Here are stakes picks for Thursday’s Belmont Park racing festival card, a tasty appetizer for the stakes smorgasbord of the following two days. Updated for scratches as of 12:45 p.m.
Race 6 | Astoria Stakes | 5 1/2 furlongs
3. Wonder Snow
4. Athens Queen
Comment: Eyeinthesky didn’t go straight to the lead in her Churchill Downs debut but made a big move to get a convincing win. That ability should benefit her in a race that is full of horses that — in their limited experience — have gone straight to the lead. Tidier appears to be the fastest of these, but can she last an extra furlong in what should be a contested lead? Wonder Snow appears to be the best of the two Ward entrants.
Race 7 | Grade III Intercontinental Stakes | 7 furlongs turf
1. La Sardane
4. Stormy Victoria
Comment: As much as this Simpsons fan is wants to pick Malibu Stacy, I cannot. La Sardane was an impressive winner at Churchill Downs and would offer tremendous value at 20-1 if the morning line holds. Delectation can improve in her second start of the year and her third start in the states. She gets much more ground than when she closed to be a respectable fourth in the Grade III Turf Sprint at Churchill.
Race 8 | Grade III Wonder Again Stakes | 1 1/8 miles inner turf
1. Significant Form
2. La Signare
3. Daddy Is a Legend
Comment: Significant Form is the favorite for good reason. She won on the Belmont lawn in the Grade III Miss Grillo last fall before being fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She won her 2018 bow impressively. La Signare can improve after being second to Toinette in her 2018 debut. Toinette then won the Grade III Edgewood where Daddy Is a Legend was a hard-luck third.