Chad Brown has won five of the last six editions of the Belmont Oaks (G1), and will saddle two of the 10 candidates on Saturday. The pair includes 7-2 morning line favorite Significant Form, a nice filly but one whose credentials aren’t quite as strong as Brown’s one-two finishers last year, New Money Honey and Sistercharlie, much less 2015 winner Lady Eli.
The key to starting the Pick 3 that begins in the Belmont Oaks on the right foot might be to beat Brown. Here’s how we’ll play the sequence.
Race 8 — Belmont Oaks
Natalma (G1) heroine #4 CAPLA TEMPTRESS was scratched from the Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot to point here after a strong fourth in the French 1000 Guineas (G1), a race she lost by a half-length in her first run since the Breeders’ Cup. The form of the French Guineas kind of took a beating in the Coronation when the one-two Teppal and Coeur de Beaute finished up the track behind Alpha Centauri, nor did third-placer Wind Chimes win her next out in a Group 3 on the French Oaks undercard.
Nonetheless, Capla Temptress has shipped and won to North America before, as noted, and was a rough-trip seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar. She can improve off her Longchamp run and the additional two furlongs is unlikely to be a problem.
#5 TOINETTE is undefeated in three starts on the grass, with wins over Wonder Again (G3) winner #7 LA SIGNARE and the classy Rushing Fall in the Edgewood (G3) when that heavy favorite failed to settle. The daughter of Scat Daddy can continue her winning ways here.
We’ll also throw in the consistent #8 THEWAYIAM, a good second to Rushing Fall in the Appalachian (G3) two back and whose rally fell short in the shorter Penn Oaks last time.
Race 9 — Suburban (G2)
The Bob Baffert-trained duo of #8 HOPPERTUNITY and #5 DR. DORR look tough. The latter might see pressure from #10 DIVERSIFY, but if he happens not to he could be hard to overhaul. Hoppertunity seems more reliable at longer trips these days, but the former Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) obviously likes this track. A sleeper could be the Brown-trained #7 TAKE YOUR GUNS, a son of Blame hitting his best stride after a fourth-place effort in the Brooklyn.
Race 10 — Belmont Derby (G1)
#3 ANALYZE IT suffered his first career loss in a strangely-run Pennine Ridge (G3), but will count on him bouncing back to his best here. As backup, Penn Mile (G2) hero #8 HAWKISH comes from a long line of capable turf performers and has a solid closing kick to boot.
The $1 ticket:
4,5,8 with 5,7,8 with 3,8 = $18.
(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)