Belmont Park is an awful lot quieter after the festivities ceza.me of last weekend but the nice motion keeps coming within the form of the G3 Poker Stakes, the spotlight of Saturday afternoon at the ‘Big Sandy’, in which the irrepressible Chad Brown bids to continue his lava-hot streak of shape with G1-positioned Masen and G2 winner Public Sector status out in a brief area. Poker Stakes Grade 3, $250,000, 1m turf, 4yo+
The world’s first-rate turf milers have been strutting their stuff at Royal Ascot this week, the first rate Baaeed, the tough Coroebus and the innovative Saffron Beach to name however three, however right here within the Poker – the feature at Belmont Park on Saturday – we see the potential competition to the ones stars when they arrive for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in November.
The Poker is one of the few Graded turf races on the east coast that Chad Brown has never won, and he seeks to rectify that with two contenders headed via the ex-Irish Masen (6-5), who has adapted magnificently to lifestyles Stateside. He hit the floor strolling speedy, going under with the aid of just a nose on his US debut while favourite for the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland, urgent the tempo after which clinging gamely to the lead earlier than being nailed on the line.
He then sponsored up that fashion and substance when romping in a 3-runner stakes over direction and distance, eased all the way down to win through five with Wolfie’s Dynaghost (five-1) overwhelmed nearly 23 lengths into 0.33 and final, taking his stakes record to zero-for-eight, despite the fact that he turned into geared right down while the primaryhad flown.
Masen is probably running a honest way underneath his class right here and should have maximum to fear from barnmate Public Sector (five-2), who additionally holds an entry at Monmouth Park on Saturday. He spots weight all spherical after 3 Graded wins last year, considerably a near-run issue in the G2 Hill Prince here over a mile-8th in October, although he hasn’t coped with the elevation to G1 corporation on his last two starts offevolved.
On his 2022 debut Public Sector made no display within the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs over a mile-8th, but today’s elegance relief will placed him lower back in his consolation zone, and the cutback in distance may additionally help too at a tune in which he has in no way completed worse than runner-up in five races.
Last yr’s Poker fourth and sixth Sanctuary City (7-2) and Penalty (6-1) have some other crack at it, even though neither has accomplished some thing inside the intervening one year to signify they’ll enhance on that form. Sanctuary City is riding a 9-race dropping streak and become runner-up in a kingdom-bred stakes here over a mile-16th ultimate month, rallying late however by no means getting close to the winner.
Penalty has run simplest twice due to the fact final 12 months’s Poker, fifth and ninth in stakes at Kentucky Downs and this venue over seven furlongs, while he was by no means sighted. He’s seven now and might not have loads left in the tank. 2022 Poker Stakes Odds & Prediction
Prediction: Chad Brown has observed a good spot for his duo, and the modern G1 runner-up MASEN – an smooth winner closing time – can take complete gain of sophistication comfort. HorseJockeyOdds by means of JazzSportsMasen (GB)Flavien Prat+120Sanctuary CityKendrick Carmouche+350PenaltyJoel Rosario+600Public Sector (GB)Jose L. Ortiz+250Wolfie’s DynaghostLuis Saez+500
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