The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival kicks off on Thursday with three stakes races on tap, the first of three outstanding days of racing highlighted by the third jewel of the Triple Crown on Saturday.
While there is no Triple Crown bid this year, it is going to be an exciting three days of betting, with six more stakes races carded for Friday and 10 stakes on a 13-race card on Belmont Stakes Day.
The long range forecast for Elmont, New York looks promising, with partly cloudy skies Thursday and Friday and mostly sunny on Saturday.
The stakes action on Thursday starts with the $200,00 Belmont Coronation Invitational, a 1 15/16 miles turf event that drew a field of six fillies and mares.
The race has an international flavor, with four of the six having started their careers across the pond.
Generosidadeis looking to bounce back off a seventh place finish in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland in her last outing. She won a Group 1 in her native Uruguay and her lone win in six starts in the U.S. is her victory in the San Luis Rey (G2) at Santa Anita on March 13 going 1 ½ miles.
Marco Botti will saddle Brandybend, who will make her U.S. debut. She has a win in eight starts overseas, her maiden win coming at Sandown Park last April. Her only try in Group company was an eighth in the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) at Ascot in June of 2015.
The $200,000 Astoria drew a field of nine two-year-old fillies that will go 5 ½ furlongs on the main track. Eight of the nine are coming off maiden wins in their debuts while Golden Mischief missed by a neck in her debut.
The Wesley Ward trained Lightning Dove was a good looking maiden winner at Keeneland while the Todd Pletcher trained Bode’s Dream, who broke her maiden at Gulfstream Park also figures to take some betting action.
The $150,000 Intercontinental drew a field of 10 fillies and mares that will do battle on the turf going seven furlongs.
The Chad Brown trained Zindaya makes her second start off a 10-month layoff. She ran second to Lady Shipman in the License Fee on May 1 at Belmont Park. Lady Shipman returned to win The Very One in her next outing on May 21 on the Preakness Day undercard at Pimlico.
La Berma, who is Group 3 placed overseas makes her second start since landing in the U.S. with trainer James Cassidy. The filly tired to finish ninth in the Royal Heroine (G2) in her U.S. debut at Santa Anita on May 5.
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Latest Belmont Stakes Betting Odds via US Racing:
Cherry Wine 13-2
Brodys Cause 11-1
Governor Malibu 25-1
Wild About Deb 25-1
Get Michael’s full card reports for ALL three days of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday June 9 to Saturday June 11! 19 stakes and over $10 million in purses including the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes!