Just a Game Stakes Entries: Brown's Regal Glory ... jubilee at stake
Race 4: 1 Mile (Turf) Just a Game Stakes (G1), $500k, F&M 4+ (Saturday)
A highlight for me on the Saturday card at Belmont during the Racing Festival is this 1 Mile turf event. Historically, this race brings together some “game” grass specialists, and we all know that trainer Chad Brown has this one circled on his calendar. I always want to find ways to best his low-priced favorites who take money like a slot machine. He has a bevy of them drawn here, so our hands are going to be full.
Now, let’s find out about this field…
#1 Leggs Galore (Jky: R. Gonzalez/Trn: P. D’Amato):
A strong turf trainer based in SoCal, Phil D’Amato can ship with the best of them. This talented mare by Bayern is ready for her close-up, as she challenges the eastern power of Chad Brown. Running against this kind of competition is not like what she has seen before. In other words, it is going to take a best effort by Ricardo Gonzalez. Sure, he knows his mount backwards and forwards, but this is different. She does have early foot, and that could be a strong check against the others. She must break well, control the pace upfront, and leave enough in the tank for a solid stretch run. Good luck …
#2 Regal Glory (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):
The “Queen of the Turf Mile” had to go a little longer at Keeneland in the Jenny Wiley (G1) in mid-April. Regular rider Jose Ortiz handled her expertly, and it was an impressive display of skill. Chad Brown was impressed afterwards, and owner Peter Brandt sure invested in a good one—to the tune of $925k at the Keeneland January Sale in 2021. Cutting back in distance to what she is accustomed to will make her even more formidable. Anything can happen on the grass, but honestly, I cannot see her getting beat. If you get somewhere around 7/5 or 8/5, that could be considered value. Some will point to her Belmont record (4/1-1-0) with some skepticism. I am unmoved …
#3 Speak of the Devil (FR) (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: C. Brown):
If there is a major rival to “Regal,” then it is this Peter Brant-owned star that comes from France. A major $2.2 million+ purchase last December at the Arc Sale, the daughter of Wootton Bassett (GB) passed her U.S. debut test with flying colors at Churchill Downs in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2). She looked strong late in the race, and cruised home with Flavien Prat in the irons. There is no question that she is talented, but I prefer her stablemate. What a finish we could have on our hands with these two … Can you say in-form?
#4 In Italian (GB) (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):
Last of the “Brown turfers,” this Peter Brant runner would probably be the top choice in any other race. However, she is up against her stablemates, and that makes her “3rd choice.” The major plus … Irad Ortiz is aboard. His work on the green is special, and he makes his mounts better because of his innate ability to make split-second decisions. Against Brown’s #3 last time out at Churchill in that G2, she lost the lead, and ended up 2nd. This race is tougher …
#5 Wakanaka (IRE) (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: B. Mott):
Bill Mott is a HOF conditioner, and he is not about to back down from a fight. His 4-yr-old filly by Power (GB) has an adequate turf pedigree. However, she is lacking when it comes to “big game” performances. She was 3rd in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2), behind the Brown pair, but she does have the chance for redemption in this spot. Joel Rosario can show-up any time, and win convincingly. He just needs access to those “late gears.” This one will be a double-digit price on Saturday, and it will take a big effort to overturn this applecart.
Join us Saturday for all of our Belmont Stakes card selections! Should be a great set of races from NYRA’s home in Elmont, New York! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!
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