The Jeremy Noseda trained Grandeur gets some class relief and will be sent off as the betting favorite for Saturday’s $200,000 Bowling Green Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. The race is the final graded stakes race of the Belmont Park meeting.
Belmont Park closes on Sunday with Saratoga opening for its 40-day summer meeting on Friday, July 18.
The Bowling Green drew a field of seven older males that will go 1 ½ miles on the turf. Grandeur shipped to the U.S. for the third time this spring and ran third in the Man O’ War (G1) and fourth in the Manhattan (G1). The gelding gets another new jockey with Joel Rosario riding for the first time.
The Todd Pletcher trained Boisterous is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. The seven-year-old ran third in the Bowling Green last year as the beaten chalk behind Hyper and Finnegan’s Wake.
The feature at Delaware Park is the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (G1) for fillies and mares, with another imposing favorite in Princess of Sylmar. The filly is the even money favorite on the morning line.
The Pletcher trainee won four straight Grade 1 races last year, and then misfired in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) where she faded to finished well-beaten sixth.
She made her 2014 debut with a sharp win in the Cat Cay at Aqueduct and then last out was a tough luck second in the Ogden Phipps (G1), beaten a head by the ultra-game Close Hatches.
I will include my selections for the Del ‘Cap and the Million Preview Day stakes from Arlington Park in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Bowling Green Handicap (G2) Post time 5:29 ET
5 Grandeur 6-5
4 Chamois 8-1
3 Boisterous 3-1
7 Reflecting 8-1
Grandeur is going to be tough in this spot as the betting favorite after a couple of decent efforts in Grade 1 company after returning to the U.S. for third time this spring. The gelding was third in the Man O’War over good ground going 1 3/8 miles and last out was fourth in the Manhattan going 1 ¼ miles.
In his first trip to the U.S., back in 2012 he won the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at today’s 1 ½ mile distance. He gets some class relief here and should be able to run this group down. The plan is to head back across the pond but with a win here, perhaps the connections will think about staying for the Arlington Million (G1) next month.
Chamois is the 2-1 favorite in Saturday’s $50,000 Cape Henalopen at Delaware Park so he may scratch to run in that easier spot. If he runs here, the colt may end up offering some value. The Christophe Clement trainee failed to fire last out in the Manhattan, checking in a non-threatening 10th. Two back in the Dixie (G2) at Pimlico off a six-month layoff the colt prompted the early pace and finished gamely for third, beaten just a length for the top spot.
He won three of seven last year including the Duluth at the Big A and the Stanton at Delaware Park. He gets a class test and has not been the distance, but has a solid pedigree, by Smart Strike out of the stakes winner Meridiana ($556,795).
Boisterous also exits the Manhattan where he weakened to finish seventh. Two back despite a tardy start and racing wide throughout he finished a good third in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Wise Dan. He looks as if he may have lost a step from his younger days but does sport a 6 for 12 record over the Belmont Park turf and ran third in this race last year.
WIN: Grandeur to win at 7-5 or better.
EXACTA: 4,5 / 3,4,5,7
TRIFECTA: 4,5 / 3,4,5,7 / 1,3,4,5,7
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