How to bet the 2023 Secretariat Stakes
A total of eight three-year-olds will run one mile on the Colonial Downs inner turf surface in the $500,000 Secretariat S. (G2) on Saturday. Graham Motion’s #3 Nagirroc (5-2) opted for this assignment as opposed to a similar race at Saratoga this weekend, and I think that his decision will pay dividends to his connections in the contest.
By Lea, the sophomore colt has won or placed in each of his eight career outings to date and was last seen finishing a solid third in the Manila S. (G3) at Belmont Park as the 8-5 favorite. A facile winner of the James W Murphy S. at Pimlico two prior, the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) third lands in a favorable spot with some speed signed on for the tilt, which will allow the Kentucky-bred to track a contested pace and get first run on the deeper closing types on Saturday. Regular pilot Flavien Prat retains the ride aboard the top selection.
Trainer Cherie DeVaux has a pair of dangerous players in the cast, including Manila star #7 More Than Looks (5-1). The More Than Ready colt did receive a dream set-up in his upset victory last time out, but the $135,000 yearling purchase lands in a field with ample early presence to help aid the late runner turning for home once again on Saturday. The dark bay Kentucky-bred is a bob shy of being unbeaten in four successive races and will be doing his best work late under the guidance of Jose Lezcano.
#5 Northern Invader (8-1) takes a massive class hike from the maiden ranks to this deep field, but the son of Collected looked awesome in graduating at Belmont Park most recently in his turf bow, and he’s worth including at a nice price in here. The $310,000 juvenile purchase drew off by eight commanding lengths as he obviously took to the green, and the chestnut has posted four solid morning drills in the interim. John Velazquez will be in the silks once again and have the Kentucky-bred near midpack on the backside.
Two-time Group 3 victor #1 Silver Knott (3-1) and dual Grade 2 star #6 Major Dude (6-1) each has exotics appeal to me, as well.
$30 win: #3 Nagirroc ($30)
$1 superfecta: 3 with 5,7 with 1,5,6,7 with all ($30)