. She ships east and lands with the Todd Pletcher barn and adds lasix. She won four of her eight starts overseas including a Group 3 at Newmarket in April.
She has worked quickly since arriving in New York and now comes back off a three-month break. The barn is always tough off the bench and this filly looks like she fits with her best.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 6,8,9,11
TRI: 6,8 / 6,8,9,11 / 6,8,9,10,11
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report for Friday and Saturday includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the Friday and Saturday card from Santa Anita Park on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The Breeders’ Cup offers 13 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Santa Anita Park.