UPDATED: Morning line odds for the United Nations are out and Chinchon (IRE) grabs the favorite tag at 5/2. Stacelita (FR) is at a juicy 7/2; I can't see her odds staying that low given her incredibly classy form over in Europe.
Pulsion and Belle Waiting (CHI) are a dreaded coupled entry. Two for the price of one!
Still waiting on a morning line from Hollywood Park.
ORIGINAL POST: A trio of Grade 1 races will run this Saturday, along with the Grade 2 Suburban and Dwyer at Belmont, and the Grade 3 Salvatore Mile and Bashford Manor at Monmouth and Churchill, respectively. Monmouth Park and Hollywood Park take center stage on Saturday with the G1-United Nations (post time 5:59pm Eastern), G1-Shoemaker Mile (post time: 3:36pm Pacific) and the G1-Triple Bend Handicap (post time: 5:07pm Pacific).
A fourth Grade 1 race will take place on this Monday's Fourth of July holiday, as Belmont Park will feature the Prioress Stakes for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Belmont will also run the Grade 2 Matron, Grade 2 Futurity and Grade 3 Bed o' Roses on Sunday.
Below are the entries, post positions for the United Nations, Shoemaker Mile and Triple Bend. Morning line odds to follow when released.
Grade 1 United Nations
|1||4||Pulsion||C. Hill||P. Biancone||20/1|
|1a||8||Belle Watling (CHI)||E. Prado||P. Biancone||20/1|
|2||1||Bourbon Bay||A. Garcia||N. Drysdale||3/1|
|3||2||Teaks North||E. Castro||J. Sallusto||5/1|
|4||3||Eldaafer||P. Lopez||D. Alvarado||10/1|
|5||5||Sleepless Knight||J. Lezcano||K. Breen||6/1|
|6||6||Bold Hawk||E. Trujillo||J. Toner||8/1|
|7||7||Stacelita (FR)||J. Bravo||J. Rouget||7/2|
|8||9||General Perfect||S. Uske||G. Thompson||50/1|
|9||10||Chinchon (IRE)||G. Gomez||C. Laffon-Parias||5/2|
Five-year-old mare Stacelita (FR) makes her way to North America from Europe where she was a
three-time four-time Group 1 winner in France. If last year's Grade 1 turf races give us any clue to what will happen in 2011, any classy European runner has to be held in extremely high regards. Even the borderline Group 3 horses are a major threat to win.
Stacelita began 2011 with a 3rd place finish in the Group 3 La Coupe at Longchamp at 10 furlongs. The winner of that race, Cirrus des Aigles (FR), finished 2nd to Goldikova (IRE) in the Prix d'Ispahan and recently finished 2nd to top filly Sarafina (FR) in the G1-Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Along with her Group 1 wins, Stacelita finished 2nd to Lily of the Valley (FR) in the G1-Prix de l'Opera and 2nd to Midday (GB) in the G1-Nassau Stakes.
Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile
|1||Courageous Cat||P. Valenzuela||W. Mott||9/5|
|2||Blue Chagall (FR)||J. Rosario||J. Canani||8/1|
|3||Smokey Lonesome||R. Bejarano||A. Sherman||12/1|
|4||Ashtar (CHI)||M. Pedroza||R. Cardenas||15/1|
|5||Caracortado||J. Talamo||M. Machowsky||5/2|
|6||Victor's Cry||V. Espinoza||E. Harty||7/2|
|7||Liberian Freighter||M. Garcia||N. Drysdale||5/1|
Courageous Cat ships in from New York after winning the G3-Poker on June 10th, his first start of 2011.
Caracortado tries to rebound in the Shoemaker after a couple of dull efforts in his last two. He finished 5th in the G2-Arcadia at a mile on the Santa Anita turf on April 9th and followed that up with a 6th in the G2-Alysheba at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend. He lost both races by small margins (1 1/2 and 3/4 lengths) but neither race was visually impressive.
Victor's Cry is making his first start since running at Meydan in Dubai last March.
Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap
|1||M One Rifle||C. Sutherland||B. Headley||8/1|
|2||Camp Victory||J. Talamo||M. Mitchell||5/2|
|3||Smiling Tiger||J. Rosario||J. Bonde||5/2|
|4||El Martillo||M. Garcia||B. Baffert||12/1|
|5||Color of Courage||D. Flores||J. Gonzalez||6/1|
|6||Uh Oh Bango||P. Valenzuela||R. Owens||12/1|
|7||Amazombie||M. Smith||W. Spawr||2/1|
|8||Bench Points||R. Bejarano||T. Yakteen||12/1|
Smiling Tiger ran a disappointing 6th as the favorite in the G2-Churchill Downs on Derby day. He should enjoy a return to synthetics as he's a solid 8-5-0-3 lifetime on the plastic.
Lightyly raced Color of Courage has put up a couple of big performances against allowance company at Hollywood in his last two starts. He'll try graded company for the first time in the Triple Bend.
Amazombie has ben on fire ovr hte past seven months, never finishing worse that 2nd in any of his past seven races, including winsin the G3-Los Angeles Hcp, G2-Potrero Grande, and Sunshine Millions Sprint.