Trainer Chad Brown sends out a pair of runners as he seeks to win the $200,000 Noble Damsel (G3) for the first time at Belmont Park, a one-mile turf event for fillies and mares.
Yes, I was surprised too that Brown has not won this race, he has won every major turf stake on the planet, hasn’t he?
He has a good chance to add the Noble Damsel to his resume’, sending out the 9-5 morning line favorite Mrs McDougal and second choice Zindaya (5-2).
Mrs McDougal exits a couple of tries in Grade 1 company, a seventh in the Diana in her last outing while Zindaya was third in the De La Rose at Saratoga in her last start.
Trainer Christophe Clement has won the Noble Damsel five times, most recently with Anncedote in 2014. He sends out a pair in Storming Victoria (3-1) and Akatea (12-1).
Storming Victoria was a good second in the De La Rose last out at Saratoga while Akatea was fourth versus Alw-3 optional claimers in her last outing over good ground.
Wait, isn’t there is a big race with Nyquist and Exaggerator this afternoon? There sure is, the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winners battle in the $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Songbird is the big favorite in the $1 million Cotillion (G1).
I will include the stakes action in today’s Best Plays Report but I have a hard time supporting and promoting a slots fueled track that fleeces horseplayers with a 30% takeout on trifectas and superfectas.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 8 The Noble Damsel G3 (Post time 5:16 ET)
#5 Mrs McDougal 9-5
#7 Stormy Victoria 3-1
#6 Zindaya 5-2
#1 Akatea 12-1
Analysis: Mrs McDougal gets some class relief here after taking on Grade 1 company in her last two starts. Two back she made a mild late rally to finish third in the Just a Game over the turf here in her first go off a two-month break. Last out she tracked the early pace and weakened in the stretch to finish seventh in the Diana (G1), beaten 4 1/4 lengths for the top spot. The third place finisher was stablemate Raina Da Bateria came back to win the Canadian (G2) at Woodbine with Dacita running second. Fifth place finisher Strike Charmer came back to win the Ballston Spa (G2) in her next outing on Aug. 27. She has won graded stakes win, taking the Lake George (G2) last summer at the Spa. The cut back to a mile will suit her.
Stormy Victoria is coming off a good effort in a runner up finish in the restricted De La Rose last out at the Spa, beaten a length by Lady Lara. She has won twice in the U.S. in four starts, beating Alw-2 and Alw-3 optional claimers. She steps up a notch in class here but comes in here very sharp for the Clement barn that has won this race five times.
Zindaya was third in the De la Rose behind our second choice last out, beaten two lengths for the top spot. The Brown trainee earned a career top speed fig two back winning the Intercontinental over the turf here going seven furlongs. That win came in her second start off a 10-month layoff. The mare has done her best work sprinting but she looks as if she has matured this year and can handle the distance against this group.
WIN: #5 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 1,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 1,5,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7
Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday which will include all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to Oct. 12 and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.
Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.