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Hill Prince Stakes Field Chasing Big Money at Belmont

The $400,000 Hill Prince Stakes field includes Never Surprised Soldier Rising, and many more top-level types, who could add their name to the past 45 winners of the race.

Horse racing betting odds are at the ready, so enjoy the biggest race of the racing weekend.

Hill Prince Stakes Noble Damsel
Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Don’t Be Surprised

Never Surprised has the form on the board, and the Todd Pletcher-trained colt could rise to a new level in the Hill Prince Stakes.

The 3-year-old son of Constitution kicked off his career with consecutive wins at Aqueduct, before running second behind Chess’s Dream in the Grade III Kitten’s Joy.

There was plenty of betting support for Never Surprised in the Saranac last start, and despite finishing second behind Public Sector, we were impressed with the effort.

Pletcher was also pleased, and the champion trainer believes settling in the run will help his cause.

“I thought he ran really well off the layoff. It was a strong race and he put in a good effort,” Pletcher told The Paulick Report. “I think he’ll be able to move forward second time off the layoff.

“He’s been working really well since then. He doesn’t seem to mind any kind of ground. The main thing is being able to settle a little bit.”

Pletcher won the Hill Prince Stakes in 2013 with Notacatbulallma, and Never Surprised has the same constitution. He looks like a professional type, and when he learns to settle, he could contest the top grade.

The sportsbook should have Never Surprised firm in betting markets.

Pick: Never Surprised

Chad Brown Trio a Danger

Chad Brown lines up Sifting Sands, Public Sector and Founder. We like Sifting Sands and Public Sector, who have shown their ability this season.

Sifting Sands finished down the track on debut at Saratoga but quickly bounced back with a win at Tampa Bay Downs. He would later win consecutive races at Saratoga, including the Better Talk Now Stakes last start.

“He’s a horse they liked at 2. He’s just a late-developing 3-year-old turf colt that I think will continue to get better the more we do with him,” said Brown’s assistant Dan Stupp. “By every indication in the morning, I expect a good effort.”

Public Sector won the Grade III Saranac when beating Never Surprised, so his form is good enough. It was his fourth career win, and an excellent bounce-back win after finishing 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year.

“They’re both coming into the race the right way,” Stupp said. “Distance-wise, at this point in their campaign, I don’t see a mile and an eighth being any issue for them. They’re both rock-solid horses.”

Brown’s third runner is Founder, who was fifth in the Saranac. He hasn’t been as impressive as his stablemates, so bettors should expect longer odds in betting online markets.

Pick: Public Sector

Soldier Rising Could Rise Up

Soldier Rising has yet to win a race, but that’s not discrediting his stellar form. He owns three-second placings from three starts, including a second placing in the Grade I Saratoga Derby.

The 3-year-old son of Frankel has breeding on his side, and if he can replicate his last two starts, he should be going close on Saturday.

He followed his Saratoga Derby placing behind State of Rest with a second placing in the Jockey Club Derby. State of Rest is considered good enough to contest one of the world’s biggest races this week, the Cox Plate in Australia, so the form bodes well.

Being a son of Frankel, he’ll love the conditions. He should be right in the thick of the action, and we’d be surprised if he didn’t finish in the first three.

Pick: Soldier Rising

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