Undefeated Analyze It tops Pennine Ridge field
By Bob Ehalt
There’s little doubt over the top 3-year-old in the country. If you are uncertain, you can check out Justify trying to become the 13th Triple Crown winner next Saturday in the 150th Belmont Stakes.
This Saturday, the country’s top 3-year-old turfer will be running at Belmont Park.
The undefeated Analyze It will headline the $200,000 Pennine Ridge, a mile-and-an-eighth turf race for 3-year-olds.
A prep race for the $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational on July 7, the Pennine Ridge looms as another chance for the undefeated Analyze It to strut his stuff as he bids for a fourth straight win.
A winner of the Grade 3 Transylvania by 5 ¼ lengths in his 3-year-old debut, Analyze It was won his three career starts by a combined 15 ¾ lengths for trainer Chad Brown.
Analyze It was pegged as a 4-5 favorite in a field of eight.
The 7-2 second choice is Hawkish, who has won two of three career starts. The Artie Schiller gelding posted wins in maiden and allowance races sandwiched around a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park.
Catholic Boy (4-1) is returning to turf for the first time since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar on Nov. 3. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, Catholic Boy has spent his 3-year-old campaign on dirt after winning the Remsen at Aqueduct in December. But after finishing fourth in the Florida Derby in his last start, he is returning to his roots on turf.
Another key threat in the Pennine Ridge should be Untamed Domain (5-1), who was second in last year’s BC Juvenile Turf. He was third in the Dania Beach in his initial start of 2018 but then finished sixth on dirt in the Tampa Bay Derby. Retuned to turf, he finished in a dead-heat for second in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs in his most recent start.
Up the Ante (10-1) comes into the race off a front-running allowance win at Belmont Park on May 10.
The rest of the field features Irish Territory (15-1), Archaggelos (20-1) and Channel Cat (20-1).
Looking ahead, after Sunday’s card, Belmont Park will be closed until Thursday when the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival begins. In between, the post position draw for the 150th Belmont Stakes will be held on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Citi Field in Queens, prior to the Mets-Orioles game.
The Racing Festival kicks off on Thursday with three stakes, followed by five more on Friday. Saturday’s spectacular card features 10 stakes, six of them Grade 1’s, capped by the one and only Belmont Stakes.