Nine Go in Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park

Jockey Club Derby

A field of nine line up in Saturday’s Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park. (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley |

A field of nine three-year-olds line up in Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G1), the third leg of New York’s Turf Trinity.

Henley’s Joy (5-1) won the first leg, the Belmont Derby (G1) at 20-1 while A Thread of Blue (4-1) took the Saratoga Derby in gate to wire fashion to take the second leg of the series at 13-1.

We are back to Belmont Park for the conclusion of the series, and the winner stamps a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) as the race is part of the “Win and You’re In” series. The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anta on Nov. 1-2.

The Chad Brown trained Digital Age is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Jockey Club Derby despite coming up short in the first two legs of the series. Javier Castellano picks up the call and the colt will break from the eight post.

There are three European shippers coming in for the race. Among those is the David Simcock trained Spanish Mission (3-1), who was third in the Qatar Gordon Stakes (G3) at Goodwood on Aug. 1 in his last outing. Jamie Spencer is in to ride the son of Noble Mission.

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Saturday’s card at Belmont Park also includes the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks at 1 3/8 miles on turf and the $300,000 Grand Prix American Jockey Club Invitational for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles on dirt.

NBC will cover the action during a 90-minute telecast that gets underway at 4:30 ET.

Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Belmont Park

Belmont Park Race 10 The Jockey Club Derby Inv.  (Post time 5:47 ET)

8 Digital Age   5-2

1 A Thread of Blue   4-1

9 Spanish Mission   3-1

3 Henley’s Joy   5-1


Digital Age

The colt came up short in first two legs of the Turf Trinity in New York but may be able to turn the tables here in this 1 1/2-mile race. The colt was outrun early and came with a mild late run to finish fourth in the Belmont Derby (G1), beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Henley’s Joy. Last out he stalked the early pace and could not get to A Thread of Blue in the Saratoga Derby as the winner was able to set soft early fractions and take the field gate to wire. The Brown trainee won his first three career starts including winning the American Turf (G2) three back at Churchill Downs going 1 1/16 miles. The colt has enough pedigree to handle the added ground here. He is by Invincible Spirit out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare. Castellano picks up the call and he should be able to run these down.

A Thread of Blue

The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee pulled off the upset in the Saratoga Derby at 13-1 with his gate to wire score, earning a career top speed fig. He ran second to our top pick in the American Derby three back, beaten 3/4 a length. He sat off the pace in his win in the Palm Beach (G3) but there is not much speed in here and he figures to try and take this field gate to wire He should be able to handle the extra ground. He is by Hard Spun out of a Seeking the Gold mare that has dropped two other stakes winners including Ea ($598,471) a 11-time dirt route winner.

Spanish Mission

This colt is one of three Euro shippers in this race and the shippers have not had much of an impact on the first two legs of this series. The colt won the Bahrain Trophy (G3) two back at Newmarket going 1 5/8 miles. The colt came up short last out in the Gordon Stakes (G3) at Goodwood at 1 1/2 miles, beaten a neck and a head in a third place finish He had a troubled trip, having to steady early and lacking room while caught in behind foes, getting clear late and finishing gamely. He adds lasix here, but his jockey Jamie Spencer rarely does us any favors when riding in the U.S.


WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.

EX: 1,8 / 1,3,8,9

TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,8,9 / 1,3,5,8,9


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