Five On Tap At Belmont

A total of five stakes races will be held at Belmont Park over the weekend, with two of those coming in the graded form. The Saturday spotlight will be on fillies and mares going 11 furlongs on the turf in the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay S. (G2). A talented list of probable runners is possible for this affair, including two-time Grade 2 queen Emollient. Trained by Bill Mott, the Juddmonte homebred has been close in a pair of tires this season, but she could thrive in this elongated race with her early speed and penchant for staying on in the lane. The daughter of Empire Maker will be the one to beat if she lands here.

Group 2 heroine Riposte, another Juddmonte homebred, looks like she is pointing for this one ever since a close second in a Keeneland allowance for Mott. 2013 E. P. Taylor S. (Can-G1) queen Tannery has been training consistently this spring and could land here for her seasonal debut. The Alan Goldberg charge won this race a year ago at 10-1 odds and might be another nice price coming off the shelf.

Irish Mission ran just evenly in her 2014 bow last time on a good turf oval here, but the Christophe Clement trainee is cut out to run longer and will be tough with likely improvement. Beaugay S. (G3) runner-up Orion Moon, also for Clement, makes this a solid one-two punch for this barn. Euro import Levanto and Jonathan Sheppard’s Gathering, are also possible.

The $300,000 Poker S. (G3) will be held on Memorial Day and could be a fine betting race. Two-time stakes hero Chamois, Grade 1 hero Charming Kitten, Five Iron, who bagged the Fort Marcy (G3) last out, Appleton (G3) third Salto and Jimmy Jerkens’ Sinatra, who has been very sharp from a trio of tries in 2014, are some of the top draws.

Also topping the weekend action is Sunday’s $200,000 Wonder Again S. for sophomore fillies on the turf, and Monday’s $200,000 Penninne Ridge S. and the $100,000 Jersey Girl S.