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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Knickerbocker Handicap comes our way this Saturday, October 12 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/8 miles on Belmont Park's turf track for a purse of $150,000.
A large field of 10 plus three possible Main Track Only entries has been confirmed for the Knickerbocker - race 7 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:02 PM. Here is a brief look into the credentials of all 13 combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Boisterous - has won seven of his last 15 starts for trainer Shug McGaughey including the 2011 and 2012 Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct and the 2011 and 2012 Knickerbocker Stakes also at Aqueduct. Last time out was a third in the Grade 2 Bowling Green here September 7 after worst performance in a year was an eighth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17. Before that was wins in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes June 9 and in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes July 13 at Belmont Park. Before those wins were second place finishes in the Grade 3 Ben Ali in April and the Grade 3 River City Handicap in November and another couple of wins. He now has four wins and two seconds and a third in his last eight starts overall and will be looking to get back on the winning track Saturday. Boisterous starts from the far outside post with Javier Castellano in the reigns and goes off as the 7-2 favorite.
Za Approval - raced in stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes February 23 and finished fourth but followed that with a very nice win in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 and another Grade 3 score - the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth May 18. Last time out was another very good result - a second in the Woodbine Mile behind Wise Dan after a second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile behind Obviously at Hollywood Park June 29. He has won three of his last six starts with two seconds all this year for trainer Christophe Clement and enters the Knickerbocker in good form. Za approval is the 3-1 second choice and leaves from post 6 with Joel Rosario in the saddle.
Mr. Commons - made a name for himself as a top turfer after he won the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes February 4 2011 at Santa Anita to follow a win at the Sir Beaufort Stakes on that same track on December 26, 2011 but hasn't tasted victory since. Mr. Commons raced to a fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile and followed that with an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita March 2 in his first start of 2012. Since then he has recorded an OK third this year behind Wise Dan and Data Link in the Maker's 46 Mile April 12, an unflattering fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga July 24 and a fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Fourstartdave Handicap August 10. He hasn't won since February 2011 but hasn't been worse than fifth since the 2011 Preakness Stakes - something that trainer John Sherreffs hopes to change Saturday. Mr. Commons leaves from the rail at 6-1 odds.
Howe Great - He had an impressive streak of four straight wins including the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes interrupted with a fifth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last April and had some good results after that. He has wins in the minor Jersey Derby and an Allowance to his credit but also has a pair of sevenths - in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 6 and in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream February 23. He enters this week having placed in three straight races - a third last time out in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger and a pair of seconds - the Grade 3 Oceanport July 28 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes July 4. He has shown terrific form in the past and has been knocking on the door lately. He is 6-1 on the morning line and departs from post 5 Saturday.
Swift Warrior - Had an incredible win in February in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes February 16 to follow a very nice win in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 26 in wire-to-wire fashion and an OK fourth in the Grade 3 River City Handicap November 25 at Churchill Downs. He has largely been up and down the rest of this year - a seventh in the Grade 2 Dixie followed his Tampa Bay win which was followed by an OK third in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup Stakes June 22. Last time out Swift Warrior recorded his first win in four starts - at the minor PTHA President's Cup Stakes at Parx September 14 after a sixth in the Grade 3 Oceanport. He leaves from the 2-hole at 8-1 odds.
Tetradrachm - Bill Mott trained gelding had a $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming score by three lengths at Saratoga August 3 in his first outing for his new trainer after a pair of seconds in Allowance races. Last time out was a respectable third in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga August 31. His only other stakes action came in January - an eighth in the Grade 3 Colonel Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds. He has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts. He departs from post 9 at 8-1 odds.
Knickerbocker Handicap betting at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Paris Vegas - finished a very good second in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap August 31 and followed that with a third in the minor Who's To Pay Stakes on this track September 21. He has just two wins in two years - an Allowance Optional Claiming here last August and an Allowance at Pimlico in April but has placed in three of his last four entries heading into the Knickerbocker. He is 10-1 on the morning line and departs from post 8.
Exclusive Strike - has seven starts in 2013 with two straight wins heading into the Man O' War and two other seconds He was third in the Man o' War July 13 and last time out was his worst career result - a ninth in the Grade 1 Sword dancer August 18. The Jason Servis gelding is a true veteran - 36 career starts with 12 wins against mostly lesser competition and despite his effort in the Man o' War, the Sword Dancer effort may be more like what we can expect Saturday. Exclusive Strike is listed at 12-1 odds and leaves from post 3.
Plainview - makes his stakes debut for trainer Gregory DiPrima and finished sixth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap June 8 after 21 starts produced five wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He has won three of his last five starts however - a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming and a Starter Optional Claiming in August. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Who's To Pay Stakes on this track September 21.
London Lane - came out of nowhere and won the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup at 50-1 odds over Hyper June 22 after just one win in the last two years - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Delaware Park July 4 2012. Before that improbable win was an eighth and a seventh respectively in a pair of minor stakes races to end 2012 at Laurel Park, followed by a sixth in an Allowance in April at Pimlico to start 2013. Last time out he was fifth in the Grade 2 Bowling Green on this track September 7 after a sixth in his first ever Grade 1 start - the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga August 17. He has five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 24 career starts but has placed in just one of his last eight starts - that win in the Colonial Turf Cup. London Lane is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds.
Percussion - Main Track Only Todd Pletcher pupil raced 11 straight Allowance Optional Claiming races and had two straight wins both at Aqueduct in March and April. He stepped up and finished a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20 and followed that with his first ever stakes score - the minor Albert the Great Stakes in May on this track over Fast Falcon and Birdrun. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn handicap in June but slipped to a fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban in July. Last time out was a third in the minor Alydar Stakes August 22. He has eight starts this year with three wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Percussion is 7-5 on the morning line.
Praetereo - Main Track Only entry is coming off a second in the Duck Dance Stakes here last week after a sixth in the Grade 2 Kelso also on this track September 28. He had concentrated on Allowance Optional Claiming races before his last two starts for trainer David Jacobson with a win July 7 on this track, a second here and a pair of thirds. Praetereo has just four wins, two seconds and six third place finishes in 24 career starts and is a coupled entry along with... They are listed at 8-5 odds on the morning line.
Don Dulce - has eight starts this year with two wins and two second place finishes. He has won two of his last four starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming but steps up in graded stakes action for the first time since April 2012 on Saturday - that is if she races!
Race 7 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:02 PM.
|1||Praetereo (MTO)||unknown jockey||D. Jacobson|
|1A||Don Dulce (MTO)||unknown jockey||D. Jacobson|
|2||Mr. Commons||A. Solis||J. Shirreffs|
|3||Swift Warrior||J. Ortiz||J. Terranova, II|
|4||Exclusive Strike||J. Alvarado||J. Servis|
|5||Plainview||T. Dunkelberger||G. DiPrima|
|6||Howe Great||C. Velasquez||R. Mettee|
|7||Za Approval||J. Rosario||C. Clement|
|8||London Lane||I. Ortiz, Jr.||L. Murray|
|9||Paris Vegas||J. Rocco, Jr.||T. Voss|
|10||Tetradrachm||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|11||Boisterous||J. Castellano||C. McGaughey III|
|12||Percussion (MTO)||unknown jockey||T. Pletcher|
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