OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Longines Just a Game Stakes comes our way from a busy Belmont Park in Elmont New York on Saturday, June 11. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Belmont Park's turf track and race one mile for the winner's share of the $700,000 purse.
A large and wide open field of 13 will take to the track in the Just a Game Stakes - race 8 on Belmont Park's terrific Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:58 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all 13 entries for this interesting Grade 1 stakes.
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Mrs McDougal 4-1 - has four wins and a third place finish in eight career starts for trainer Chad Brown and fourth place finishes two others. The wins include a maiden score at first asking, an Allowance score by an impressive 7 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct last April 24, a terrific win four starts back over Feathered in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga July 24 and last time out in the minor Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct April 16. She also had a third in the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes at Keeneland in October. Mrs McDougal has been competitive virtually every time out and will chase her third stakes win Saturday with Jose Ortiz in the irons of the tepid morning line favorite from post 7.
Rainha da Bateria 5-1 - 2014 Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes winner - Chad Brown trained filly has two wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts. She enters this week on the heels of a respectable second behind Tepin in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile May 7 which followed an uncharacteristic seventh in the Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay March 12 and consecutive runner-up finishes - the Grade 3 Suwannee Stakes February 6 at Gulfstream and the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes in November. She failed to hit the board in her previous three starts - all stakes. Rainha da Bateria has been decent ahead of this weekend and will be after her first win in 20 months Saturday from post 3. Javier Castellano has the mount on the co-second choice from gate 12.
Faufiler 5-1 - Graham Motion trained Irish bred mare has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 13 career starts. She placed in a couple of Group 3 races in France last summer but didn't look great in her first two North American starts - an eighth place finish in the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a ninth in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. She broke through two starts back however - a win over Celestine in the listed Sand Springs Stakes at Gulfstream February 27 and followed that with a very respectable second in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita May 5. Faufiler hopes for her first graded stakes score and has been trending upward ahead of this race. Drayden Van Dyke has the mount on the co-second choice from gate 10.
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Recepta 6-1 - has five wins, a second and three four place finishes in 15 career starts for trainer JJ Toner. She enters off an OK third in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes here May 14 which followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland April 16 and a good second in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar November 29. Before that was a disappointing twelfth in the Breeders' Cup Mile against the boys, a nice win in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park September 19 and a win in the minor Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes in August. She had placed in four of her last six starts overall and chases her first win in over eight months Saturday. John Velazquez has been tabbed to ride from gate 2.
Strike Charmer 8-1 - Mark Hennig trained mare won the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap in November, 2014 and has been decent since. Last time out was a nice win in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes here May 14 which followed a second in the minor Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct April 16, a disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Marshua's River Stakes in January and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Aqueduct in November. Strike Charmer has five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 18 career starts and hopes for her second straight graded stakes score. Joel Rosario gets the call from the rail.
My Miss Sophia 8-1 - Bill Mott trained filly looked very good early in her career - a win in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes in April, 2014 was followed by a second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks a month later. She failed to place in her next three starts - all stakes races including a fifth place finish in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs May 1 of last year. A 4 1/2 length Allowance Optional Claiming score here last June 5 has been her only win in the last year. She posted fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes here May 14 which followed consecutive thirds - the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes in October and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes in August and another fourth in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes in July. My Miss Sophia now has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts and tries for her first win in a year Saturday. She leaves from post 5 with Mike Smith in the reins.
Irish Rookie 10-1 - Irish bred filly makes her North American debut Saturday having posted two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in eight starts in Europe. She raced in six straight Group races ahead of this weekend with a second last time out in a Group 2 race and another second in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches being the best results. She posted a win in a minor stakes race at Newmarket in 2014 as well. Irish Rookie was successful at home and hopes it translates this weekend. Irad Ortiz has been tabbed to ride from gate 2.
Celestine 12-1 - Bill Mott trained filly has five wins two seconds and a third place finish in 11 career starts. She had a nice four race win streak at this time last year - the minor Wild Applause Stakes June 14 after wins in the minor Wait a While Stakes in May (both results at Belmont Park) and the minor Sanibel Island Stakes last March at Gulfstream. She has been good in the lead-up to this weekend as well - a win last time out in wire-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream April 2 followed a third in the minor Sand Springs Stakes February 27, a second in the minor Tropical Park Oaks December 19 and an uncharacteristic tenth in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes in November. Celestine has placed in eight of her last nine starts, has posted a number of bullet works ahead of this weekend and hopes for a second straight graded stakes score. Junior Alvarado rides from gate 8.
Lexie Lou 15-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award 2014 Horse of the Year, Champion Grass Mare and Champion 3 Year Old Filly won the Woodbine Oaks that year along with Canada's biggest race - over the boys in the Queen's Plate and the minor Wonder Where Stakes. She also posted a win in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes that year and a second behind California Chrome in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby to end 2014. She had just one start in 2015 - a third in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita in January and was out of racing for nearly one full year. Lexie Lou has been decent in 2016 - a good win last time out in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine May 29 followed a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming there and a sixth in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes in February. Lexie Lou won her first race in 19 months last time out and could be on the cusp of another surge. She now has eight wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts and will have Patrick Husbands in the saddle from post 11.
Lady Lara 15-1 - Irish bred Bill Mott trained filly won the minor Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park in October, 2014 and posted a nice win over Sandiva in the 2015 Honey Fox Stakes. She had been very competitive before an uncharacteristic sixth last time out in the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream April 2 -before that was a second place finish behind the terrific Tepin in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay February 13, a good win over Sandiva in the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap at Gulfstream Park West in November and a third in the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes at Belmont Park November 17. She also had a second in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes on that same track September 19. Lady Lara has now placed in four of her last five races ahead of this weekend and will be out for a bounceback effort from the outside post 13 with Jose Lezcano guiding her.
Tapitry 15-1 - Shug McGaughey trained filly has three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts. She has looked good lately - a respectable second last time out behind Strike Charmer in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes here May 14 followed a two race win streak -both Allowance races at Aqueduct. She has placed in her last four starts overall and will be after her first stakes win. Florent Geroux rides from post 3.
Prize Exhibit 30-1 - British bred James Cassidy trained filly finished fourth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and has been up and down since. She posted two nice wins early last summer - the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes in June and the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar in July. She went on to a respectable third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August and a second in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes in September. She hasn't looked great since however - a twelfth last time out in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita May 5 followed a sixth in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes in February, a seventh in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes and a win in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes in January. She failed to place in her previous two starts as well. Prize Exhibit has placed in just one of her last six starts overall and enters this race in a serious funk. Flavian Prat will try to change all of that from gate 6 Saturday.
La Berma 30-1 - Irish bred James Cassidy trained filly made her North American debut last time out and finished a disappointing ninth in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita May 5. She posted two wins and four second place finishes in nine career starts at home including a ninth in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp October 4, a second in the Group 3 Prix du Pin in September, a fifth in the Group 3 Prix de Lieurey in August and another second in a Group 2 race last May. She looks for her first stakes win and her first victory overall in over a year Saturday when she leaves from gate 4 with Victor Espinoza aboard.
2016 Just a Game Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:58 PM.
|1||Strike Charmer||8-1||Joel Rosario||Mark Hennig|
|2||Recepta||6-1||John Velazquez||James Toner|
|3||Tapitry||15-1||Florent Geroux||Claude McGaughey III|
|4||La Berma (IRE)||30-1||Victor Espinoza||James Cassidy|
|5||My Miss Sophia||8-1||Mike Smith||William Mott|
|6||Prize Exhibit (GB)||30-1||Flavien Prat||James Cassidy|
|7||Mrs McDougal||4-1||Jose Ortiz||Chad Brown|
|8||Celestine||12-1||Junior Alvarado||William Mott|
|9||Irish Rookie (IRE)||10-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Martyn Meade|
|10||Faufiler (IRE)||5-1||Drayden Van Dyke||H. Motion|
|11||Lexie Lou||15-1||Patrick Husbands||Mark Casse|
|12||Rainha Da Bateria||5-1||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|13||Lady Lara (IRE)||15-1||Jose Lezcano||William Mott|