Happy Belmont Derby Invitational Day! 

There are four graded stakes at the Big A including two Grade Is, the Belmont Derby and the Belmont Oaks. These are the first of three legs of the Turf Triple and Turf Tiara for three year old colts and fillies respectively. It’s surprising to see only a field of five for Belmont Derby given the $750k purse, but it’s a very competitive field where any of the starters could win.  

Trivia question: Through the first six months of 2024 which trainer has won the most Grade Is? 


Race 6 – The Belmont Derby Invitational – Grade I 

One Mile and Three Sixteenths on the Outer Turf for Three Year Olds 

This is a nice compact field with the top three finishers of the Pennine Ridge coming back along with two other graded stakes winners who are shipping in for this big purse. This is definitely a spread race in multi-race plays. 

  1. Legend of Time: He was good in winning the Pennine Ridge as he was patiently handled and once he got running room in the lane he ground it out (84 Beyer). Two back he pressed a hot pace and then faded in the American Turf finishing behind Trikari on Derby Day at Churchill. Appleby has had this one training locally since May. Should be able to sit a trip and save ground. Reunites with Godolphin’s top jock, William Buick. The Pick.
  2. White Palomino: Was solid in the Pennine Ridge for Chad where he set the pace from the inside post and almost took them the whole way (83 Beyer) but Legend of Time was too strong late and nipped him in the shadow of the wire.  That followed a maiden win at Keeneland where he sat chilly and drew away when asked (74 Beyer). Minor award.
  3. Royal Majesty: Coming off a N1X win at Keeneland this Mott trainee moved to stakes company in the Pennine Ridge and Junior Alvarado gave him a nice ride as he saved ground  – but had traffic issues in the lane and came up short (81 Beyer).  Improving colt. Win candidate.
  4. Trikari: Has hit the board in five of six career starts for Graham Motion. In the Penn Mile he was in a three way photo after pressing the pace (81 Beyer) but just missed.  That followed a win in the Grade 2 American Turf on Derby Day at Churchill where he saved ground from an inside post and had plenty late at 47-1 (89 Beyer). Likely pace setter. Does he want this additional distance? Bullet work over the all-weather at Fair Hill last week. Passing. 
  5. Endlessly: Five time winner with three wins on turf and two on the poly. In his first dirt start in the Kentucky Derby he got bounced around but did OK to finish ninth. Has been best on the poly with the Jeff Ruby at Turfway being his top effort where he circled the field and drew off (91 Beyer). He’s a talented colt, but I am not sure what we are getting here in his first turf start of the year and he is short on the morning line. Gets a piece.

Picks  1-3-5-2 


Race 9 – The Belmont Oaks Invitational – Grade I 

One Mile and Three Sixteenths on the Outer Turf for Three Year Old Fillies 

  1. Pin Up Betty: The move to the turf this Spring has paid dividends with a maiden win then she bested Grade 3 company in the Regret Stakes.  In the Regret she trailed the field and rolled by the field on the far turn and kicked away even though she was a bit green (86 Beyer). In the mix.
  2. Dynamic Pricing: Has had an up and down year. In her first start of the year she ran well in the Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream (86 Beyer) but then failed to fire in the Florida Oaks. When she returned in the Edgewood she overcame an outside post, and a three wide trip, to get the win (90 Beyer). That was a big improvement and it was over a yielding course. Possible.
  3. Fun With Flags: Irish bred filly has been racing in France where she has three wins and second in a Group 3 event. Was sold in June for $678k after being sold for $67k as a two year old. Hasn’t run on firm ground and recently shipped across the pond for this race so she has no local works. Will be stabled in the U.S. for her new owners going forward. Wait and see. 
  4. Buchu: Winner of the Appalachian Stakes this Spring at Keeneland (83 Beyer) last raced at Churchill in the Regret Stakes where he was a decent second behind Pin up Betty whose move she followed on the far turn (83 Beyer). Possible at a price.
  5. Secret Satire: Was outmatched in the Group I Epsom Oaks last out where she sat mid-pack but didn’t offer anything in the lane. That subpar effort was off a two week turnaround from a nice win in the Group 3 Musidora at York which is a left handed flat course. Would appear they are looking for firm going. Pace figs don’t hold up against others here. Lean against.
  6. Segesta: Comes in off two wins with the most recent in the Wonder Again Stakes for Chad Brown where she used the inside post to save ground and then get to the front in the lane where she hung a bit but once challenged she responded (87 Beyer). Using.
  7. She Feels Pretty: Easily handled the field in the black type Hilltop Stakes where she blew by the leaders while in hand (90 Beyer). That was her first start since a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile filles Turf last November. There are distance questions as the breeding suggests no more than a mile. Johnny V stays in the irons. Major player. 
  8. Cinderella’s Dream: Started her career with four straight wins for Charlie Appleby before taking on Group I company in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket where she finished a close up seventh after not firing late. Two back in Dubai she was remarkable where Buick lost the irons on the backstretch but she still won by open lengths. Reunites with Buick today. Goes two turns for the first time, but that would appear to suit her as will the added distance. The Pick.
  9. Sy B: Comes off a strong performance in the Wonder Again where she stumbled out of the gate and almost went to her knees. She then settled at the back of the pack off of that issue but she was strong and split horses to get the place money (86 Beyer). Looking elsewhere.

Picks 8-7-2-6 

Trivia Answer:  Bob Baffert was won six Grade Is this year. Chad Brown is second with five.