The undefeated Justify may be the headliner as he goes for his Triple Crown, but the Belmont Stakes Day undercard is not lacking in true star power.
The graded stakes action kicks off with the $750,000 Ogden Phipps (G1) which is the third race on the 13-race card and is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner up Abel Tasman is the 8-5 morning line favorite.
She faces a solid group including Apple Blossom (G1) winner Unbridled Mo and Humana Distaff (G1) runner up Ivy Bell.
The $700,000 Acorn (G1) for three-year-old fillies drew a field of seven and features a showdown between Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Monomoy Girl and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champ Caledonia Road, who pulled doff the upset at 17-1. Also in eth field is two-time Grade 1 winner Moonshine Memories, who was the beaten favorite in the Juvenile Fillies.
The $400,000 Brooklyn (G2) is led by defending champion War Story, who has earned over $2.5 million and the old reliable Hoppertunity from the Bob Baffert barn. The seven-year-old won 2016 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) over the Belmont Park main track and has earned $4.4 million in his career.
Disco Partner Headliner in Jaipur
The $400,000 Jaipur is led by defending champion Disco Partner who set a world record winning last year’s race. He faces the runner up and third place finishers from the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) in Dubai—Stormy Liberal, who won last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and Conquest Tsunami.
The Jaipur is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
The $400,000 Woody Stephens (G2) drew a wide-open field of 12 three-year-olds including Kentucky Derby pacesetter Promises Fulfilled, Laz Barrera winner Kanthanka and Swale (G3) winner Strike Power.
Beaugay (G3) winner A Raving Beauty makes her second start since landing in the U.S. in the $700,000 Just a Game (G1) and faces seven foes. Distaff Turf Mile (G2) winner Proctor’s Ledge comes in sharp and Grade 1 winners Dream Dancing, Off Limits and La Coronel are in the field.
The $1.2 million Metropolitan (G1) drew a strong field led by Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) winner Mind Your Biscuits. He takes on the three-year-old Bolt d’Oro, a two-time Grade 1 winner, as well as Good Samaritan, McCracken, Limousine Liberal and Bee Jersey.
The Met Mile is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
The $1 million Manhattan (G1) drew a field of 13 including Argentina Triple Crown winner Hi Happy. The Chad Brown trained Robert Bruce won the Ft. Marcy (G3) in his U.S. debut and Beach Patrol is a multiple Grade 1 winner coming off a runner up finish in the Old Forrester Turf Classic (G1) on Derby Day.
That is one heck of a menu of appetizers before the main course.
Michael Dempsey’s Belmont Stakes Day Report $20.00
The third jewel of the Triple Crown features an outstanding day of horse betting that also includes the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens, the Grade 1, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade 1, $750,000 Ogden Phipps, the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn, the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational and the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational.