A field of eight will line up in Saturday’s $100,000 Paradise Creek at Belmont Park at seven furlongs on turf led by the Bill Mott trained Mucho, who makes his first career start on turf.
The colt was last seen running fourth in the Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct on the main track. Jose Ortiz gets a leg up again and will break from the three post carrying 117 pounds.
His main rivals will be Summer (G2) winner Fog of War from the Chad Brown barn and the Brad Cox trained Pole Setter, who returns to turf for the first time since last September.
The Paradise Creek goes off as the ninth race on the 10-race card on Saturday to kick off the holiday weekend of racing.
There is plenty of outstanding stakes action to keep us busy this weekend with most tracks open on Monday for Memorial Day.
We will take a look at a pair of graded stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday—the $200,000 Monmouth Stakes (G2) and the $150,000 Salvatore Mile (G3).
Sunday’s action includes the $200,000 Monrovia (G2) and the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita.
There are three Grade 1 races on tap at Santa Anita on Monday—The $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile and the $500,000 Gamely. The Shoemaker is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
There are six stake races for New York breds on Monday at Belmont Park highlighted by the $200,000 Critical Eye and $200,000 Commentator.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Paradise Creek (Post time 5:51 ET)
#7 Mucho 3-1
#2 Fog of War 8-5
#4 Pole Setter 9-2
#1 Strike Silver 6-1
The colt makes his first career start on turf here for the Bill Mott barn. Last out the colt chased the early pace while down along a dead rail and weakened to finish fourth in the Bay Shore (G3). This guy broke his maiden in his second career start last summer at the Spa and then was a game second in the Hopeful (G1), beaten just 3/4 of a length by Mind Control. The colt is out of a Blame mare that has dropped four other winners and two have won on turf. The colt sports a couple of turf drills for Mott who is 13% winners moving runners from dirt to turf. This looks like a good spot as he makes just his third start of the year.
Fog of War
The Chad Brown trainee is making his first start since winning the Summer (G2) at Woodbine last September in his second career start at 6-5. He beat War of Will in that outing, that foe coming back to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) last week. The Brown trainee came from off the pace to break his maiden in his debut going 5 1/2 furlongs on good ground at the Spa. He is out of the stakes winner Say ($158,325) who has dropped one other runner, stakes winner Naval Intelligence ($52,349). Brown hits at a 29% clip with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.
This colt dueled for the early lead and battled on to beat Alw-1 optional claimers by a hard fought nose last out in the slop at Keeneland. He broke his maiden on turf at Ellis Park going a mile in his debut and then was sixth in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile and this will be his first trip on turf since. He has a couple of sibs that have also won on turf. The Cox barn is 26% winners with runners going from dirt to turf.