Midlantic-breds in Belmont Friday stakes

Friday, June 10 features five stakes races at Belmont, ending with the Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes for fillies and mares four years old and up as the eleventh on the card. 

Two Midlantic-bred runners ship up for this six furlong sprint on the turf, both at short odds in a large, thirteen-horse field. In fact, they are the favorite and second favorite on the morning line.

The morning line favorite is Caravel (4-1), a Pennsylvania bred five year old mare by Mizzen Mast-Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats. She had trouble last time out at Churchill on Kentucky Oaks day. She keeps jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the irons for trainer Brad Cox, and should get plenty of speed to close into, which is her patented running style in these turf sprints.

Caravel owns one graded victory among her eight career wins in fourteen starts and has been consistent over her career. Owned by Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables LLC and bred by Elizabeth M. Merryman, Caravel is a prime candidate to kick off a strong weekend at Belmont for Midlantic runners.

Breaking from the outside post as the second morning line choice at 9-2 is Miss J McKay, a five year old mare by Hangover Kid-Ballykiss, by Street Boss.

With the always dangerous jockey trainer combo of Joel Rosario and Christophe Clement, this bay mare jumps up to her second graded try after a convincing first in the License Fee Stakes at Belmont a month ago. She loses jockey Irad Ortiz from that effort who had her in a stalking position, but Joel Rosario should remain aggressive with her here, especially with the outside break. 

Even though that race was her best career performance, clearly there is some untapped potential and a breakthrough victory in the cards. That potential is perhaps best highlighted by her purchase price of $300,000 at the Keeneland November Sale in 2020. Owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables, Tony Weintraub and Brandon M. Dalinka, Miss J McKay has hit the board in twelve of fifteen starts, but is still looking for her first graded score. Miss J McKay was bred in Maryland by Linda Oliff Rohleder.