A compact, but talented, field of five will take aim on the $250,000 Woody Stephens (G1) at Belmont Park on Saturday. Each sophomore in the 7-furlong test is more than capable of taking home the first-place trophy.
Woody Stephens Analysis
#1 No Parole draws inside and will set sail for the lead from the opening bell. Multiple Grade 3 victor #3 Mischevious Alex will prompt the tempo while in second, with #4 Echo Town never being far back.
Woody Stephens Contenders
#1 NO PAROLE — Fleet Cajun-bred is 4-for-5 lifetime and a prime candidate to lead the field at every call. Amoss trainee has trained in swift fashion in preparation for his Grade 1 bow, including a bullet 5 panels most recently beneath the Twin Spires. Luis Saez will guide the ultra-talented Violence colt.
#2 MERU — $300,000 son of Sky Mesa has never run a bad one from four lifetime outings. Duarte trainee was an excellent third in a recent allowance event in a tough field, and he has every right to improve second time out in 2020. Irad Ortiz has the assignment.
#3 MISCHEVIOUS ALEX — Classy 3-year-old has morphed into a new animal since adding blinkers three back, streaking to a trio of powerful wins in succession. John Servis trainee comes in fresh with a nice series of morning drills in preparation for his Grade 1 and local debut. Into Mischief colt will be tough to upend with his best.
#4 ECHO TOWN — Top pick has impressed in all five career outings for Asmussen. $100,000 son of Speightstown was a game second in the Bachelor S. at Oaklawn Park two back, prior to showing heart in a Churchill allowance triumph last time out. Kentucky-bred figures to sit a dream trip behind a swift and contested pace beneath Santana.
#5 SHOPLIFTED — Second from the Asmussen barn gets a good draw outside of his foes on the cutback in distance. Bay Into Mischief colt made a big middle move before tiring late going 1 1/8 miles in the Oaklawn S. in his most recent endeavor, and the Kentucky-bred could have a fine voyage behind a sharp tempo on Saturday. Jose Ortiz will guide the top-three contender.
Woody Stephens Wagers
- $30 Win: #4 Echo Town ($30)
- $5 Exacta: 4 with 2,5 ($10)