The second day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Friday is highlighted by the $750,000 New York (G2) which drew a solid field that will travel 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf.
Magic Attitude (6-1) is one of three Grade 1 winners in this stellar field. The Arnaud Delacour trainee won the Sheepshead Bay (G2) in her last outing at 1 3/8 miles. She won the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) last September in her U.S. debut.
“She is in very good order right now,” Delacour said. “It’s been an uneventful prep and she came back very well from the Sheepshead Bay. She’s on schedule, training very well and I’m very happy with how she’s coming up to the race.”
The other two Grade 1 winners in the field are Harvey’s Lil Goil (3-1), who won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Keeneland over good ground last fall and Civil Union (12-1) who won the Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) last October over the Belmont Park turf at today’s distance.
We have one European shipper in the Joseph O’Brien trained Thundering Nights (6-1) who was the runner up in the Alleged Stakes (G3) at the Curragh in her last start on April 17. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will be in the irons.
“She’s a really nice filly,” O’Brien said. “Night of Thunder has been a great stallion in Europe. She ran a really big race at The Curragh last out. She’s performed well on heavy surfaces and soft ground, as well, so she’s quite versatile from a ground standpoint.”
Magic Attitude Wins Sheepshead Bay
First post for the 11-race card on Friday is 12:50 ET. Saturday’s 13-race card that features eight Grade 1 races including the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes will kick off at 11:35am ET.
The supporting stakes on Friday’s card are the $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup (G2) for turf marathoners, the $300,000 True North (G2) for dirt sprinters, the $300,000 Bed o’ Roses (G3) for filly and mare sprinters, and the $150,000 Tremont for juveniles.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The New York G2 5:15 ET
1 Magic Attitude 6-1
9 Thundering Nights 6-1
6 Civil Union 12-1
5 Harvey’s Lil Goil 3-1
This filly gets the call in a very deep edition of this race. Our top pick made a good last to first rally to win the Sheepshead Bay (G2) over firm turf here on May 1 at 1 3/8 miles. Two back at Tampa Bay Downs off nearly a five month break she was a bit anxious in the paddock and raced rank and fresh early in a seventh-place finish in the Hillsborough (G2) although beaten just 1 3/4 lengths as the beaten favorite. Last year she made two starts since landing in the U.S., winning the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) going 1 1/4 mils and running a decent third over good ground in the QEII Cup (G1). She won a Group 3 overseas and ran second in the Prix Saint Alary (G1). She looks as if she is sitting on a top effort here third off the bench for the underrated Delacour barn.
The daughter of Night of Thunder makes her U.S. debut here for the O’Brien barn. We have not seen a Euro shipper win this race since Waltzing Matilda in 2015. She won a Group 3 last year and ran third in a Group 2. Off the bench last out at the Curragh she was forwardly placed, grabbed the lead and got run down in a runner up finish in the Alleged Stakes (G3), beaten a half-length. The winner Broome came back to win the Mooresbridge Stakes (G2) in her next outing and then was second in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1). Johnny V. picks up the call and this gal has some tactical speed and has shown she can handle ground with a little give to it.
The mare stalked the early pace from the outside and came up empty in the stretch in a fifth-place finish in the Beaugay (G3) last out for Shug off a six-month layoff. She won 4 of her 6 starts last year including the Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) here going 1 1/4 miles. That was her fourth win in a row, then she was fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at 13-1 at Keeneland. Shug is 20% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff and this gal should show more with a race under her belt and more ground. Rosario sticks and the 12-1 morning line looks more than fair.
WIN: Magic Attitude to win at 4-1 or better.
EXACTA: 1 / 5,6,7,9 and 1,9 / 1,6,9