How to make money with Hard Love in the Pennine Ridge Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 28th, 2021

Recent Woodhaven S. victor #4 Hard Love (9-5) will lead a solid field of nine postward in Saturday’s $200,000 Pennine Ridge S. (G2) at Belmont Park. The nine-furlong test will take place on the inner turf, and the favorite will be very tough to knock off for conditioner Jonathan Thomas.

A debut winner on the Widener course in October, the bay son of Kitten’s Joy was runner-up in his stakes debut at Aqueduct in November. He then sent notice that he is a sophomore to deal with in his seasonal debut when dominating in the lane in the Woodhaven under Javier Castellano, who will guide the ridgling on Saturday.

Hard Love is equipped with gate presence to establish position in the early going, and he also possesses a strong turn of foot that makes him hard to run down late if he gains the advantage in the stretch. The Kentucky-bred figures to receive a dream trip en route to the winners’ circle on Saturday.

#2 Step Dancer (10-1) offers great value for the vertical gimmicks for trainer Barclay Tagg. War Dancer colt had a very good juvenile season, led by a score in the Awad S. over yielding ground here, and he could be rounding up to a peak performance in his third off the layoff on Saturday. Manny Franco rides.

#7 Public Sector (9-2) is another logical top-three inclusion for me. Trained by Chad Brown, the Kingman colt put in a solid late run behind a soft pace on the course in his seasonal bow most recently, and the Klaravich colorbearer will get more honest fractions to rally into in this endeavor. Jose Ortiz will ride.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sticks with #3 Shaftesbury (6-1) when he had other apparent options, so the expensive Uncle Mo colt is given a prime chance of making the frame, as well. The bay broke through after a trio of second-place results while seemingly thriving on the Belmont turf last time out, and the Pletcher pupil will be forwardly placed throughout.

Pennine Ridge Wagers

  • $1 superfecta 4 with 2,3,7 with 2,3,7 with all ($30)
  • $1 superfecta 4 with 2,3,7 with all with 2,3,7 ($30)