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Coastal Stakes Go Wednesday at Belmont
Seven three-year-olds are expected to go to the gate on Wednesday at Belmont in the $100,000 Coastal Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles on the main dirt track. The race presents an interesting handicapping scenario, as several of the favorites were well beaten in previous races, including the 5-2 morning line favorite, Saint Vigeur. A Smart Strike colt for trainer Chad Brown, Saint Vigeur is coming off two straight second-place finishes in Grade IIs, where she was beaten by a combined 20 ¼ lengths.
The best of the rest behind Grade I winner
In the first of those, the Peter Pan back in May, Saint Vigeur ran into a freakishly fast Freedom Child, who has gone on to do little in his two starts since, the Grade I Belmont and the Grade II Jim Dandy. On the other hand, last time out Saint Vigeur had to face an improving Moreno, who has gone on to win the Grade I Travers and will likely show up in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Prior to those two defeats, Saint Vigeur had won his first two starts of 2013, his maiden win (over Freedom Child) and in mid-allowance company.
Second choice has also faced tough rivals
As the 3-1 ML second choice, Escapefromreality presents an interesting contrast to Saint Vigeur. A New York-bred, Escapefromreality has been first or second in five of six lifetime starts, including a second in the Withers Stakes after Revolutionary, who went on to run a game third in the Kentucky Derby, and a win last time out in the Albany Stakes with a gutsy stretch drive to put away heavy favorite Amberjack. In between those he ran ninth in the Grade III Gotham, a race that included multiple graded-stakes winners Vyjack, West Hills Giant and Overanalyze.
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