06/21/2012 3:46PM

Belmont Park: Believe You Can, Contested set for a duel in Mother Goose Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Contested, shown training under Javier Castellano, enters the Mother Goose off a five-length win in the Acorn.

ELMONT, N.Y. – They are clearly the two best horses in the field. They have similar running styles, and they will be lined up right next to each other in the starting gate.

So, from start to finish it figures to be quite a duel when Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can and Acorn winner Contested square off against each other in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.

Believe You Can is coming off a three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, a race in which she was within a length of pacesetter Broadway’s Alibi early before outfinishing that rival in the final sixteenth.

Contested is coming off a five-length victory in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont, a race in which she jumped to the front from the outset, ran six furlongs in 1:09.32, and still finished in 23.29 seconds while running a mile in 1:34.61.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Contested, who was stretching out from seven furlongs to a mile. Saturday, she will attempt to carry her speed 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

“She has brilliant speed, her races have been pretty impressive,” said Bob Baffert, who trains Contested for his wife, Jill. “She’s getting better and better. Every time she runs, she shows more brilliance.”

Contested, under Javier Castellano, will break from post 2. Believe You Can, under Rosie Napravnik, will break from the rail.

Believe You can demonstrated in the Fair Grounds Oaks that a speed duel may not be a problem for her. In that 1 1/16-mile race run around two turns, Believe You can battled Colonial Empress through a half-mile in 46.47, put that one away, and then held off a late run from Summer Applause.

“We can use ours a little harder,” said Larry Jones, who trains Believe You Can for owner/breeder Brereton Jones. “Mine never has acted like she’s ever been a short horse. By all rights, that race should have been suicidal for her, and she hung on.”

Like Contested, Believe You Can has shown an affinity for Belmont, having won the Grade 3 Tempted here last fall. She also worked a solid five furlongs here in 59.75 seconds Monday.

Three other horses were entered for the Mother Goose, but barring a change of heart, Wildcat’s Smile is likely to scratch and run in Sunday’s $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes here.

That would leave Zo Impressive and Disposablepleasure to try and run down the top two.

Zo Impressive was second to Contested in the Acorn, but she was no serious threat. Trainer Tom Albertrani indicated that Zo Impressive would likely sit a little closer than she did in the Acorn.

Displosablepleasure won the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct as a 2-year-old and finished second to stablemate In Lingerie in the Black-Eyed Susan last month at Pimlico. Ramon Dominguez rides for Todd Pletcher.

The Mother Goose will be shown live on MSG-Plus in a one-hour telecast that begins at 5 p.m. Eastern. It is race 10 on an 11-race program and is the third leg of a pick-four wager that has a guaranteed pool of $350,000.

Mother Goose S. (G1), Post Time: 5:47 ET Saturday

Purse: $300,000; 1 1/16 miles





ML Odds


Believe You Can

L. Jones

R. Napravnik




B. Baffert

J. Castellano




T. Pletcher

R. Dominguez



Wildcat's Smile

D. Galluscio

J. Lezcano



Zo Impressive

T. Albertrani

R. Maragh


Kyle Stasierowski More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. Grening, In my opinion with Believe You Can and Contested breaking from posts 1 and 2 respectively and both need the lead types they should probably go head to head. If they do it should set it up perfectly Disposablepleasure with jockey Ramon Dominguez for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner the Glencrest Farm LLC. Sincerely, Kyle Stasierowski 27-year-old loyal TVG viewer, HRTV Live Feed viewer, TVG Community member, and DRF twitter follower from Alden, New York
Kyle Stasierowski More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. Grening, In my opinion with Believe You Can and Contested breaking from posts 1 and 2 respectively they should go head to head because they are both need the lead types. If those two do go to the lead together then it'll set it up perfectly for Disposablepleasure with Ramon Dominguez for trainer Todd Pletcher and the Glencrest Farm LLC. Sincerely, Kyle Stasierowski 27-year-old loyal TVG viewer, HRTV Live Feed viewer, TVG Community member, and DRF twitter follower from Alden, New York
Edward King More than 1 year ago
3 Disposablepleasure will close to win easily....
Phil D More than 1 year ago
It's hard not to use Believe You Can and Contested, it should be a good race between the two, my 3rd pick is Disposablepleasure, i think she'll more forward in her last race. These 3 will prob. be in my pick 3 bet today
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
News Flash: This is just in (10 minutes ago): Black Caviar Wins Her 22nd Despite Jockey Error By Tom Kerr 3:47PM 23 JUN 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) 6f, 3yo+ BLACK CAVIAR came within a whisker of losing her unbeaten record after jockey Luke Nolen dropped his hands in the closing stages and seemed to miss Moonlight Cloud sneaking up the grandstands' side rail. The Australian sensation was less imperious than her 1-6 odds and massive reputation suggested, but she was heading for an easy victory after powering a length clear of front-runner Soul. Yet to the horror of the thousands of Black Caviar fans watching at Royal Ascot, on big screens back in Australia and on TV screens around the globe, Nolen stopped riding out even as two rivals crept up on his inside. Only in the shadow of the post did he begin riding out again, flashing past the post amid a cacophany of noise coming from a packed Royal Ascot grandstand awash with Black Caviar's black and salmon colours. And another immense roar went up moments later when the official result announced Black Caviar had hung on by the skin of her teeth. The Wonder from Down Under was still undefeated. More to follow...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
exacta box 1,5. exacta part wheel 5 w 1,2
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Belmont Park : why is there not a Superfecta play listed for race 8 ! ( 10 ) Punster : has an amazing chance at staying up-close - hanging on for the lead better than most , may just get a breather or two before the stretch duel . I was telling my friends that like Tur races that IF I WAS to play this race , I would take a ( RISK ) and play a $1 Tri ( all / 2 / 10 ) ( all / 9 / 10 ) ( all / 11 / 10 ) ( all / all / 10 ) ( 3 / 2 , 10 ) ( 3 / 9 , 10 ) ( 3 / 11 , 10 ) ( 5 / 2 , 10 ) ( 5 / 9 , 10 ) ( 5 / 11 , 10 ) ..................................... $9 - $9 - $9 - $72 - $2 - $2 - $2 - $2 - $2 - $2 ........................ $109 in total wagers for this ( 8th race Trifectas ) then I would take another $91 and back myself up with $20 Place ( 10 ) and 71 Show ( 10 ) for an even $200 wager . I really believe this race is worth taking a RISK ! Good Luck to you all
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
We typically don't agree much, but I love Punster today too. Although I actually think there's too much pace in the race for him to sit close, hoping Rajiv takes him back a bit. I also intend to use him with Rice's horse (#2) - maybe we catch a nice triple today.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Joe : why is that ! You say that We typically dont agree much .
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
IF I was playing the Belmont card Saturday : I would not even touch this race - single handed . I would only attempt to play it by wagering first of all ( $220 ) 3rd race ( 1 ) ( $20 Win / Place ) . . . . . 5th race ( 5 ) ( $20 Win / Place ) . . . . . . 6th race ( 2 ) ( $20 Win / Place ) . . . . . 8th race ( 10 ) ( $10 Win - $20 Place - $20 Show ) . . . . . 9th race ( 1 ) ( $10 Win - $20 Place - $20 Show ) ............................ ANYTHING GAINED OFF THESE WAGERS - ( 2 ) CONTESTED "WIN" The amount would be left up to you
LEONARD MARTINEZ More than 1 year ago
No question this is going to be a good race, Contested shows that high cruising speed like her daddy, BYC is one classy miss and wants to beat you, with Larry J in her corner she's my pick . . . . . .
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
This is gonna be an awesome race. You can make a case for any of them, but I'm hoping we see a stretch-long duel between BYC and Contested.