Belmont Park will play host to a big afternoon of racing for New York-bred runners on Saturday with eight lucrative stakes on Empire Showcase Day.

Empire Classic Analysis

The $300,000 Empire Classic will go as Race 5 and concludes both the early Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Just five will go postward and recent Kelso H. (G2) winner #3 Pat on the Back (3-5)looms large with a repeat of his last. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee dons a smart 11-6-3-1 mark at Belmont Park, and the son of Congrats could improve making his third run off the bench in this test with Dylan Davis on board.

#5 Not That Brady (12-1)has appeal to me to complete the exacta at a nice price. The stakes winner showed some class when second in the Withers (G3) in the spring, and the sophomore goes turf-to-dirt while also removing the blinkers. Speedy son of Big Brown received a fine outside draw in the compact field and should be in the mix early under Luis Saez.

Wagers for Empire Classic:

  • $20 Exacta 3 with 5 = $20
  • $10 Trifecta Key 3 with 4,5 = $20

Empire Distaff Analysis

In the $250,000 Empire Distaff H. for fillies and mares, a field of 11 will contest the one-mile affair. Trainer Linda Rice has a pair of major players in the field, led by morning-line choice #1 Newly Minted (5-2). Central Banker filly is unbeaten in four lifetime races on dirt, and the three-time stakes queen was a strong stakes heroine in her lone local appearance. The race will go through the bay with Jose Lezcano riding.

#2 Bonita Bianca (10-1)was a six-length winner of this race in 2018. Trained by Jason Servis, the Curlin mare is not the same animal this campaign, but she does sport a 5-3-0-2 mark on Big Sandy and will be a nice price, as well. Irad Ortiz Jr. riding the exotics contender adds to the appeal.

Rice’s #9 Midnight Disguise (7-2)is winless from five starts in 2019, but the massive filly gets a great outer post slot and was a closing stakes third on this oval most recently. Four-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute has been first or second in all but one try at one mile, and she has trained well in preparation of this race. Joel Rosario has the call.

#10 Ratajkowski (3-1) earned a 98 BRIS Speed number in a 10-length allowance win on the course last time out. Brian Lynch trainee has won three of her last four assignments and her latest proved that she belongs with this kind. Jose Ortiz will guide the obvious contender.

Wagers for Empire Distaff:

  • $20 Win #1 Newly Minted = $20
  • $4 Trifecta Key 1 with 2,9,10 = $24
  • $.50-cent Superfecta Key 1 with 2,9,10 with 2,9,10 with all = $24