How to Bet the 2023 Paradise Creek Stakes
A talented field of nine sophomores will travel seven-eighths on the outer turf course at Belmont Park in Saturday’s $150,000 Paradise Creek S. The afternoon's grassy feature attracts a well-matched cast of prospects. I will give a slight nod to the Wesley Ward-trained #4 Eye Witness in his return to the lawn.
By City of Light, the $650,000 yearling purchase finished a neck third on debut in his lone turf start to date, but has romped in a pair of 2023 performances on the All-Weather at Turfway Park in advance of this encounter. The New York-bred bay rolled home by five widening lengths in the Animal Kingdom S. most recently and seems poised to give a fine account of himself in this contest as well.
The speedy colt proved to be capable of sitting just off of the early tempo en route to success last time out, and if the sophomore breaks well, then he figures to be traveling in a very good spot all the way around the oval. Eye Witness will be fit with six morning drills leading up to Saturday and will have Jose Ortiz in the stirrups.
#7 Vacation Dance ran like a horse who needed an outing in his three-year-old debut when unplaced in an allowance tilt when facing easier for John Kimmel. A stakes winner at Aqueduct at two while also finishing a close third in the grassy Futurity S. (G3), the son of The Lieutenant draws well outside of the major speed in the cast and figures to be in a good spot turning for home with regular pilot Kendrick Carmouche staying in the silks. The gray has good value.
#1 Charging was an electric maiden winner while sprinting on the Keeneland green most recently and is an obvious contender in the field. Trained by Brad Cox, the $125,000 son of Candy Ride has early speed and a closing kick, and any improvement off of his latest run will make him a major player inside the final furlong. Manny Franco will be in the stirrups and sending his mount from the opening bell.
I also feel that #2 Golden Nugget is worth including despite finishing well back in the deep Palisades S. at Keeneland in his latest venture. The Texas Glitter S. runner-up ran well in each of his two tries on the sod at Gulfstream Park this campaign, and this Brendan Walsh trainee could be rallying into a swift early pace under Trevor McCarthy.
Paradise Creek Wagers