Suburban Stakes & Victory Ride Odds, Field & Betting Picks

The two Graded stakes on the main track at Belmont Park on Saturday are very different affairs, each with its own bone of contention. The frustrating Charge It has a golden opportunity to get back to winning ways in the G2 Suburban Stakes, while the G3 Victory Ride sets up as a mighty speed duel between the unbeaten pair Maple Leaf Mel and Dazzling Blue, with G2 winner Red Carpet Ready waiting in the wings to take advantage of any pace meltdown.

Breeders Cup Odds

Suburban Stakes

G2, $350,000, 1m 2f dirt, 4yo+, 3.09pm ET

A big reputation can only take a horse so far, and at some point he has to stand up and justify the hype. That’s the story of the Suburban, the feature on the main track at Belmont Park on Saturday with an overwhelming morning-line favourite.

We’ve been expecting big things from Charge It (3-5) ever since he romped in his maiden in February 2022. He was runner-up in the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, lost without trace in the Kentucky Derby, then crushed the opposition by 23 lengths in the G3 2022 Dwyer here over a mile, with Unbridled Bomber (6-1) fourth.

Injury ended his campaign after that, and although he won an allowance at Gulfstream on his return in February, with Clapton (6-1) two and three-quarter lengths back in third, he has failed to move on from there.

Last time out Charge It was a dull fourth in the G1 Metropolitan here over a mile, a performance that sums up his career – okay but not great, on the scene but in the background. But this is a penalty kick, with just four overmatched rivals to beat and the chance to go longer in an attempt to combat a short-stack of pace. He has to make this one count.

Clapton has done well since that aforementioned defeat, winning the G3 Ghostzapper at Gulfstream before filling the show spot in the G3 Pimlico Special over a mile and three-sixteenths. He is not as good as Charge It, plain and simple, but he should run his race and will be there if the chalk blows out again.

Unbridled Bomber has never hit the board in a stakes race – although he might end that streak here – and was beaten nine and a half lengths into fourth in the G3 Westchester here over a mile; Red Run (5-1) has lost his last ten races and was third, beaten five and a half lengths, in the G3 Brooklyn here over a mile and a half.

Tonal Impact (4-1) makes his stakes debut after two allowance wins here over a mile and a mile-eighth, and is at least at the top of his game. His record of hitting the board in his last 12 starts indicates that he always turns up and gets on with the job.

Suburban Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzports
Tonal ImpactJose L. Ortiz+400
Red RunTyler Gaffalione+500
ClaptonEmisael Jaramillo+600
Charge ItJohn R. Velazquez-167
Unbridled BomberIrad Ortiz, Jr.+600

This should be a shoo-in for CHARGE IT, who has plenty of class and will never get a better chance to win a big prize. His odds make no appeal, though.

Victory Ride Stakes

G3, $175,000, 6 1/2f dirt, 3yo fillies, 6.21pm ET

The Victory Ride is a much more interesting and multi-dimensional race than the Suburban, with focus falling on two classy fillies who have between them won eight times from nine starts.

There’s not much we can be certain of in this sport but one thing seems set in stone – the unbeaten Maple Leaf Mel (9-5) will be out there on the lead aiming to go gate-to-wire. That’s been the way in all her four starts, and she stepped up out of state-bred stakes last time when leading all the way, wrapped right up through the closing stages to win by a length and a half from the rallying Topsy (12-1) in the G3 Miss Preakness over six furlongs at Pimlico.

It’s impossible to say how good she might be, given that no horse has ever headed her let alone beaten her, and she could very easily simply roll them all flat today, but she does face her toughest rival to date.

The slightly more experienced Red Carpet Ready (3-1) is four-for-five, with her only defeat coming when stretching out to a mile, and stamina was the obvious culprit. She was authoritative when winning the G3 Forward Gal over seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park before that defeat, with Adeliese’s Smile (30-1) a bad last of nine, and gritty and gutsy when taking the seven-furlong G2 Eight Belles at Churchill Downs by a head from the speedy Munnys Gold after that defeat.

She has certainly achieved more than Maple Leaf Mel, but doesn’t have the same enthusiastic early pace and will be playing catch-up, but that’s how she beat Munnys Gold and this could be a fascinating duel.

It’s more than just a two-horse war, though, and there’s another unbeaten filly in the mix in the shape of Dazzling Blue (5-1), a stakes winner at Parx last year who ran her rivals out of town on her comeback at Churchill Downs, blitzing from the gate to win a six-furlong allowance by eight and three-quarter lengths.

This is a big class hike but she could vie with Maple Leaf Mel for the lead, and that may change the whole dynamic of the race. There’s also a chance that Downtown Mischief (8-1) could want a piece of the action out front after wiring a state-bred stakes here over seven furlongs, although she may not quite have the sizzle to make it stick.

Then there’s Interpolate (5-1), who is a contender on the basis of her narrow defeat in the G2 Beaumont at Keeneland over seven furlongs, beaten a neck with the third horse more than six lengths away. She doesn’t appear to have a barrel of early speed and will be arriving late on the scene.

Vahva (8-1) briefly flirted with the Kentucky Oaks trail but has found her spot sprinting, and dug in gamely to win an allowance at Churchill Downs over six and a half furlongs, with the third horse a way back. There could be more to come, although there really needs to be if she is to make an impact among this fast crowd.

Victory Ride Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
InterpolateIrad Ortiz, Jr.+500
Dazzling BlueFlavien Prat+500
VahvaTyler Gaffalione+800
Adeliese’s SmileJunior Alvarado+3000
Maple Leaf MelJoel Rosario+180
Downtown MischiefJose Lezcano+800
TopsyJose L. Ortiz+1200
Red Carpet ReadyLuis Saez+300

The pace will decide this and a likely burn-up should play into the hands of RED CARPET READY, who’

Check out the 2023 Suburban Stakes & Victory Ride Stakes Recap

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