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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Poker Stakes is on tap for this Wednesday, July 4th from Belmont Park in New York. Horses three years old and upward will race one mile on Belmont's turf track in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.
The Poker Stakes has drawn a field of 10 entries with two more Main Track Only possibilities. It is race 9 on Belmont's holiday Wednesday card with a post time of 5:06 PM. Here is a look at the 10 entries, the Main Track Only participants and what brought them to this Grade 3 event.
Right One - finished third in this race last year during a string of four wins in five races. Since then has one eighth place finish - the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine in October, three third place finishes - the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, the Pay the Butler Stakes and the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th and a decent second last time out in the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes here on June 8th. Trainer Christophe Clement has a great history in graded stakes races on this track -he will be looking for three straight wins on Belmont turf. Right One has placed in nine of 10 starts overall and is clearly one to watch on Wednesday.
Compliance Officer - has won seven of eight starts including his only action in 2012 - the Kingston Stakes here on May 27th. His only graded stakes action resulted in a disappointing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Although Compliance Officer has been on quite a role, the Poker Stakes serves as a pretty big step up in competition.
Queen'splatekitten - Todd Pletcher trained colt is on the radar despite some so-so results as of late. Since a win last May in the Marine Stakes at Woodbine, he has a pair of seconds - an Allowance at Keeneland in April and at the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga last September, a fifth in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine last June and most recently a fourth in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine on May 26th. He is cross entered however in the Red Bank Stakes.
Monument Hill - has raced six times in 2012 and has placed in all but one - a fourth last time out in the Elkwood Stakes here being the only blemish of the year. Monument Hill started 2012 with two straight wins in Claiming races at Gulfstream and had perhaps his best result on March 31st - a third in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes on that same track. Monument Hill has placed in 17 of 18 career starts including five wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes - he has never won a stakes race however. Monument Hill, like Queen'splatekitten is also entered in the Red Bank at Monmouth on the same day.
Boots Ahead - is a multiple stakes winner but none of the graded stakes variety. Boot Ahead had four straight starts at Belmont lately with a fifth last time out in the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes, a fourth in the Grade 3 Fort Macy Stakes, a fifth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes and a win in the Third Martini Stakes last September. Boots Ahead is also entered in the Red Bank.
Poker Stakes betting at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
El Commodore - is another one of the entries that has looked good at times in 2012. Last time out was a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming to follow a third in the minor Henry S. Clark Stakes at Pimlico. El Commodore started 2012 with a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a very good second in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes. It is not clear as to which race he will go in - the Red Bank at Monmouth also looms on that same day.
Yield Bogey - finished second in this event in 2011 - his second straight second place finish at Grade 2 events. Since that race Yield Bogey struggled to a disappointing 12th in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes in October to close out his 2011 and a decent third in his only start of 2012 - the Grade 3 Jaipur here on June 8th ./p>
Gourmet Dinner - is a multiple stakes winner but hasn't tasted victory since the Jackpot Stakes in November 2010. Since that time, Gourmet Dinner has placed in just three of seven races and is coming off a ninth last time out in the Colonial Turf Cup Stakes on June 16th.
Clear Attempt - will be making his stakes debut on Wednesday after a decent run in Allowance races - two second place finishes in the last two starts followed a win in an Allowance on November 2nd at Churchill Downs.
Voodoo Storm - will make only his second start in a stakes race - the first since 2010. He has placed in his last three starts - all Allowance races with a second, a first and a third respectively.
Uncle T Seven and Isn't He Perfect are listed at Also Eligibles for the Poker Stakes. They are both long shots in the race if and when they get the call.
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Wednesday card with a Post Time of 5:06 PM.
|1||Compliance Officer||J. Castellano||B. Brown|
|2||Gourmet Dinner||M. Luzzi||B. Brown|
|3||Queen'splatekitten||R. Napravnik||T. Pletcher|
|4||Monument Hill||R. Maragh||G. Weaver|
|5||Yield Bogey||E. Prado||P. Kelly|
|6||Clear Attempt||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|7||Boots Ahead||E. Castro||G. Weaver|
|8||El Commodore||J. Alvarado||G. Griffith|
|9||Right One (FR)||J. Leparoux||C. Clement|
|10||Voodoo Storm||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III|
|11||Uncle T Seven (MTO)||-||R. Dutrow, Jr.|
|12||Isn't He Perfect (MTO)||-||R. Dutrow, Jr.|
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