Jeff Siegel Prime Plays for Saratoga / Belmont Stakes Festival | Saturday, June 8, 2024

Grade Descriptions:  Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play.  Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1:  Post: 10:45 ET Grade: B+
Prime Play: 3-General Partner
Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: General Partner was scheduled to make his sophomore debut in an allowance race on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs but was a late scratch and didn’t record an official breeze until nine days later.  He should be fit and healthy enough to win today’s event, a one mile main track affair that should be well within his capabilities.  The son of Speightstown earned big numbers during his juvenile campaign, so if he picks up where he left off the C. Brown trained first time Lasix user projects to lead from gate to wire.  Among the notable performances during his 2-year-old season were a dominating maiden sprint win at Saratoga and a runner-up outing behind Timberlake in the Champagne S.-G1.  

RACE 8:  Post: 3:22 ET Grade: A-
Prime Play: 7-Prince of Monaco
Backups/savers: 4-Valentine Candy; 1-Book’em Danno.

Forecast: Prince of Monaco makes his first start since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 and while he was outrun and not terribly comfortable in that two turn event the son of Speightstown should return in peak form based on his outstanding sprint resume from last year and his superior series of recent workouts at Santa Anita.  His pace-stalking/pressing style, which netted him two graded stakes victories in extended sprints at Del Mar last year, makes him perfectly suited for this seven furlong journey, as highlighted by his victory in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 and before that his easy score over stable mate Muth in the Best Pal S.-G1.  Regular pilot F. Prat returns while Lasix is added for the first time, so at 7/2 on the morning line this high quality colt offers strong wagering value in the win pool and as a confident rolling exotic single.  

RACE 12:  Post: 6:41 ET Grade: A-
Prime Play: 10-Mindframe
Backups/savers: 9-Sierra Leone

Forecast: Mindframe has won his first two starts in extraordinary fashion like a colt with championship aspirations.,  He’s been asked a tough question in the year’s edition of the Belmont Stakes-G1 but if he’s as good as he’s cracked up to be – and we believe he is – the son of Constitution can leap to the head of the class with a victory that appears well within his grasp.  Extremely fast on speed figures despite not being asked for anything close to his best stuff in his firsts two outings, the T. Pletcher-trained colt projects to fold over from his outside draw and inherit an ideal stalking position that will provide him with every chance take control when given his cue.  Favored Sierra Leone will provide elite competition.  He’s won three of five starts and is two noses short of being undefeated due to trouble that was mostly of his own doing, but with a change of bit he has done none of that lugging in nonsense in recent workouts to provide hope that trainer C. Brown has gotten him literally straightened out.  These are the two that we’ll hammer in the exotics, with preference on top to the new kind of the block, Mindframe.