2 Year Old Stakes Watch- Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow at Belmont

Sleepy Hollow StakesOn Saturday, October 18th, we have the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont. Set at the most appropriate time of the year, the Sleepy Hollow Stakes makes me think of another type of “horseman” that is not looking to win by a head, but rather is looking for a head, lol. Set for two year olds foaled in New York and approved by the New York State-Bred Registry, the Sleepy Hollow will feature 7 colts and geldings traveling 1 mile. Before he went on to win the 2003 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Funny Cide won the Sleepy Hollow by a neck over Spite the Devil as the heavy favorite. That effort paid $2.40 for the win. Hopefully, we’ll see a much better payout this year! Let’s see what we can find.

Belmont’s Sleepy Hollow

Good Luck GusThe 9/5 morning line favorite in this year’s Sleepy Hollow is Ostrolenka. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velasquez, Ostrolenka definitely appears to be the one to beat. In his last race he won by a crushing 14 lengths at the mile distance in gate to wire fashion. He has the fastest dirt speed in this field with that effort as well as the highest last race speed rating. Next in the morning line line-up we have Bullheaded Boy at 7/2. Bullheaded Boy ran 2nd in the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont in September, missing the win by 4 lengths. Another Todd Pletcher entry, Bullheaded Boy will be ridden by Jose Ortiz. He will also have the blinkers on here, which could be an advantage. For the slightest touch of value, I’m giving the nod here to Good Luck Gus at 3 to 1 on the ML (although I seriously doubt he’ll go off at 3 to 1 and might not have as much “value” as I would like to see). In his last outing at Finger Lakes, Good Luck Gus won the New York Breeders’ Futurity by 5 ¼ lengths. Like Ostolenka, as well as several others here, Good Luck Gus likes the early lead and that could be a problem for him here. He has also never been a mile before, which could prove problematic among all that early speed. So for my longshot play, based purely on running styles, I’m going with Market Conduct at 5 to 1 on the morning line. In both of his 2 outings, he made late charges and gained ground, winning his maiden by 2 ½ lengths and running 3rd in the Bertram F. Bongard, only 1 length behind Bullheaded Boy. If this turns into a speed meltdown as I suspect it will, look for that late charge and possible upset from Market Conduct. Good luck everybody!




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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