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Juvenile expert Andrew Champagne previews Saturday's racing at Belmont

Saturday’s card at Belmont Park showcases New York-breds, but while the program features several stakes races, I’m most looking forward to the third race of the day. It’s a maiden special weight event, and I’m excited about it because I don’t like the probable favorite.

The six-furlong sprint drew a field of 10 2-year-old fillies. I think there’s a chance to make some money here, and that may happen if the favorite I don’t like fails to win. Let’s take a look!

The Beatable Favorite

#9 DATA ANALYTICS debuts for Chad Brown, and I’m not oblivious to why she may go favored. She’s a $200,000 auction purchase by Into Mischief and out of an Unbridled’s Song mare, and Brown’s runners are usually going to take money.

However, I have my doubts. Brown’s Monmouth Park trainees are usually his second-stringers, and that’s where she was until very recently. It’s possible she’s just a late-bloomer, but at her likely price against a strong field for the level, I think she’s a bad bet.

The Returning Runners

My top selection is #1 PLAYTONE, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. She’s run second twice in as many career starts, and she cuts back from seven furlongs for this event. The rail draw isn’t ideal, but she showed a bit more early speed last time out and may be maturing with experience. She’ll obviously need an alert break, but if she gets off to an uneventful start, I think she’s the one to beat.

I’ll also use #10 MAGNETIQUE, who draws the outside post position for trainer Todd Pletcher. She took a big step forward when second at this level and route last month, and her most recent work over the Belmont training track was quite good. Luis Saez hops aboard for the first time, and he’s riding as well as anyone at the Belmont Park fall meet.

The Overlaid Firster

While I think the runners with experience have a significant edge over the rest of the group, I’m also going to throw in a debuting runner that seems well-meant. #4 TAKE CHARGE DONNA has a few sharp works on her tab, and the presence of Kendrick Carmouche may indicate that she’ll be sent out of the gate. She’s got a decent pedigree (by Take Charge Indy, out of a Smoke Glacken mare), and at anywhere close to her 8-1 morning line price, I think she provides plenty of value in the exotics.

How I’ll Play It

I’m going to box my top three horses in exactas while ignoring Data Analytics completely. Perhaps she’s good enough to win here, but I’ve got my doubts, and if I’m right, I stand to make some money.

2 units: Exacta box, 1,4,10

Article Author

Horse Racing

Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.


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