Sheepshead Bay Stakes & Fort Marcy Odds and Picks

Although almost all of the horse racing fans are going to focus on the Kentucky Derby and the whole card at the Churchill Downs, the Belmont Park also provides spectators with some exciting action. On Saturday, three Graded races are about to be held at the Belmont Park, including a couple of G2 events.

At first, four-year-old fillies and older mares clash in the Sheepshead Bay Stakes, where Virginia Joy could add another prestigious victory to her record, upon which experienced turf specialists will meet in the G2 Fort Marcy. Chad Brown relies on two chancy performers, Rockemperor and Sacred Life, but seven-year-old Doswell could possibly outrun them

Greatest Honour then attempts to return to the winning ways once again when heading to the G3 Westchester Stakes; however, some of the rivals look to be in far better form, especially Cody’s Wish who appears to be a clear favorite of this feat.

Sheepshead Bay Stakes

This G2 race is held at the distance of a mile and three furlongs and is meant for four-year-old fillies and older mares. On the turf surface, only five of them will vie for the purse of $200,000, while five-year-old Virginia Joy is the leading victory candidate. Born in Germany, the bay scored a Classic trial there in 2020, upon which she finished third in the German Oaks.

In 2021, she was already exported to the US, where Virginia Joy bagged an Allowance race, and despite the fact that her premier Graded outing wasn’t excellent by any means, she then went on to finish second in a Listed race. Still, something better was expected of her, something she suggested in her 2022 debut when fulfilling the role of a favorite in the G3 The Very One Stakes in Gulfstream Park. Galloping in sixth place, she used her finish to swing by her rivals in the final stretch to score decisively in front of some interesting fillies and mares.

As she once again faces a small field, she shouldn’t have any problems with finishing from the rear to bag another Graded success. Her most serious rival seems to be Luck Money, scratched from her supposed seasonal reappearance. Thus, she will hit the track for the first time in 2022 in this race, while last year, she collected two second places among the G3 company and finished fourth in a G2 event. She should achieve another fine place here, but Virginia Joy just looks classier than her. 

Sister Otoole has a quite similar profile as she earned some money at the G3 stage, but it’s hard to picture her as a G2 victress in the making. She should place here, probably running in third but her future seems to be among a bit weaker company.

Six-year-old Lovely Lucky finished fourth in the G1 Flower Bowl Stakes in 2021; still, it seemed to be a fluke as whenever faced with a G3 competition, she failed to come up with something of interest. Up to this date, she’s just an Allowance winner, which also applies to four-year-old Mia Martina, who looks like an alright black-type performer yet to suggest she could develop into more.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Luck MoneyHector Rafael Diaz, Jr.+250
Mia MartinaJunior Alvarado+1000
Sister OtooleJavier Castellano+450
Lovely LuckyDylan Davis+1000
Virginia Joy (GER)Trevor McCarthy-167

Sheepshead Bay Stakes Betting Pick

Virginia Joy as she is in form, is classy, and bagging a G2 shouldn’t be a problem for her, especially in such a weak field. The only rival who seems capable of outrunning her is Luck Money but honestly, Virginia Joy should score this race if nothing extraordinary happens.

Fort Marcy Stakes

Eight participants will line up in this G2 turf race held at the distance of a mile and a furlong. Although the $200,000 event is open also to four-year-old colts and fillies, only older horses are about to hit the track here.

The specialist on American turf, trainer Chad Brown, sends in three of his charges, including a couple of solid Graded performers Rockemperor and Sacred Life. The former is a six-year-old horse who has amassed numerous successes throughout the US as he, for example, scored the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes in October after a brilliant effort.

He also finished third in the last year’s Fort Marcy, and overall, Rockemperor is a horse that needs to be considered in every second race alongside his stable-mate Sacred Life. The seven-year-old veteran has been out two times in 2022, unlike Rockemperor, who is about to record his premier start of the season.

However, Sacred Life didn’t really catch the eye as he was sixth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf and fourth among the G2 company. He seems capable of regularly placing at the Graded stage, but bagging a victory is something he could do only among the G3 horses, as he did in the G3 Knickerbocker Stakes in October. 

The race is a true clash of very experienced contestants as there are other two seven-year-old horses in the field, especially Doswell, trained by Barclay Tagg. The gelding has enjoyed some great successes in the G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at the Gulfstream Park as in 2020, he took second place, while in 2021, he scored the race before running in seventh in the Pegasus World Cup Turf.

He got bettered by Sacred Life back then only by the neck, so he’s another participant who could fight for the win here on Saturday. King Cause is also a seven-year-old with just one Graded performance under his belt, and even though he won a Listed last time out, placing seems the maximum he should be capable of taking here, which applies also to L’Imperator.

The last to mention is City Man, as the five-year-old horse grabbed second place in the G2 Fort Lauderdale, and due to his fine Listed efforts, he needs to be counted with as well. 

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Starting OverJose Lezcano+2000
Glynn CountyJunior Alvarado+1500
City ManTrevor McCarthy+300
King CauseJavier Castellano+1000
Sacred Life (FR)Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr.+350
Rockemperor (IRE)Dylan Davis+250
DoswellKendrick Carmouche+400
L’Imperator (FR)Eric Cancel+800

Fort Marcy Betting Prediction

The field is very competitive here, so our pick for the Fort Marcy is based mainly on the fact that Doswell has shown he’s classy enough to place at the G2 stage; moreover, he is quite lightly raced for a seven-year-old. Therefore, he might haven’t really shown everything he could do.

Westchester Stakes

The last event we will cover in this article is open to four-year-old and older horses that are about the clash in this G3 race with the purse of $200,000.

At the distance of a mile, five participants could use this event as a starting point towards achieving bigger things as some of the previous winners did, including Palace Malice, Flat Out, or Code of Honor. The most interesting contestants are the four-year-old ones as at least two of them could be able of some significant progress.

Sound Money, trained by Chad Brown, has spent most of his career in maidens, but once he secured his first victory, he went on to bag two wins in the Allowance races, including his most recent outing when he triumphed by a length. William Mott bound Cody’s Wish has recorded only seven starts to this date but amassed a hattrick in 2021 as he won a maiden and two Allowance races, upon which he commenced this season with a second place in the G3 Challenger Stakes at the Tampa Bay Racecourse.

He got bettered only by Scalding, a double G3 victor currently, so judging by this result, Cody’s Wish is on the right path towards his premiere Graded success. The third four-year-old in the field is Greatest Honour; however, Claude McGaughey III hasn’t drawn on his last year’s performances and in 2022, he disappointed when finishing sixth in the Challenger Stakes.

Moreover, his most recent outing wasn’t an eye-catching one, as Greatest Honour only managed third in the G3 competition. He still could need some time to get back into form, but after his mentioned lacklustre efforts, his chances just don’t look much appealing here. 

The remaining duo aren’t the victory candidates as five-year-old Informative achieved a G3 triumph in 2021 but placed just once since when he was pointed among the black-type company. Back then, he finished third. Six-year-old Zoomer is primed for his premiere Graded start, but according to his performances at the Allowance scene, he is not good enough to tackle the highest prizes here. 

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Greatest HonourJavier Castellano+450
Sound MoneyKendrick Carmouche+160
ZoomerDylan Davis+600
Cody’s WishJunior Alvarado+100
InformativeDexter Haddock+1500

Westchester Stakes Betting Choice

Cody’s Wish, whose most recent outing was promising, and he could just be a Graded winner in the making.

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