Hill Prince Stakes Quick Picks
The $400,000 Hill Prince Stakes at a 1 1/8 miles over the Belmont turf drew a contentious field of eleven 3-year-old colts and geldings. The Grade 2 event is carded as race 9 of 10, with post time scheduled for 4:52 p.m. EDT.
Let’s take a quick look at the horses most likely to hit the board.
#11 Soldier Rising (3-1)
In his first two starts since shipping to the U.S. from France, Soldier Rising finished second in two million-dollar races, the 1 3/16 mile Saratoga Derby (G1) and the 1 1/2 mile Jockey Club Derby. The class of the field, this Christophe Clement trainee has a versatile running style and has never finished outside the top two positions in six career starts. Win contender.
#9 Public Sector (5-2)
After winning the one-mile National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2), Public Sector captured the 1 1/16 mile Saranac (G3) by a length over Never Surprised. Although the Chad Brown trainee is trying nine furlongs for the first time, he has won or placed in seven of eight lifetime and will be tough. Win contender.
#10 Never Surprised (5-1)
Never Surprised is searching for his first graded victory. In his first start in almost eight months, he set the pace in the Saranac (G3), but he was overpowered late by Public Sector and settled for second place. He had the same result in the one-mile Kitten’s Joy (G3) in January and was hard-held early in both starts. The Todd Pletcher trainee must learn to relax early if he expects to handle nine furlongs. Exotics.
#8 Sifting Sands (8-1)
Sifting Sands flashed a powerful late kick in his last two starts, battling through the lane to win by a head. The Chad Brown trainee has risen from the allowance ranks and is ready for his first step into graded company. The Hill Prince is Sifting Sands’ first attempt at nine furlongs and first start at Belmont Park, but he can upset the applecart if he continues to improve. Live longshot.
#2 Slicked Back (8-1)
After winning in his first try over the grass, Slicked Back finished a narrowly beaten second by a half-length in the Virginia Derby (G3) despite traffic issues. The Brad Cox trainee faced a tough crowd in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational but finished a respectable third, only a neck behind Soldier Rising. Slicked Back’s form is improving, and he’s capable of winning with a good trip. Live longshot.
Hill Prince Stakes Analysis
The last favorite to win the Hill Prince Stakes was Ring Weekend in 2014; however, the favorite has finished second or third four times since.
Surprisingly, speed is effective in the Hill Prince. Pace pressers, racing within two lengths of the lead, have won five of the last seven editions, and pacesetters have won or hit the board in the last three years.
- #11 Soldier Rising (3-1)
- #2 Slicked Back (8-1)
- #9 Public Sector (5-2)
- #8 Sifting Sands (8-1)
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