Grade 2 Woody Stephens Part of Stellar Belmont Stakes Undercard
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The Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens June 11 at Belmont Park may not be the big race for three year-olds with the Belmont Stakes serving as the focal point of the afternoon, but the seven-furlong tilt on the main track features a pair of up-and-comers within the division in Sharp Azteca and Dig Deep. Sharp Azteca, trained by the unheralded Jorge Navarro, took the Pat Day Mile field by storm on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill, demolishing a solid field and earning a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure. The Florida shipper may have caught Kentucky racing fans off guard with that effort, but enters the Woody Stephens as the hot horse and the one to beat. Well-rested since that effort, the rapidly improving colt will look to take another step forward, but may only need to repeat his Churchill Downs effort in order to find the winner’s circle again.
Dig Deep goes for third straight
Dig Deep is another improving colt who exits his first stakes win. The Alan Goldberg trainee cuts back to one turn after shipping to Charlestown April 23 where the son of Candy Ride won the Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes in easy fashion. Dig Deep will search for his third straight win and has not finished out of the exacta in four career starts.
Enough diversity to create value
With a full field anticipated, players should be able to avoid a dreadful price on either colt. While there are six grade 1 races carded on the afternoon of June 11, the Woody Stephens stands out as a great betting race.