Beaugay Belmont Preview: Thankful for a price

Jockeys are ready for the Grade III Beaugay S. It is part of a nice program slated for Saturday on the turf at Belmont Park. Check out our turf-man's preview of the important contest . . .
Jockeys are ready for the Grade III Beaugay S. It is part of a nice program slated for Saturday on the turf at Belmont Park. Check out our turf-man's preview of the important contest . . .
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1 1/16th (Turf) Beaugay S. (G3), $150k, F&M 4+

The Grade III Beaugay represents a tough turf test for older females on Belmont’s unique Inner Turf Course. The positioning makes this a 1-turn mile, that includes a bend at the start that makes this a major challenge. I cannot name another grass course that has such a configuration. Historically, this race has attracted some impressive runners, and over the past 7 editions, trainer Chad Brown has won 4 of them. His sod hegemony is not without momentary lapses though. Still, Waterway Run, A Raving Beauty, Homerique, and the great Rushing Fall have all helped him cement his place as one of the best along the NYRA blades.

Who will have the turf power to challenge him? Let’s find out about this year’s crop . . .


#1 Harvey’s Lil Goil: (Jky: J. Alvarado/Trn: B. Mott):

When Bill Mott switched this daughter of American Pharoah to the turf for some routing back in September, it was a flick of the switch. The well-bred filly travelled the KY Circuit, and hit the board against some strong company. The QEII Cup win at Keeneland was easily the highlight, but the 3rd place ending in the BC F&M Turf (G1) at 20/1 was a prize too. Now, she is ready for her 2021 campaign to begin. She has never run at Belmont, so it will be interesting to see how she responds. Junior Alvarado will serve as a guide, just as he did at Keeneland in early November for the Breeders’ Cup.

Grade: B


#2 Lemista (IRE): (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):

Owner Peter Brant’s international reach once again shifts a runner from the fabulous Irish Circuit over to the NYRA one. Not sure those exactly compare, but Brant must have a good reason. For the record, back in September (the last time this filly was seen in competition), she was well-back, 33-lengths to be precise, in a G2 at The Curragh (IRE). Chad Brown takes over from the Lyons Barn. This one has great potential, and could end up being a prize possession. Irad Ortiz gets the saddle, and that should tell you all you need to know. Brant . . . Brown . . . Ortiz . . . all add up to a short price on the tote board. Definitely one to consider . . .

Grade: B+


#3 Nay Lady Nay (IRE): (Jky: J. Castellano/Trn: C. Brown):

There were some major expectations laid at the shoes of this filly last year, who is now a 5-yr-old mare for Chad Brown. She has the back class, and looking through the ole PPs, the Monmouth Park Matchmaker (G3) was an impressive score. She tried valiantly in the salty Flower Bowl (G1) on this very track back in October. The 3rd place finish was just behind that of Shug McGaughey’s Civil Union #5, who she will match wits and hooves with again in this race. If she is sharp off the bench, which is in the realm of possibility, the 5-yr-old mare could be resilient. Oh, and how about the jockey who will be involved in this “go?” It is Javier Castellano . . .

Grade: B+


#4 Platinum Paynter: (Jky: L. Rodriguez Castro/Trn: J. Vazquez):

Trainer Juan Vasquez is a fish out of the proverbial water in this race. He sends an untested daughter of Paynter into what is a very difficult spot. She has some efforts under her belt, and that makes for a tick in the positive box. This runner has not gone this long, and her class ability to take on G3 Co. is negligible. Luis Castro Rodriguez rides this one, once again. Maybe he can provide some continuity, and help this one spring the upset. I have a hard time taking this one seriously. Maybe the bet on this mare should be tabled until next time.

Grade: C


#5 Civil Union: (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: S. McGaughey):

The 6-yr-old mare is coming off a superb 2020, which saw her win all 3 of her races at Belmont. Nothing like 3 for 3, eh? Toss in a major G2 score at the SPA, and Shug McGaughey must look back with fondness on everything that was accomplished. The betting public did not think much of her chances in the Breeders’ Cup F&M Turf (G1), and deemed her at no better than 14/1. She finished a respectable 5th, less than 2-lengths off in the end. For some reason, I do not get the feeling that she will be sharp coming off-the-bench. I could be wrong, but even having Joel Rosario (who is already on NYRA fire) will not be able to make much of a difference.

Grade: B


#6 Thankful: (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: T. Pletcher):

The horse in this field who is “game time” ready when it comes to sharpness and form is this daughter of American Pharoah. Todd Pletcher’s filly has not been on the grass in almost a year, and that might not sound inviting. My rules for backing grass runners are firm, so to speak, but this one sparks an interest. Getting Luis Saez is a major bonus because his riding is reaching such a zenith when it comes to confident riding. Pharoahs run well on the sod, and transitioning might not be as difficult as you might think. The angle to think about in this situation is “recency.” The price is going to be excellent when post time rolls around.

Grade: A-


Check out all of our handicapping selections on Saturday, as we enjoy another Belmont Saturday!

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