Belmont Jockey Club Oaks and Derby
They can call it what they like, it is still Aqueduct. Saturday they will run the Jockey Club Derby at a mile and a half. This three-year old turf race drew only six despite a hefty one million dollar purse.
Flavien Prat will ride Classic Causeway for the first time and break from the rail. He should be on the lead looking to go two out of three against Nations Pride in their runner match. If they let Prat waltz, and they may not have much choice, we already saw this horse forget to stop. He won’t be anything close to the27-1 he was in The Belmont Derby, but he is speed and speed is dangerous.
Wicked Fast is off a 35,000 claim by Joe Sharp. He looks in over his head.
Nations Pride is back for more for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby. This classy colt brought his A game every start except The Epsom Derby. On the square I think he is better than Classic Causeway and he will have to overcome a pace disadvantage to prove that today. Frankie is back up, and I think the favorite gets the job done.
The Grey Wizard is stepping up and has the look of a horse on the improve. He can handle a distance of ground and if he goes forward as I suspect he will maybe he can round out the exacta and get Classic Causeway out of it.
Daunt is another who looks in deep waters over his head.
Ardakan is a bit of a mystery. He is Group 1 and 2 caliber in Italy and Germany and we will see if he is that level here. He has shown speed in some races and maybe he will be the one if anyone is to soften Classic Causeway up. I don’t see him winning, but he can make his presence felt in this small field with a few overmatched runners.
In The Jockey Club Oaks Toskana Belle caught my eye. This filly won The Group 1 German Oaks and was dead game going Gate to Wire to do it. I am not sure what was behind her bet Frankie rides, and if you watch her last race, she had to go uphill a way and still was game in the stretch. I don’t think she needs the lead at all but should be well placed and could offer at least a mild surprise in here.
You can watch The German Oaks HERE
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