Firenze Fire, winning the Champagne Stakes in 2017.
Firenze Fire, winning the Champagne Stakes in 2017.NYRA | Viola Jasko

RT's Saturday Belmont at Big A Picks: 2yo fillies run in the Miss Grillo and Champagne, then Breeder's Cup

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RT’s Spot Plays

10.01.22

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Belmont At The Big A Race 8 – The $200K Miss Grillo Stakes

2yo fillies going 8.5 furlongs on turf

Two fillies from this race will make it into the Breeders Cup. 2yo horses winning their MSW on debut then winning their next race as a stakes, are such a low prop, that 6-Be Your Best (6/5) is a pass. 4-Alluring Angel (9/2) is by black type winner Fastnet Rock, a pure sprinter, so today’s distance seems problematic. As always, you must respect Chad Brown. Out of the last fourteen Miss Grillo Stakes, Brown has won eight of them with four of them winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf division. Today he saddles 2-Free Look (9/5), a $300K Tapit filly out of the Medaglia D’oro mare Wild Mint, 1/2 sister to 19th ranked sire Violence. She finished third to Be Your Best on debut and returned a month later to win her next out in a troubled trip with a high Equibase score of 93. She has had two freshenings since and will take a lot of money today. I am taking a shot with a price and Shug McGaughey’s 3-Pleasant Passage (8/1), who scored her lone debut race in a lock down :29.39 in her last fractions.  She is 1/2 sister to multiple graded turf stakes winner Rushing Fall and second out Ainsworth Stakes winner Koala Princess. Both of these horses ran huge in their second race. Shug has a way of sneaking in winners in situations like this and I want to be at the window cashing this one.

Belmont At The Big A Race 10 – The Grade 1 $500K Champagne Stakes

2yo’s fillies going six furlongs

A win and you’re in race to the Juvenile Breeders Cup, the Champagne will feature promising east coast two year olds. 3-Verifying (9/5) is by Justify, the third leading first crop sire in money earned this year. With four of his foals returning for their second race in a stakes, two have won, yet none have achieved over an 86  Equibase number. Given today’s 100 par, he is a pass for me. 6-Gulfport (2/1) is like the month of March – came in like a lion and out like a lamb. If he races to his form from early summer, he will be formidable today. However, the jockey colony figured out that leaving him alone on the lead is a recipe for losing, and once he is challenged, he folds. With all the early speed in this, I will pass. My choice is going to be Top Recruit (5/1) who, two back, ran into a buzzsaw named Tyler’s Tribe, one of the country’s leading two year olds. He shipped to the Ellis Park Juvenile and scored a well fought battle with Curly Jack, who went on to win the Iroquois next out. As mentioned here yesterday, speed horses coming from Ellis and stretching out have been a wining prop.

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