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Three-year-olds battle on turf in Pennine Ridge


Three-year-olds battle on turf in Pennine Ridge

By NY Hot List Staff

In a week, Belmont Park will be abuzz with the kind of excitement only the Belmont Stakes can produce.

But for now, the weekend before the final leg of the Triple Crown will be highlighted by the $200,000 Pennine Ridge, a turf stakes for 3-year-olds that serves as a prep for the upcoming Turf Trinity series,

Saturday’s race attracted a field of eight, and, of course, the ones to watch are trained by Chad Brown.

Brown, the three-time Eclipse Award winner, will send out the uncoupled duo of Value Proposition and Demarchelier, both of whom will be tested in stakes company for the first time.

Value Proposition was a convincing 4 ¼-length winner of his career debut last month at Belmont Park over yielding turf. A son of Dansili bred in England, Value Proposition was pegged as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Demarchelier is undefeated after two starts, winning a maiden race at Aqueduct and most recently, an allowance race at Keeneland.

Both Demarchelier (7-2) and Value Proposition have a nice late kick and should appreciate the added half-furlong of the mile and an eighth Pennine Ridge.

That late speed might be needed to reel in Clint Maroon (3-1), who is coming off a front-running victory in the Woodhaven Stakes at Aqueduct. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Clint Maroon has notched three victories in a row and shapes up as a major contender for the win spot.

Social Paranoia (7-2) heads a trio of entrants who are exiting the American Turf, which was contested at Churchill Downs May 4. Also trained by Pletcher, Social Paranoia was an eight-length winner of a maiden race at Gulfstream Park in his prior start.

Seismic Wave (6-1) was fourth in the American Turf, but did not kick into top gear until the final furlong when he gobbled up ground and lost by 1 ½ lengths in the mile and a sixteenth stakes.

Henley’s Joy (10-1) was eighth in the American Turf after a troubled trip. Before that, he was second in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland.

The rest of the field includes Swamp Rat (15-1) and Magnificent McCool (20-1).

As for the Belmont Stakes, the June 8 program will feature eight Grade 1 stakes, highlighted by the Belmont Stakes. While there will not be Triple Crown on the line, as there was last year, the star-studded card includes a grand showdown in the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap that will bring together two-time Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow, Coal Front, McKinzie, Mitole, Firenze Fire and Promises Fulfilled in the $1.2 million test.