Fort Marcy Stakes & Ruffian Stakes Odds and Picks

An action-packed racing weekend continues this Saturday at Belmont Park with two Grade 2 races headlining the eleven-race card, the Fort Marcy Stakes and Ruffian Stakes

First to hit the track will be this year’s renewal of the Fort Marcy Stakes. Raced over a mile and an eighth, nine horses have been declared for this year’s race.

Likely to start as the pre-race favorite is the Rob Atras trained Law Professor. A winner of two of his last three starts, his dominant win last time out in the 2023 Excelsior Stakes was a brilliant performance and suggested that he could take all the beating here. He has Grade 2 winning form already in the book when he won the 2021 Grade 2 Mathis Mile Stakes, and last season he was unlucky not to win his first Grade 1 race when finishing second in the 2022 Woodward Stakes.

Six horses have been declared for this year’s Ruffian Stakes. A race for fillies and mares, the favorite for the race is the Claude McGaughey trained Kathleen O. Raced over one mile, Kathleen O will be hoping to record her first win in five starts. A graded stakes winner twice in her career, she has finished second in each of her last three races and will be hoping the tide can turn here.

Fort Marcy Stakes

Grade 2, 1 mile and an eighth, Turf, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000.

Nine horses will head down to post for this year’s Fort Marcy Stakes, and everything looks set for an intriguing race.

The heavy pre-race favorite will be Law Professor. A versatile horse who has won on both turf and dirt, he has won two of his last three races and looks set to play a major part in proceedings. A horse that revels in sloppy and wet conditions, the expected rain that is due to fall across the New York area this weekend is bound to be right up his street. If conditions are soft underfoot this could be his race to lose.

The most interesting runner in the field is the Charlie Appleby trained Ottoman Fleet. Appleby is one of the highest regarded trainers in the UK and in recent season’s has won several of America’s biggest races. Ottoman Fleet will be having his first run stateside and looks to have a live chance.

He heads into the race following a strong performance in the 2023 Grade 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes and that represents some really decent form. Versatile ground wise, any incoming bad weather shouldn’t catch him out and his connections will be hopeful of a strong showing.

Likely to round out the top three in the betting is the Christophe Clement trained City Man. A high-class horse, he was a winner of two graded stakes races last year but is looking to bounce back from a poor showing in the 2023 Pegasus World Cup where he finished well down the field. Soft conditions would not be ideal, but he should be one to keep an eye on.

When it comes to Turf Stakes races, you cannot ignore any Chad Brown entered runner and he will be looking to add to his immaculate record in the race with Rockemperor.

This will be his first run of the year and he is looking to bounce back from two poor runs that ended his 2022 season. A former Grade 1 winner, he certainly has the class to win this contest, but his lack of recent racing could be a cause for concern. However, before discounting his chances it is worth considering that Brown has won the last five renewals of this race. Clearly Brown believes his runner is ready to race, and at a decent price he could represent some decent value.

Fort Marcy Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

Charlie Appleby is one of the best trainers in the world, a winning trainer in the English Classics, Appleby has recently enjoyed significant success when running his horses in America. Ottoman Fleet’s victory last time out in the Earl of Sefton smacked of a horse capable of running at a higher level and he could take all the stopping here.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
DynadriveNik JuarezThomas Morley+2000
King CauseKendrick CarmoucheMichael Maker+600
Ottoman FleetRichard MullenCharlie Appleby+160
Fort WashingtonFeargal LynchClaude McGaughey+800
RockemperorDylan DavisChad Brown+400
City ManTrevor McCarthyChristophe Clement+250
Keystone FieldJose Antonio GomezMichael Maker+1500
Tide of the SeaKatie DavisThomas Morley+3000
Law ProfessorTBCRob Atras-150

Ruffian Stakes

Grade 2, 1 mile, Dirt, for fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000.

Six horses have been declared for this year’s Ruffian Stakes and despite the small field it still looks to be a race that is intriguingly poised.

Favorite for this year’s contest is Kathleen O. Despite not being able to get her head in front in her last four starts, her previous form, and performances still offer encouragement. Placed efforts in the 2023 Top Flight Stakes and Royal Delta Stakes suggest that her turn is near and she rightly heads the market.

Brad Cox will be hoping for a super Saturday. Strong handed in this year’s Kentucky Oaks and Derby, he looks to have a strong chance in this contest with Idiomatic. A winner of her last three starts, she has only tasted defeat once in her career. Whilst most of her racing has been done at Turfway Park, Cox will be hoping she can bring across her form from the 2023 Latonia Stakes. This will be her stiffest test to date, but her connections will be hopeful of a strong showing.

Pass The Champagne is likely to round out the top three in the betting. Trainer George Weaver will be hoping his charge will live up to her name and that champagne corks will be popping inside the winner’s circle. Winless in her last three, she has raced in some of America’s biggest races including the 2021 Kentucky Oaks. With two wins to her name, she isn’t prolific but usually does enough to place. A consistent performer, a lot will need to fall her way, but she could cause a problem or two for some of her rivals.

When it comes to the New York racing scene, few trainers are as respected as Linda Rice. In this race she saddles Mommasgottarun. Since moving to Rice’s barn, she has won three of her five starts including a win last time out in the 2023 Grade 3 Distaff Handicap. Her performance in the Distaff was brilliant and she finished a long way clear of her rivals. If she brings that level of form into this race, she could be tough to catch.

Rounding out the field is the Chad Brown trained Gerrymander and the Raymond Handel trained Timeless Journey.

Gerrymander was a winner of the 2022 Mother Goose Stakes but is now winless in her last three. She has form to find with Mommasgotta run who beat her convincingly in the Distaff Handicap.

Timeless Journey is the oldest horse in the field but is untried at this level. She finished behind Kathleen O when last seen in the Top Flight Stakes.

Ruffian Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

Whilst a really strong case can be made for Kathleen O, her recent winless run is concerning. At a decent price, the one to back could be the Linda Rice trained Mommasgottarun. Her performance in the Distaff Handicap was dominant and she finished a long way clear of the rest of the field. Clearly in good heart, she could take the step up to Grade 2 company in her stride.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
Pass the ChampagneFeargal LynchGeorge Weaver+400
MommasgottarunEric CancelLinda Rice+600
Timeless JourneyJorge Vargas JrRaymond Handel+800
IdiomaticTrevor McCarthyBrad Cox+300
Kathleen OKendrick CarmoucheClaude McGaughey+120
GerrymanderDylan DavisChad Brown+800

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