Mucciolo: Graded stakes plays at Belmont Park

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May 11th, 2018

Four graded races will be held at Belmont Park Saturday. I will take a look and give some opinions on each of them.

Vagrancy Handicap (G3)

Five fillies and five-year-old mare will travel 6 1/2-furlongs on the dirt in the affair. #2 KIRBY’S PENNY, the eldest member of the field, has been superb since moving off the turf to the main oval, compiling a 7-5-2-0 mark on dirt. Wesley Ward-trained daughter of Macho Uno dominated allowance foes at Keeneland in her seasonal debut and gets the nod in a strong field. John Velazquez riding is a coup.

I will be playing Kirby’s Penny to win as my only wager in the race.

Beaugay Stakes (G3)

Seven turf distaffers will vie in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair on the inner course. I think the race will boil down to the pair of inside runners, #1 MY IMPRESSION and #2 INFLEXIBILITY.

I will side with the former for conditioner Shug McGaughey. Multiple stakes heroine is more battle tested than her main rival and My Impression could be sitting on a big effort second time off the layoff.

The wager is My Impression to win and an exacta box with Inflexiblity.

Peter Pan Stakes (G3)

Eight sophomores will go nine furlongs on the dirt in a field that lacks a standout. California import #1 CORE BELIEFS ran into the freight train Justify in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) most recently and finished third. Eurton trainee was flattered when fourth-place finisher Instilled Regard capped the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby last weekend.

Core Beliefs might be lone speed from the rail under Tyler Baze.

#6 HIGH NORTH was easily best in the Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn with blinkers added. Midnight Lute colt might have a dream trip in second from the opening bell. Grade-3 winner #4 BLENDED CITIZEN was just 4 ¾ lengths in arrears of Good Magic in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and rates as a contender here. #3 JUST WHISTLE followed his maiden second to Hofburg at Gulfstream with a powerful graduating win at Keeneland for Michael Matz. Pioneerof the Nile colt has established himself as a promising prospect.

I will play Core Beliefs to win and key him on top of exacta and trifecta plays with the aforementioned trio.

Man o’ War Stakes (G1)

In my Man o’ War preview, I tabbed #6 CALL PROVISION and #2 SADLER’S JOY as my top picks in the competitive turf marathon. Call Provision will be getting my win money at a better price.