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Picks and plays from Belmont

Ruffian Stakes (Race 7)
Purse: $250,000
1 Mile
Fillies & Mares
4 Year Olds And Up
Grade 2 Stakes

Calamity Kate making 4yo debut off the layoff after getting chased down at Zia Park last November; quietly put together a solid 3yo campaign during which she put her good speed to use to become a Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 placed; threat to wire this field with her good race. Carrumba capable of keeping close, and she was certainly trending the right way through the second half to 2015; worked awful hard to prevail in four horse Top Flight last time, but she can do better than that. Spelling Again will need to catch some breaks to come out on top at this level, but she is underrated for an excellent trainer, and can be close to the pace throughout; found a bit of trouble on the turn before racing on well late in Keeneland Grade 1 last time. Cavorting looking to get back to her good form as a summer 3yo; return from the layoff was ok, if viewed strictly as a prep.

1. Calamity Kate
2. Carrumba
3. Spelling Again

Beaugay Stakes (Race 8)
Purse: $150,000
1-1/16 Miles
Fillies & Mares
4 Year Olds And Up
Grade 3 Stakes

Ball Dancing has much to prove in Grade 3 Beaugay following pair of subpar efforts; has run some big races since arriving stateside, and caught a tough situation when confronted by a fast pace and a runoff leader (and Tepin) in first start back from the layoff. Recepta got in what could be a nice prep in Jenny Wiley where she took a bit of a shuffle through the turn; excellent try when keeping after a strong pace in Grade 1 Matriarch at the end of last year, only to get nailed late by a perfectly-ridden closer. My Miss Sophia turned her form around to be competitive in some tough races last year, including excellent Diana try when kept after a fast pace; tried rating and finished gamely in the First Lady when last seen, but she is dangerous here if sending along to the early lead.

1. Ball Dancing
2. Recepta
3. My Miss Sophia

Peter Pan Stakes (Race 9)
Purse: $200,000
1-1/8 Miles
3 Year Olds
Grade 2 Stakes

Decorated Soldier ran better that it looks in fast-paced debut last summer, and he returned an improved horse when burying maidens with an impressive stretch run at Tampa; faces tougher here, but he carried all the ground before managing to gamely prevail in two-turn debut last time. Adventist has the potential to be one of the better members of this crop as time goes on, just a question of how soon it comes for him; has proven to be a difficult ride at times, and he did have a nice trip when closing into a field of tired horses in the Wood last time. Unified has speed and has run two fast races already, but he is tough to judge accurately off sloppy track Bay Shore which found very little running going on behind him; has to stretch it out.

1. Decorated Soldier
2. Adventist
3. Unified