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OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Suburban Handicap is on tap for this Saturday, July 9 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A purse of $500,000 is on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's dirt track.
Eight older entries have been confirmed for the Suburban Handicap - race 9 on Belmont Park's stacked Stars & Stripes Saturday card. Post time is 5:13 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 2 race.
Effinex 5-2 - defending champ and Eclipse Award finalist for Older Male had eight starts last year for trainer James Jerkins - four wins - the Grade 1 Clark Handicap November 11, the Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March. He also had a very good runner-up finish behind some horse named America Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic October 31 and a third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup October 3 with a DNF in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational and a fourth in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes sprinkled in there. He enters off his worst result in a while however - a sixth as favorite in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 18 which followed a victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April and a third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March. Effinex now has eight wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 23 career starts (two wins and three thirds in eight starts at Belmont Park) and will be out to avenge an uncharacteristic effort as the race highweight and morning line favorite. Mike Smith will try to accomplish that goal from post 5.
Mubtaahij 7-2 - globetrotting Irish bred colt had four wins and a second place finish in five races overseas last year including a win in the 2015 UAE Derby by eight lengths March 28 and the Al Bastakiya Stakes - all at Meydan before debuting in North America. He failed to place in four starts before a second behind California Chrome in the 2016 Dubai World Cup last time out in March. He had a fourth in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 March 5, a fourth in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes February 4 (both at Meydan), a fourth in the Belmont Stakes and eighth in the Kentucky Derby. Mubtaahij has been a force in the past and enters off his best effort in a year. He tries for his first win in 15 months Saturday with Irad Ortiz aboard the morning line second choice from gate 2.
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Noble Bird 4-1 - Mark Casse pupil looked great early last year - he won two Allowance Optional Claiming races, finished second in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, 2015 and went on to win the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. He wasn't great after that before a terrific win two starts back by an astounding 11 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 20 - a race he followed with a sixth in the Grade 1 Met Mile on this track June 11. This year he has recorded a disappointing last of eight as favorite in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6, an OK second in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 14 and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. Noble Bird has been impressive in the past but has placed in just two of his last six starts overall. Julien Leparoux will try to get the tough-to-figure-out entry his second graded stakes score in three starts when they leave from the rail as the morning line third choice.
Eagle 5-1 - Neil Howard trained colt has placed in 13 of 15 career starts - six wins, five seconds and two third place finishes and enters this week on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes. Last time out was in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap June 18 after the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes May 6 - both at Churchill Downs. Before that was a nice win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland in April, a third in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap and a second in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap. He has placed in nine straight ahead of this week - competitive every time out and hopes to be again Saturday from gate 4. Brian Joseph Hernandez gets the call on this intriguing co-fourth choice.
Shaman Ghost 5-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award winner for 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Colt won Canada's biggest race last year - the Queen's Plate and also posted a nice win in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine last May. His last race of 2015 was second in the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown - the Prince of Wales Stakes in July before being sent to the sidelines for 10 months. He returned to action May 21 and finished an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here and followed that with an easy win last time out in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational on this track June 11. Shaman Ghost now has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 10 career starts and has five wins, a second and a third in his last seven overall. He has been competitive as they come and will hope to remain so from post 3 Saturday. Joel Rosario rides.
Samraat 12-1 - was at his best in 2014 for trainer Richard Violette when he won three straight including the Grade 3 Withers Stakes and Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He went on to a second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and was fifth in the 2014 Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Belmont Stakes that year. Samraat had just one start in 2015 - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming and has raced three times this year. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational here June 11 after a respectable second in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes on this track May 7 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in April. Samraat now has five wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts and will be after his first win in 28 months from post 7. Jose Ortiz has been scheduled to ride.
Turco Bravo 20-1 - Chilean bred Gary Contessa trained gelding has 13 wins, 15 seconds and seven third place finishes in 51 career starts and has placed in five straight starts ahead of this week. Last time out was a respectable second in the Grade 3 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes here June 11 after a good win on this track in the minor Flat Out Stakes, a third in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and a win in the minor Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct in March - a race he's won two straight years. Turco Bravo has been impressive lately and will chase his first ever graded stakes score from gate 6 Saturday. Javier Castellano will be in the saddle from gate 6.
Tapin Mojo 50-1 - Naipaul Chattrpaul pupil has placed in eight of 10 career starts - five wins, a second and two third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut having won five of his last six starts overall - the last being a Claiming race on this track May 2. Tapin Mojo steps up in pretty darn good form but has never faced a field like this. He departs from the outside gate 8 with Angel Arroyo in the irons.
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:13 PM.
|1||Noble Bird||4-1||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse|
|2||Mubtaahij (IRE)||7-2||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|3||Shaman Ghost||5-1||Joel Rosario||James Jerkens|
|4||Eagle||5-1||Brian Hernandez, Jr.||Neil Howard|
|5||Effinex||5-2||Mike Smith||James Jerkens|
|6||Turco Bravo (CHI)||20-1||Javier Castellano||Gary Contessa|
|7||Samraat||12-1||Jose Ortiz||Richard Violette, Jr.|
|8||Tapin Mojo||50-1||Angel Arroyo||Naipaul Chatterpaul|
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