Belmont Park Picks and Preview for Poker Stakes
Category : News
Fri 17/06/2016 - 16:25 EDT
Saturday’s feature at Belmont is the Grade 3 Poker Stakes, going a flat mile over the main turf course.
A small field of six is expected to go the gate for the Poker, with five of those starting in single-figures or below in the morning line. Chad Brown has two in the field, and of those, Takeover Target (4-1) managed to fight his way through rough traffic to just get up for a neck win last out in the (G2) Dixie Stakes at Pimlico over a course rated as good. He's shown improvement through four races this year, and should be competitive with these. Finishing third in the Dixie was Grand Arch (7-2), who will make this just his second 2016 start following a third-place finish in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Mile. Another move forward could be just enough.
Favorite needs to get back to winning ways
The solid favorite in the field in the ML odds is veteran campaigner Obviously at 9-5. The Irish bred is still competitive at age 8, having run back-to-back Place finishes in his last two, both Grade 2 events at Santa Anita. He's back to what is probabaly his best distance, but it is worrying that he has not found the winner's circle in two years, although he was lightly raced and faced some tough company in that time. He's likely to be overbet, and it's worth taking a shot against.
Of the others, Force the Pass (5-1) will also be making his second start off the shelf, and will likely be near the lead early.
The Poker Stakes goes as race #4 on Belmont's Saturday card, with post time at 3:04 PM.
OTB NY Picks
1) Grand Arch
2) Takeover Target
4) Force The Pass
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