Sands Point Stakes Odds & Betting Predictions

The Godolphin shipper Eternal Hope, a G3 winner at Aqueduct last month, returns to the scene of the crime on Saturday for the G2 Sands Point Stakes. She faces stiff opposition in her bid to repeat her NYC success from G1 runner-up Be Your Best and G2 runner-up Soviet Excess.

Breeders Cup Odds

Sands Point Stakes

G2, $200,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo fillies, 1.08pm ET

An almost identical contest to the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland with less cash, prestige and quality on offer, and the Sands Point at Aqueduct on Saturday has also drawn a European-trained favourite for a race that is highly likely to be affected by the forecast wet weather.

This is the second trip to the Big A for Eternal Hope (5-2), and the first went very well against several of today’s rivals. A month ago she got the usual patient ride from her hold-up jockey and came through strong and late in the 2023 G3 Jockey Club Oaks over a mile and three-eighths, asserting in the last 50 yards to put away persistent outsider Neecie Marie (8-1) by a neck.

Further back were Highland Grace (10-1), fourth beaten three lengths, Quarrel (15-1), another length and a half away in fifth, and boxcar longshot Stephanie’s Charm (30-1), who was 20 lengths clear at one stage but that was a totally pointless exercise as she emptied right out in the stretch, finishing sixth of seven.

The distance is the question for Eternal Hope, who has never gone this short and won a stakes over a mile and a half at Lingfield in May. The likely faster pace today should be a positive but she could still be vulnerable. Parx specialist Neecie Marie, who was having her first start at Graded level, may appreciate the cutback.

The second-choice Be Your Best (7-2) is cross-entered in the QEII and is a 20-1 chance there, illustrating the gulf in quality between the two races. She is inconsistent and has been beaten six straight, but if she has her game-day face on – as she did when runner-up in the 2023 G1 Del Mar Oaks over a mile-eighth – then she will be hard to keep off the board.

Todd Pletcher puts two in the gate, with Soviet Excess (4-1) more of a player despite her zero-for-three streak in stakes races. If she can come near to the form she showed when hitting the place in the 2023 G2 Lake Placid at Saratoga over a mile-sixteenth, she will not be far away.

Her barnmate Alpha Bella (8-1) was a neck behind stakes debutante Root Cause (10-1) when they ran two-three in a stakes at Colonial Downs over a mile-eighth, and both need to move up a fair way to be competitive.

Leave No Trace (15-1) won the 2022 G1 Spinaway at Saratoga Racetrack and was runner-up in the 2022 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here, but she has been utterly hopeless in two starts this year. This switch to the lawn is real Hail Mary stuff but sometimes Hail Marys come off.

2023 Sands Point Stakes Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Soviet ExcessDylan Davis+400
QuarrelKendrick Carmouche+1500
Leave No TraceJose Lezcano+1500
Be Your Best (IRE)Manuel Franco+350
Neecie MarieAbner Adorno+800
Root CauseTrevor McCarthy+1000
Eternal Hope (IRE)Jamie P. Spencer+250
Highland GraceJunior Alvarado+1000
Stephanie’s CharmJose Antonio Gomez+3000
Alpha BellaJose L. Ortiz+800

The shipper Eternal Hope has obvious claims but the cutback is a worry, so the consistent SOVIET EXCESS, who stretches back out again, is preferred

Check out the recap 2023 Sands Point Stakes: Faith justified by Hope

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