$250,000 Jaipur (G1) at Belmont Park Race 9 (Saturday, June 20, 2020: 4:53 p.m./ET; 1:53 p.m./PT) Six furlongs on turf (three-year-olds and upward)
The appetizer before the main course (known as the Belmont Stakes), the Jaipur (G1) showcases eight turf sprinters dashing six furlongs. Let’s take a closer look at the field:
#1 KANTHAKA makes his career debut (as a first time gelding) for trainer Graham Motion, who wins at a 21% clip with runners making their first start in his barn. Last time we saw this son of JIMMY CREED race, he ran third in the 2019 Daytona (G3) at Santa Anita. Top North American jockey Jose Ortiz picks up the mount.
#2 OLEKSANDRA (AUS) is a mare facing males in this spot. Neil Drysdale trainee was last seen running second, beaten a half-length, to South American champion JOLIE OLYMPICA in the Monrovia (G2) at Santa Anita. In her final start of 2019, she won the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. In with a solid chance.
#3 TEXAS WEDGE went off at 5/2 odds in the 2020 Daytona (G3) at Santa Anita and finished a close fourth. Makes his second start off a four-month layoff for trainer Peter Miller, who hits at 21% with his entrants making their second start off a hiatus between 45 - 180 days.
#4 PURE SENSATION hasn’t raced since a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). In 2018, this gelding ran third in this race for trainer Christophe Clement, who continues the conditioning duties in 2020. Irad Ortiz Jr. picks up the mount, which is noteworthy given he is a 14 for 46 (30%) to kick off his Belmont Spring meet.
#5 STUBBINS has run three consecutive bang-up races for trainer Doug O’Neill. After winning the Woodford (G3) at Keeneland, he returned to complete the superfecta in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). Then off a six-and-a-half-month vacation last month, he was making a move late down the stretch in the Daytona (G3) and had to steady approaching the wire, finishing a ½ length behind the winner. Good form makes him a main threat against this field, especially if he can work out a good trip.
#6 HIDDEN SCROLL is an inconsistent colt that has shown brilliance in previous starts, like in his career debut when he won by an eye popping 14 lengths and three starts ago, when he won by 12 lengths in an allowance race at Gulfstream. However, he has run poorly in his other five races. Needs to be ready to bring his ‘A’ game.
#7 WHITE FLAG is yet another entrant entering this race off a vacation. The last time he appeared in the afternoon was last September when finishing near the back of the pack in the Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs. You have to go back to 2018 to find his last victory, a race in which he defeated a field of six others in the Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct.
#8 LONHTWIST won a second level allowance race at Aqueduct three starts ago but has finished well behind in two minor stakes races since then. All signs indicate he’ll need to improve for an in-the-money finish against this field.
1. #5 STUBBINS - Great recent form.
2. OLEKSANDRA - Lost to a South American pro.
3. PURE SENSATION - Old pro is 14-for-36 lifetime.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY-#3 TEXAS WEDGE – Finished a length behind our top pick last time.
WAGERING STRATEGY- I’ll make a straight win bet on my top choice and box my top three picks in exactas.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$20 Win: #5 STUBBINS
$5 Exacta Box: #2 OLEKSANDRA and #4 PURE SENSATION and #5 STUBBINS ($30).
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