A trio of important graded stakes races with major implications towards the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at Belmont Park on Sunday. I will take a look at the trio of events and offer my opinion of what to expect in each.
The Flower Bowl
The $500,000 Flower Bowl S. (G1) winner will earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). All eyes, and most money, will be sent in the direction of champion Sistercharlie (#2) (1-5) for Chad Brown. The stylish mare has been awesome this campaign following a superb 2018, and she appears to be a towering figure over her six foes.
I think the value in the field will come from her stable companion, Thais (#5) (10-1), who is often used as a ‘rabbit’ for Sistercharlie. The French-bred mare did stay on for third in the 2018 Beverly D. S. (G1), and outside of her barn mate, the lass looks like a logical consideration in the 1 ¼-mile affair.
The Flower Bowl Analysis
Thais sets sail early to establish a big lead, and she still holds a sizable edge near midstretch. But, Sistercharlie will get clear late to solidify her status as the top domestic turf distaffer in training.
The Flower Bowl Bet:
- $40 Exacta 2 with 5 = $40
A compact but talented field of two-year-old fillies will vie in the $400,000 Frizette S. (G1), with an automatic entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on the line. This looks like a most intriguing race with at least four talented prospects, both for the short and long term.
The pace has the potential to be a swift one, if live contenders Wicked Whisper (#3) (2-1) and Frank’s Rockette (#7) (5-2) are both sent from the break. The latter has to be the one to beat for Bill Mott following a trio of excellent performances to begin her career.
Bob Baffert’s Quality Response (#1) (7-2) has not been challenged from a pair of tries on the West Coast, while debut winner Daphne Moon (#2) (9-2) is training in superb fashion for her stakes debut. Each of these fillies deserves a big chance.
The Frizette Analysis
Frank’s Rockette takes a short lead in early stretch, but a much improved Daphne Moon gains momentum on her inside the final furlong. The fitness edge goes to the former while my gut says the latter could be a star in the making.
The Frizette Bet:
- $20 Exacta Box 2-7 = $40
The Futurity Stakes
The field that is the most well-matched on Sunday is the $150,000 Futurity S. (G3). The six-furlong grassy test offers an entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), and any of the six could come out on top.
Futurity Stakes Analysis
Embolden (#3) (7-2) and Four Wheel Drive (#4) (9-5) will go at it from the opening bell and duel each other into submission, opening the race up for a late runner inside the final furlong.
Freewheeler (#1) (5-1) will take back from the rail early on, and he will tip widest of all turning for home with all of the momentum. He will punch his Breeders’ Cup ticket on Sunday.
The Futurity Stakes Bet:
- $40 Win #1 Freewheeler = $40