OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational on Saturday, July 4. A group of three year olds will be after the winner's share of the lucrative $1.25 million purse when they line up and go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's turf track.
A deep and extremely competitive field of nine three year olds have been confirmed for the Belmont Derby Invitational - race 8 on Belmont Park's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 4:32 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
Divisidero - William Bradley trained colt has three wins and a third place finish in four career starts. He enters off consecutive stakes wins - the minor Pennine Ridge Stakes last time out on this track May 30 and the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes May 2 at Churchill Downs. His only non-win came in the race before - a third in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in March. Divisidero has been mighty impressive in his career so far - hopes are that he can keep it going Saturday from post 3 with Rafael Manuel Hernandez guiding him.
Bolo - has seven career starts with three wins and two third place finishes for trainer Carla Gaines including a victory in his stakes debut - the minor Eddie Logan Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths on turf December 27. Last time out was another win - in gate-to-wire fashion in an Allowance at Santa Anita which followed a disappointing twelfth in the Kentucky Derby, a third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4 and another third behind Dortmund and Prospect Park in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes - his graded stakes bow March 7. Bolo, outside of an ugly Derby result has been competitive every time out. He has won three straight races on turf and departs from gate 2 with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle trying to keep that trend going.
Takeover Target - improving Chad Brown trained colt makes his four career start Saturday having recorded two wins and a second place finish so far. He makes his graded stakes debut off a second behind Divisidero in the minor Pennine Ridge Stakes here May 30 after consecutive scores on this track to start his year. Irad Ortiz has been tabbed to ride this competitive colt from the rail Saturday.
Force the Pass - has three wins and two seconds in five career starts for trainer Alan Goldberg and enters off a good win last time out in his graded stakes debut - the $500,000 Grade 3 Penn Mile May 30. It followed an OK second in the minor James W. Murphy Stakes at Pimlico May 16 and a win in his stakes debut - the minor Cutler Bay Stakes at Gulfstream Park April 1. Force the Pass has been a factor in every race he's entered so far and should be again Saturday from gate 5 with Joel Rosario aboard in his first start beyond one mile.
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Canndal - French bred colt makes his North American debut Saturday having posted a win, a second and two third place finishes in five career starts at home. He enters off a second in a stakes race June 20 and a third in the Group 2 Prix Ridgway at Longchamp in May. Canndal looked decent at home and could be in the mix again Saturday - from gate 4 with Christophe Soumillon in the reins.
Granny's Kitten - will hit the track for just the fourth time Saturday for trainer Michael Maker off an OK third in his stakes debut - the Grade 3 Penn Mile May 30. Before that result he had two starts and two wins - an Allowance score May 10 and a maiden score and 10 and a maiden score a year ago. Julien Leparoux gets the call Saturday as Granny's Kitten looks for his first stakes score and to build on a respectable result last time out.
Startup Nation - Chad Brown trained colt is coming off an OK third in the minor Pennine Ridge Stakes here May 30 which followed a disappointing eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and a fourth in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park September 28. He did win the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in August but hasn't been great since. The legendary John Velazquez has been tabbed to get Startup Nation back on track when they leave from gate 8 Saturday.
Postulation - had eight career starts in Europe for trainer Dermot Weld with three wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He enters off a stakes score at Curragh June 7, a second and a third place finish in May. Postulation makes his North American and graded stakes debut Saturday when he departs from post 7 with Patrick Smullen in the irons.
Closing Bell - Bill Mott trained colt races for just the third time Saturday. He broke maiden last time out - on this track May 24 which followed a fourth place finish in his debut. Closing Bell makes his stakes debut Saturday and looks to be in over his head in this one. Jose Lezcano rides from gate 6.
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:32 PM.
|1||Takeover Target||I. Ortiz, Jr.||C. Brown|
|2||Bolo||R. Bejarano||C. Gaines|
|3||Divisidero||R. Hernandez||W. Bradley|
|4||Canndal (FR)||C. Soumillon||M. Delzangles|
|5||Force the Pass||J. Rosario||A. Goldberg|
|6||Closing Bell||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|7||Postulation||P. Smullen||D. Weld|
|8||Startup Nation||J. Velazquez||C. Brown|
|9||Granny's Kitten||J. Leparoux||M. Maker|