Trio Of Big Ones At Belmont Park

A trio of Grade 1 races headline another huge Saturday of racing at Belmont Park. The headliner is the $500,000 Champagne S. (G1) for juvenile males, and a strong field of prospects is assembling, likely led by impressive Hopeful (G1) romper Strong Mandate. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, this two-year-old son of Tiznow showed a liking for the off going last time in his sensational score at Saratoga, and the Kentucky-bred might also getting more ground to work with in making his local debut for this important juvenile test.

Honor Code was 22 lengths back after a half-mile in his debut at Saratoga, but the Shug McGaughey pupil rallied in a big way to win at the tricky distance of seven furlongs in this spot, drawing off in a powerful tally. The blue-blooded son of A.P. Indy was flattered when the pair he toppled came back to win and this colt gives the impression of a real runner. Havana, an expensive son of first crop sire Dunkirk, ran huge in his debut tally and could be any kind for conditioner Todd Pletcher. Trainer Nick Zito will saddle fine maiden winner Grand Arrival, and the son of Harlan’s Holiday could offer some value in this very deep running. Richard Violette’s Financial Mogul, Hopeful second Casiguapo and Leah Gyarmati’s Noble Moon, also deserve a look in this spot.

The top two finishers of the Spinaway S. (G1) will be back for more when contesting the $500,000 Frizette S. (G1). This affair for juvenile fillies could be a good one, but Sweet Reason has done little wrong in a pair of romps that will make her the sure horse to beat. The Leah Gyarmati-trained daughter of Street Sense has annihilated a pair of nice fields and could stakes claim to the leading two-year-old lass in the country with another powerful showing here. The bay is bred to handle this trip and will be mighty tough with a repeat of her latest.

Stopchargingmaria was a fine debut heroine, and finished a nice second in the Spinaway last time for Pletcher. The well thought of daughter of Tale of the Cat shows a few nice morning spins leading up to this and looks to be the main danger in this contest to the favorite. Who’s in Town finished top in the Adirondack S. (G2), only to be DQ’d to fourth, but this daughter of Speightstown clearly has a lot of ability for conditioner Michael Matz. Jimmy Toner’s sharp debut winner Recepta, the well-bred Divided Attention and the New York-bred Artemis Agrotera, who demolished her foes at first asking for Michael Hushion, add to the depth of this affair.

In the $500,000 Jamaica S. (G1) for sophomore on the turf, multiple stakes star Notacatbutallama, Canadian classic hero Up With the Birds, Grade 1 victor Joha, Saranac S. (G3) star Five Iron and Secretariat S. (G1) third-placer Jack Milton, are among the top draws.

Sunday will play host to both the $200,000 Pilgrim S. (G2) and $200,000 Miss Grillo S. (G2), each run on the lawn for two-year-old Breeders’ Cup hopefuls.