Belmont Park Picks & Spotlight Race for June 26: Grade II Mother Goose

Belmont Stakes returns with a Saturday card that features the Grade II Mother Goose Stakes. Have a look at our 'spotlight' piece below ...
Belmont Stakes returns with a Saturday card that features the Grade II Mother Goose Stakes. Have a look at our "spotlight" piece below ...

Belmont Park's Saturday's card includes a robust slate of 10 races. As usual, our turf-man has you covered, including a "spotlight" of the "feature" of the day, the Grade II Mother Goose Stakes!

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Saturday, be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Spotlight Race of the Day: 1 1/16th (Dirt) Mother Goose Stakes (G2), $200k, 3F

The Grade II Mother Goose has a long history at Belmont Park, and there are some celebrated fillies who have taken this one home. With no race last year, the previous winner was Chad Brown’s Dunbar Road. Before that, Jeff Bloom’s Midnight Bisou sailed home to victory. As we wind the clocks back, it seems that each renewal brought yet another impressive victor. Fillies at this stage, seem to be growing up quickly, now that the Oaks Trail is no more. Finding suitable route races for them is not easy, since males seem to dominate the upper echelons when it comes to purses.

Back on track after COVID-19 in 2020, this year’s edition has a salty group of 5 going forth. Tops on many bettors’ lists will be the Chad Brown entry, Always Carina #2. She is definitely talented out of the recently deceased Malibu Moon. Her running style is pure upfront and on the engine. Coming off-the-bench back in May, Brown had her cranked, and she obliterated a field of 4 others in an OC80k. That was a 9+ length win at extremely low odds. Now, she gets SoCal transplant Flavien Prat, who temporarily joins the colony, while he awaits the opening of Del Mar in July. I mildly abhor that 1/1 M/L price, so it is time to look elsewhere.

As an antidote, if you like another short-priced alternative, you could easily back Steve Asmussen’s entry, the classy Clairiere #3. This Stonestreet homebred ran big throughout the winter and into the spring. Her biggest score came in the Rachel Alexandra (G2), where she bested Brad Cox’s Travel Column—a pesky rival. Though she was on the outside looking in throughout the KYOaks, she should not be summarily written-off in this spot. Clearly, a bright horizon is rising. With Irad Ortiz aboard, she has a legit shot to win this one. I like both of these entries, and I could see either of them winning the MG. Let’s face it, they are as “live” as can be. Still, the contrarian and small “L” libertarian in me thinks that another one of these can take them head-on.

That pick, and follow me here … is George Arnold’s Illiogami #5. You might have thought I would choose Mark Casse’s Make Mischief #1, who is owned by Gary Barber. But sadly, no … I like Arnold’s because he is on the make, and is a well-bred Tapit filly. Going back to her last race at Churchill, which was an OC75k, Arnold’s charge strode down the lane in fine fashion. That was a 1¼-length win for jockey Julien Leparoux, making it 2 victories in-a-row for the classic Tapit grey. Now, the time has arrived for her to live up to her pedigree, and she has the chance to cross the wire first at a price. I am hoping that she drifts towards 8/1. One can hope. Here is the wager …  

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Wheel, 5 w 2/3


Enjoy some action from Elmont, New York! The tradition of Belmont marches on …

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