Beldame Invitational 2013 Contenders at Belmont Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational this Saturday, September 28 on a card that features five Grade 1 stakes. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured as they race 1 1/8 miles on Belmont Park's dirt track for a purse of $400,000.

The Beldame Invitational has attracted a field of six to go in the first graded stakes race on Belmont's packed Saturday card. It is race 5 with a post time of 3:09 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 1 stakes. A win here guarantees a spot in the Breeders' Cup Distaff for which Royal Delta has won two years in a row.

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2013 Beldame Invitational Race Favorite Entries

Royal Delta - back-to-back Female Horse of the Year in the United States for trainer Bill Mott has looked exceptional of late except for a doomed trip to Dubai where she finished tenth in the World Cup. Before the trip she had three straight wins including the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream, a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and a win in the 2012 Beldame at Belmont Park September 29. She enters on a two race win streak - an impressive 10 3/4 length score in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap July 20 and the Grade 1 Personal Ensign last time out at Saratoga. She is the defending champion in this race and enters this year in tip-top form. The Beldame will serve as a stern test for Royal Delta - Princess Of Sylmar looms! She will line up in post 4 as the 3-5 favorite and will have Mike Smith in the saddle.

Princess Of Sylmar - stellar Todd Pletcher pupil has won seven of her last eight starts (five of six this year) - a second in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes to Close Hatches at Aqueduct April 6 being the only blemish in the last 10 months. The wins include the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes last time out August 17, the Grade 1 American Oaks July 20 at Saratoga, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at 38-1 odds over Dreaming of Julia, the minor Busher Stakes at Aqueduct February 2 to follow another win at Aqueduct - the Busanda Stakes by 7 1/2 lengths January 4. She also has a MSW and an Allowance Optional Claiming score. She is absolutely on fire and has three straight Grade 1 wins under her belt ahead of this weekend. She is on a path toward the Eclipse Award and will be out to improve her already incredible standing against older horses for the first time Saturday. Princess of Sylmar is the 2-1 second choice and will have Javier Castellano in the reigns from post 2.

Beldame Invitational 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Centring - has 12 career starts for trainer Thomas Albertini with two wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Her first stakes action came in November - a fifth in the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder and her other stakes action resulted in very good third last time out in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign behind Royal Delta, a fourth in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap July 20, and a respectable third in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park May 27. She also raced to a second to Disposablepleasure March 17 in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a fourth in February in a similar race. Centring is listed at 8-1 odds on the morning line and departs from post 5.

Beldame Invitational betting at Belmont Park with

Lady Cohiba - Chris Clemente filly has four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts. She won the Summer Guest Stakes at Saratoga last August 17 and didn't taste victory again until last time out - the minor Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga September 2. Her only graded stakes action came in November - a fourth in the Grade 1 Gazelle but she has placed in five of six overall. She will be in tough against some quality runners and enters in so-so form. Lady Cohiba is the fourth choice on the morning line at 15-1 odds and leaves from the far outside post.

And Why Not - has five starts this year with a pair of seconds and a third place finish including a second in the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes June 15 and a third in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap behind Royal Delta July 20. She has just one win in 15 career starts and that came in her debut but she has been knocking on the door in her recent graded stakes action. Last time out was a fifth however in the minor Alada Stakes at Saratoga August 9. And Why Not will depart from post 3 at 20-1 odds.

Roman Invader - David Jacobson trained mare has 37 career starts with seven wins, 10 seconds and seven third place finishes but only made her stakes debut last time out - a win in the minor Parlo Stakes on this track September 19. She had placed in just two of five Allowance Optional Claiming races this year before that - second place finishes at Saratoga and Belmont Park respectively. Roman Invader starts from the rail at 20-1 odds.

2013 Beldame Invitational Entries & Odds

Race 5 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:09 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Roman Invader J. Alvarado D. Jacobson
2 Princess of Sylmar J. Castellano T. Pletcher
3 And Why Not L. Saez M. Matz
4 Royal Delta M. Smith W. Mott
5 Centring R. Maragh T. Albertrani
6 Lady Cohiba I. Ortiz, Jr. C. Clement