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Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the center of the Thoroughbred racing universe this weekend as California Chrome attempts to make history by winning the Triple Crown. There is graded stakes action on Friday leading up to the big event however - the Grade 2 True North Stakes will go down on Friday, June 6. Horses four years old and upward will take to Belmont Park`s main track and dash six furlongs looking for the winner`s share of the $250,000 purse.
A field of nine older horse have been confirmed for the True North - race 9 on Belmont Park`s Friday card. Post time is 5:25 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Bakken - impressive Chad Brown trained colt has just three career starts with two gate-to-wire wins - an Allowance at Aqueduct November 23 and a MSW at Belmont Park October 13 and a somewhat disappointing fifth in his stakes debut - the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita last time out way back on December 26. He wasn't touched in his first two starts and will be out to prove that his disappointing result last time out was the exception, not the rule. He breaks from post 8 with Javier Castellano coming in to ride aboard the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Dads Caps - has nine career starts for trainer Rudy Rodriguez with four wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He enters of his best career result - a win in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 5 and having finished second in three consecutive races before that - behind Strapping Groom in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap March 1, behind Candyman E in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes February 1 and in minor Spooky Mulder Stakes behind Candyman E also in December. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track in November. That makes two wins and three seconds in his last five starts overall. Joel Rosario gets the call for the first time from post 3 as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.
Integrity - Chad Brown trained colt raced in graded stakes company for the first time in August and finished a disappointing twelfth in the grade 1 King`s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga but has since reeled off three straight wins - two Allowance Optional Claiming scores and the minor Elusive Quality Stakes last time out May 1 on this track. He has one other minor stakes start under his belt - a sixth in the Fit to Fight Stakes in April at Aqueduct. He has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 10 career starts and is certainly trending upward ahead of the True North Stakes. John Velazquez rides the 4-1 third choice from post 4 Friday.
Salutos Amigos - raced in stakes company for the first time last March 9 and finished a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita after three MSW races produced a win by 3 3/4 lengths, a fourth and a second respectively. He followed that with another off-the-board finish - a fourth in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct April 6 and a ninth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park June 8. He had his best result in quite some time in July however - a third in the Grade 2 Amsterdam but fell back to earth with a seventh in the King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. Salutos Amigos enters this weekend on a tidy three race win streak however - all Allowance races on New York tracks however and is listed at 5-1 odds. Irad Ortiz has the mount.
True North Stakes betting online at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Palace - Linda Rice trained colt won the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap on this track November 28 after recording three wins and two seconds in six previous starts in 2013 - the minor Hudson Handicap October 19 and the Chowder's First Stakes before that at Saratoga August 23 were among the wins. He has two starts in 2014 - a fourth last time out in the Grade 3 General George Handicap at Laurel Park February 17 and a second in the minor Gold and Roses Stakes at Aqueduct in January. He has eight wins and four seconds in his last 14 starts overall and could be the surprise of the True North. Jose Ortiz gets the call on the 124 pound highweight from gate 7 at 8-1 odds.
Marriedtothemusic - Linda Rice trained colt races in graded stakes company for the first time Friday having finished first or second in his last nine starts - six wins and three seconds. Last time out was a win in the minor Affirmed Success Stakes on this track May 2 after an Allowance score at Aqueduct April 3 and a second in the minor Hollie Hughes Stakes at Aqueduct in February. He has 11 career starts with seven wins and three seconds -at or near the top in nearly every career start. He is an intriguing 10-1 on the morning line and leaves from post 2 with Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle.
Eastwood - Todd Pletcher trained colt makes his stakes debut Friday after four career starts yielded two wins and two third place finishes. He enters having finished third in his last two starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track. He leaves from the rail at 20-1 odds with Luis Saez in the reins.
Royal Currier - finished seventh in this race in 2012 - his last graded stakes start. He failed to place in seven straight races to end 2013 before finishing third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in his first start of 2014 and finishing second last time out May 14 - the minor Diablo Stakes on this track. He has 39 career starts with 12 wins, nine seconds and four third place finishes but hasn`t tasted victory in nearly two years. Royal Currier goes off at 20-1 odds from post 5 with Junior Alvarado aboard.
Well Spelled - won the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth in July, 2012 and also had a win in the minor Gallant Bob Stakes in September, 2012 but has just four starts since - a fifth in the minor Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth July 28, 2013 and a fourth in the minor Fire Plug Stakes January 4, a seventh in the Grade 3 General George Handicap at Laurel Park February 17 and a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Pimlico April 3. He is the longest shot in the field at 30-1 odds and lines up in the outside post.
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Friday card with a Post Time of 5:25 PM.
|1||Eastwood||L. Saez||T. Pletcher|
|2||Marriedtothemusic||C. Velasquez||L. Rice|
|3||Dads Caps||J. Rosario||R. Rodriguez|
|4||Integrity||J. Velazquez||C. Brown|
|5||Royal Currier||J. Alvarado||D. Jacobson|
|6||Salutos Amigos||I. Ortiz, Jr.||D. Jacobson|
|7||Palace||J. Ortiz||L. Rice|
|8||Bakken||J. Castellano||C. Brown|
|9||Well Spelled||P. Fragoso||B. Perkins, Jr.|
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