Suburban Stakes & Victory Ride Odds, Field & Betting Picks

Some of the game’s best horses and trainers will gather at Belmont Park this Saturday for a top-quality card that is headlined by the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks. Two other top-quality races on the card are the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes and Grade 3 Victory Ride. We preview the best of the action here. 

Suburban Stakes

Grade 2, 10 furlongs, open to thoroughbred horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $400,000

Saturday will see this year’s edition of one of Americas oldest and most prestigious races, the Suburban Stakes. Raced over a distance of ten furlongs, only five horses are expected to make it down to post. 

The current favorite for the race is Dynamic One, which is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz. Dynamic One heads to Belmont fresh off the back of a Listed success in the Blame Stakes. Sitting way off the pace, Dynamic One had to round the corner five wide but showed some blazing speed in the home straight to suggest this slight step up in trip won’t be an issue. Look for similar tactics to be deployed here. 

The second favorite is First Captain. A gutsy winner of the Grade 2 Pimlico Stakes, First Captain is hoping to capture his second successive Grade 2 contest. He showed great heart to win the Pimlico Stakes and hit the line with plenty seemingly left in the tank. This slight step up in trip could unlock another level and it could make First Captain the one to beat.

Max Player is a horse who is hard to gauge. The defending champion of this race following his victory in 2021, Max Power followed up his victory with a win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and ran with credit in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Whether last season’s exploits took the wind out of his sails is hard to tell, but this year he has looked nothing like the horse we were accustomed to seeing. In his two starts, this term he has finished 6th and 7th. The class horse in the race on his day, any backers will be taking a huge leap of faith.

Rounding out the betting are two outsiders. Untreated is the second of Todd Pletcher’s runners and heads into the race following a third-place finish in the Pimlico Stakes. He didn’t finish too far behind the reopposing First Captain and could reverse that form here. Look for Untreated to be the pace angle of the race.

Rounding out the betting is Forewarned. The oldest horse in the race, he has won just one of his last six starts which was a win at Listed level.  Any expectations have to be dampened as he finished last in the Pimlico Stakes someway behind both First Captain and Untreated. With a muddling pace to aim at, it looks like Forewarned has a lot on his plate here.

Suburban Stakes Betting Pick

When looking back at the Blame Stakes it’s hard not to be impressed by the way DYNAMIC ONE won that day. Sitting off the pace he showed blistering speed to get into contention and had to overcome five horses rounding the final corner. With a smoother run, he could be the class horse of the race and looks to be a horse to back.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Dynamic OneIrad Ortiz Jr,+140
First CaptainLuis Saez+160
UntreatedJoel Rosario+300
Max PlayerDylan Davis+500
ForewarnedDexter Haddock+1500

Victory Ride

Grade 3, six and half furlongs, open to fillies and mares who are three. Total prize pool: $350,000

An intriguing race awaits in this year’s Victory Ride. Seven head to post and leading the betting is Pretty Birdie who is trained by Norm Casse and will be ridden by Joel Rosario. 

Pretty Birdie heads into this race off the back of three runs this season where she is yet to finish outside of the top of the two. With a win in the Purple Martin Stakes, she has backed that up with a couple of second-place finishes in the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes and Leslie’s Lady Stakes. That last run was a bit of a blip and she will need to bounce back to her best if she is to win here.

Next in the betting is Smash Ticket which will be ridden by the legendary Mike Smith. The least unexposed horse in the race, this will only be Smash Ticket’s third start and there is a lot to build off following a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes. There could be more to come and she could be the one to be on.

Rounding out the top three in the betting is Happy Soul which is the ride of John Velazquez. Already highly tried, Happy Soul found the Grade 1 Central Bank Stakes just a bit too hot but bounced back to form with a battling second in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness. She’s clearly highly thought of and could be the value pick of the race.

Behind the top three in the betting, there are some decent options to be found at bigger prices. Trevor McCarthy’s runner Sterling Silver has plenty to prove but did run with some credit in the Grade 1 Central Bank Stakes where she finished a place ahead of Happy Soul. She hasn’t hit the track since but McCarthy will be bullish on her chances. She could be a bit of an unknown and could give the favorites a real scare. 

Victory Ride Betting Pick

HAPPY SOUL could be the play here. Her form is amongst the best in the field and her second-place finish in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness was pleasing to see. There could be more to come from Happy Soul and this could be a crucial stepping stone. 

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Pretty BirdieJoel Rosario+140
Smash TicketMike E. Smith+160
Happy SoulJohn R. Velazquez+300
Hot PeppersLuis Saez+400
Sterling SilverTrevor McCarthy+800
Half is EnoughIrad Ortiz Jr.+1500
Stand Up ComicFrankie Pennington+3000

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