OffTrackBetting.com - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of the G1 Longines Just a Game Stakes on Saturday, June 10. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will take to Belmont Park's turf track and race one mile for the winner's share of the very nice $700,000 purse.
A field of seven will take to the track in the Just a Game Stakes - race 8 on Belmont Park's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:58 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this competitive G1 stakes.
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2017 Just a Game Stakes Entries at Belmont Park
Roca Rojo 9-5
Impressive Irish bred Chad Brown trained filly has six wins and a second-place finish in her eight career starts. She won her first two starts at home and debuted in North America with an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park last June 30. She followed that with a fourth in the minor Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes in August, another Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park September 15 and a win in the G3 Athenia Stakes at Belmont Park October 23. Last time out was yet another win - in the G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile May 6 which followed a respectable second behind Miss Temple City in the G1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in December. Roca Rojo has been very good in her career so far and will be after her second straight graded stakes score from gate 2 with Florent Geroux aboard the morning line favorite.
Kiaran McLaughlin trained mare has hit the board in 10 of 14 career starts - seven wins, a second and two third place finishes. She enters on a nice three race win streak - over the terrific Lady Eli the G1 Jenny Wiley Stakes last time out at Keeneland April 15, the G2 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay March 11 and by 1 1/4 lengths in the G3 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park February 11. Before tat was a fourth in the G3 Marshua's River Stakes on that track January 14 and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores in the fall. Dickinson has won five of her last six starts overall since moving to turf and hopes to continue the momentum Saturday. Paco Lopez rides the morning line second choice from the rail.
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Defending champion in this race - Christophe Clement trained mare has eight wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts. She had a nice four race win streak in the summer of 2015 - the minor Wild Applause Stakes, the minor Wait a While Stakes in May (both results at Belmont Park) and the minor Sanibel Island Stakes in March. She had another two-race win streak last year including the G1 Just a Game Stakes June 11 and in wire-to-wire fashion by 3 1/4 lengths in the G2 Honey Fox Stakes. She enters on yet another two-race win streak - the G2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream April 1 and as favorite in the minor Sand Springs Stakes by two lengths March 5. She also had a disappointing twelfth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Spring and a third in the G1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland October 8. Celestine has placed in 12 of her last 14 starts, has looked great in training ahead of this weekend and should be in the mix in her title defense. Jose Ortiz has the mount on the 123 pound highweight and third betting choice from post 5.
Chad Brown trained filly has three wins and a third-place finish in her seven career starts. She made her North American debut last time out and posted an Allowance score by 2 1/4 lengths at Keeneland April 14. Before that was an eleventh in a Group 3 race in France, a twelfth in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in France last May and a third in a Group 3 race there in April, 2016. She won her first two career starts including the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale in September, 2015 but hasn't been the same since. Hall of Fame-elect jockey Javier Castellano has the mount on Antonoe from outside post 7.
Sassy Little Lila 8-1
Brad Cox trained filly has just seven career starts with three wins and three runner-up finishes - the only time she didn't hit the board was in her debut. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs May 20 which followed a good second in her graded stake debut - the G1 American Oaks December 31. Before that was a second in the minor Winter Memories Stakes at Aqueduct in November and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores - the last coming on this track in October. Sassy Little Lila has been competitive every time out but has yet to record a stakes win. Luis Saez will try to get that win from gate 6.
Bill Mott trained filly won the minor PG Johnson Stakes in September, 2015 in her second career starts and went on to a terrific win in the G3 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland in October of that year. She was a somewhat disappointing seventh in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but rebounded in her next start winning the minor Sanibel Island Handicap at Gulfstream in March. She's been up and down since - a last of seven last time out in the G2 Churchill Distaff May 6 followed a fourth in the G2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita April 8 and consecutive seconds - the G2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs in November and in the QE II Challenge Cup in October. Before that was a career-defining win in the G1 Del Mar Oaks August 20. Harmonize has been a tad inconsistent and looks to snap a four-race losing streak Saturday. John Velazquez has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal from gate 4.
Prize Exhibit 20-1
British bred multiple graded stakes winning James Cassidy trained mare finished fourth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and has certainly been up and down since. She posted two nice wins in 2015 including the G3 Senorita Stakes in June and the G2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar in July. She went on to a respectable third in the G1 Del Mar Oaks in August of 2015 and a second in the 2015 Yellow Ribbon Stakes in September of that year. She has been typically inconsistent lately - a fifth last time out in the G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile May 6 followed a sixth in the G2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita April 8, an OK second in the minor Wishing Well Stakes on that track March 10 and a nice win in the G3 Megahertz Stakes here January 16. Before that win she placed in just one of her previous 10 starts. Prize Exhibit has been a tad tough to figure out and will have Mike Smith in the saddle from post 3.
2017 Just a Game Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:58 PM.
|1||Dickinson||5-2||Paco Lopez||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|2||Roca Rojo (IRE)||9-5||Florent Geroux||Chad Brown|
|3||Prize Exhibit (GB)||20-1||Mike Smith||James Cassidy|
|4||Harmonize||12-1||John Velazquez||William Mott|
|5||Celestine||3-1||Jose Ortiz||Christophe Clement|
|6||Sassy Little Lila||8-1||Luis Saez||Brad Cox|
|7||Antonoe||8-1||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|