Champagne Picks: Belmont Park Preview 09/29
Sunday’s feature at Belmont Park is the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, which has attracted a field of eight 2-year-old fillies going long on the turf. It’s an interesting group with a logical favorite and many horses stepping up out of the maiden ranks.
Even if you think the favorite will be tough to beat (and I do), I think there are still ways to make some money here. Let’s take a look!
The Likely Favorite (and Likely Winner)
#4 CRYSTALLE was none the worse for wear after a controversial DQ in her debut. After that event, she rallied to win the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga despite a slow start. She’s shown maturity to this point in her career, as it’s not easy to go two turns right off the bat.
She cuts back to a one-turn route of ground here, but I don’t think that’s going to matter too much. She’s proven at this distance, Joel Rosario rides her back, and if she runs her best race, I think she wins.
The Possible Pace by Default
If there’s anything that could beat Crystalle, it’s likely that there isn’t much pace in this event. As a result, #3 MY SASSY SARAH could very well find herself up front simply by virtue of having the most tactical speed. She’s stalked some fast fractions in her first two starts (both sprints), and gets a rider switch to Jose Lezcano.
My Sassy Sarah’s pedigree says this distance should not be a problem. If she gets comfortable early beneath a strong turf rider, she may very well be tough to run down. As a result, I think she needs to be on your tickets, especially at her likely price.
An Overlay, Again?
It was surprising to see #2 JAZZIQUE sent away at odds of nearly 8-1 in her debut. She’s by Kingman, out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, and went out for trainer Chad Brown. Value seekers were rewarded when she rallied from well back to get up in the shadow of the wire beneath Irad Ortiz, Jr., who rides back in this spot.
Jazzique is 8-1 on the morning line, and I think she’s got plenty of talent. Her bloodlines say she’ll stretch out, and it’s tough to dismiss these connections at this price.
How I’ll Bet It
I’ll box my three horses in exactas, and I’ll lean a bit extra on Crystalle given the short price and her apparent ability. If we get a price home with her in the exacta, or if she runs second to one, I think we could stand to make a nice score in the Miss Grillo.
2 units: Exacta box, 2,3,4
2 units: Exacta key box, 4 w/2,3