2023 Acorn Stakes & Belmont Gold Cup Odds

There’s something for everyone at Belmont Park on Friday, with the G1 2023 Acorn Stakes on the main track drawing Kentucky Oaks winner Pretty Mischievous and the speedy Munnys Gold for a fascinating clash of opposites, while over on the lawn the G2 Belmont Gold Cup plays host to European raiders Siskany and High Definition and local hopes Strong Tide and Channel Maker in a marathon test of stamina.

Belmont Stakes Odds

Acorn Stakes

G1, $500,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 3yo fillies, 5.14pm ET

Friday is a big day at Belmont Park, but even with top-line quality scattered throughout the afternoon there’s a distinct A-list celebrity feel about the prestigious Acorn, which brings the G1 Kentucky Oaks winner back to the track to take on the big battalions of Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher.

She was a 10-1 shot at Churchill Downs but there was absolutely no fluke about victory for Pretty Mischievous (2-1), as she had the Classic in her pocket a furlong out and stuck to the task gamely to stay ahead by a neck, with Dorth Vader (10-1), who was right there at the top of the lane but quickly emptied out, beaten three and a quarter lengths into fifth.

The first-time blinkers were billed as a game-changer and she obviously wears them again, and if the Oaks had been over today’s mile-sixteenth Pretty Mischievous would have been a more authoritative winner, so the cutback looks a positive. Dorth Vader, who has switched barns since the Oaks, had previously shown her best over a mile and any extra yardage has to be a negative.

Pletcher, a three-time Acorn winner, poses the biggest threat with the speedy Munnys Gold (9-5), who spilled her perfect record at long odds-on when out-duelled by Red Carpet Ready (runs Belmont Thursday) and beaten a head in the G2 Eight Belles over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs, with Accede (8-1) third, beaten another length and three-quarters without ever throwing a punch.

Munnys Gold has never gone further than that seven furlongs and although she rallied all the way to the wire, she has a heap of speed and there has to be a doubt as to whether she wants to stretch out this far.

That was only Accede’s second start and her stakes debut, and she’s bred to go longer but lack of experience could be a factor. She still ranks as Brown’s best chance over barnmate Occult (12-1), who along with Pletcher’s second-string Frosty O’Toole (20-1) failed to cope with the step up to the mile-eighth G3 Gazelle at Aqueduct on their Graded-stakes debut. They were second-last and last, five lengths and more behind Oaks runner-up Gambling Girl, which gives them a mountain to climb in regard to Pretty Mischievous.

Brown’s third dart Randomized (5-1) looks a major underlay given that she makes the mighty leap from maiden to G1 after cruising gate-to-wire over a mile at Aqueduct, winning by five and a half lengths.

The six runners were separated by wide margins, so it wasn’t much of a race, and this class hike looks too much to overcome. The same caveat applies to Goodgirl Badhabits (10-1), who is unbeaten in two and crushed her allowance rivals by ten and a quarter lengths over seven furlongs at Laurel Park.

2023 Acorn Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

Kentucky Oaks winner PRETTY MISCHIEVOUS has improved for blinkers and will like the cutback, and can outrun her stretching-out rivals.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Dorth VaderJohn R. Velazquez+1000
RandomizedManuel Franco+500
Frosty O TooleLuis Saez+2000
OccultJose L. Ortiz+1200
Munnys GoldIrad Ortiz, Jr.+180
Pretty MischievousTyler Gaffalione+200
Goodgirl BadhabitsJevian Toledo+1000
AccedeFlavien Prat+800

Belmont Gold Cup

G2, $250,000, 2m turf, 4yo+, 5.47pm ET

Two miles on the lawn is about as close as you can get to European racing without actually crossing the Atlantic, and it’s no surprise that the Belmont Gold Cup is dominated by shippers and recent imports.

The heavy favourite is Godolphin runner Siskany (8-5), who ran a career-best two starts ago when beaten a neck in the two-mile G2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan, caught in the last strides and pipped by a former Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up.

He was below-par last time when a dull fifth in the G2 Yorkshire Cup at York, down in distance, but even that level of performance might be good enough here and the return to two miles will suit. His barn is going through a rare sticky patch, however, two wins in the last 14 days, and that mustn’t be overlooked.

He’s joined on the journey west by a real wildcard in High Definition (8-1), who was favourite for the 2021 Epsom Derby before everything fell apart – he went winless for two years and 12 races until a change of barn and a switch to jumping hurdles got him back in the winner’s circle. If he’s ever going to win on the Flat again, this sort of race is it, and although he would prefer soft turf he’s the type to perk up for a new experience. Trainer Joseph O’Brien won this race two years ago.

The best of the home team is the ex-German mare Amazing Grace (6-1), successful on her debut Stateside in the G3 Orchid at Gulfstream Park over a mile and a half, but then last of four in the G2 Sheepshead Bay here over a mile and three-eighths last month. That was a poor show, although the race was run at a walk and there’ll be much more pace here.

Last year’s two-three-four British Royalty (30-1), Strong Tide (10-1) and Cibolian (30-1) are back for more, with Strong Tide by far the most interesting after finishing third at 50-1 in the G1 Man o’ War here over a mile and three-eighths, with the popular veteran Channel Maker (8-1), who is a fading force now, a half-length behind in sixth after setting the early pace. Strong Tide is certainly worth considering for exotic bets.

Tide Of The Sea (12-1) produced a clear career-best when runner-up at 56-1 in the G2 Fort Marcy here over a mile-eighth last month, although he was only ninth in this race in 2021 and is short on stamina, but The Grey Wizard (10-1) won a Keeneland allowance over a mile and a half in a decent time, and if he can go even longer he could be in the mix.

2023 Belmont Gold Cup Odds & Betting Prediction

There are concerns over the favorite so Irish raider HIGH DEFINITION, who stays well and has been refreshed by a spell of jumping, can take advantage.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Barbados (IRE)Junior Alvarado+3000
Siskany (GB)William Buick+160
Channel MakerLuis Saez+800
Tide of the SeaKatie Davis+1200
Strong TideDylan Davis+1000
L’Imperator (FR)Trevor McCarthy+1500
Amazing Grace (GER)Joel Rosario+600
British RoyaltyKazushi Kimura+3000
TartiniKendrick Carmouche+3000
CibolianTyler Gaffalione+3000
High Definition (IRE)Jose L. Ortiz+800
Cross BorderIrad Ortiz, Jr.+1200
The Grey Wizard (IRE)John R. Velazquez+1000

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