|Daily Racing Form|
Monday, July 31
Over $2.5 million on Belmont card Saturday
By Ed Schuyler Jr.
NEW YORK -- Put Lemon Drop Kid's picture on posters plugging tourism. Sign him for some TV spots.
The 4-year-old loves New York.
Three of those five wins have been at Belmont, the Kid's home base. He is the 4-5 early favorite to beat six rivals, and make the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup his fifth consecutive victory in a graded stakes and third straight in a Grade I.
The $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup is one of four Grade I stakes on the card, which will be televised by NBC from 4:30-7 p.m. EDT.
Riboletta, winner of five straight stakes, and Beautiful Pleasure, winner of three of her last four starts, top a field of five fillies and mares for the $750,000 Beldame over 1 1-8 miles. Riboletta is the 4-5 favorite, while Beautiful Pleasure is even money.
Riboletta, a Brazilian-bred 5-year-old mare, started her winning streak in the Hawthorne Handicap May 7 at Hollywood Park. She followed with wins in the Milady Breeders Champion and Vanity Handicaps at Hollywood, the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar and on Sept. 16 the Ruffian Handicap at Belmont.
"To me Bayakoa is the best I ever saw," said trainer Eduardo Inda, an assistant Ron McAnally when that trainer won the Breeders' Cup Distaff with Bayakoa in 1989-90. "This filly is right there with Bayakoa."
The 5-year-old Beautiful Pleasure, winner of the BC Distaff and champion older filly or mare in 1999, finished fifth in Oaklawn Park's Apple Blossom in the 2000 debut. She then won Belmont's Shuvee and Hempstead handicaps before finishing second in the Go For Wand Handicap and winning on July 2 the Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga.
Also in the Beldame are Native Brass, Pentatonic, Back in Shape and West To East. The field will be level-weighted at 123 pounds.
City Zip, winner of five straight stakes; Yonaguska; and Point Given, winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park, head a field 10 2-year-olds for the $500,000 Champagne over 1 1-16 miles. City Zip's streak includes a dead heat with Yonaguska in Saratoga's Hopeful.
Raging Fever, unbeaten in four starts, including three stakes, and Dancinginmydreams, second to Raging Fever in Belmont's Matron in only her second start, are among 10 2-year-old fillies set for the $500,000 Frizette, also at 1 1-16 miles.
For good measure, there is the $250,000 Grade II Forest Hills over six furlongs. Contenders in the seven-horse field are Shadow Caster, winner of Belmont's Forego Handicap, and Forest Camp, winner of Del Mar's restricted Pirates Bounty, and Kelly Kip.
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