Hill Prince Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Odds

Post Position and OddsHill Prince Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 HILLIARD 20/1
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E Cancel M Maker
2 SLICKED BACK 10/1
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L Saez B Cox
3 IT CAN BE DONE 20/1
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J Lezcano G Sacco
4 FOUNDER 10/1
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J Ortiz C Brown
5 WAR BOMBER 12/1
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D Davis N McKnight
6 ORIGINAL 12/1
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J Castellano J Terranova II
7 HE’SPUREGOLD 20/1
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E Gonzalez K Breen
8 SIFTING SANDS 6/1
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M Franco C Brown
9 PUBLIC SECTOR 5/2
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I Ortiz Jr C Brown
10 NEVER SURPRISED 6/1
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K Carmouche T Pletcher
11 SOLDIER RISING 7/2
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J Rosario C Clement

Best Bets for the Hill Prince Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Exacta Box – Soldier Rising and Sifting Sands = $20

$5 Exacta part wheel – Soldier Rising and Sifting Sands over Public Sector and Slicked Back = $20

$5 Exacta part wheel – Public Sector and Slicked Back over Soldier Rising and Sifting Sands = $20

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Soldier Rising (7/2).

Public Sector is one of three entrants for the hottest trainer on the planet, Chad Brown, and looms the likely favorite over ten other 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s 46th running of the Grade 2 Hill Prince, going nine furlongs over the Belmont Park inner turf.

Looking for his third straight graded stakes victory, the bay son of Kingman scored in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga on August 6 by a measured length. First or second in seven of eight career starts, he came back four weeks later to win the Grade 3 Saranac in very similar fashion.

Chief among his rivals will be Soldier Rising. Originally campaigned by Andre Fabre, the son of Frankel made his debut for trainer Christophe Clement when a rallying second in the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby on August 7. Next out, he finished second again, this time in the $1 million Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park.

Other horses to watch in the $400,000 Hill Prince include another from the Brown barn, Sifting Sands, who comes in off a win in the Better Talk Now on August 29 at Saratoga, and Never Surprised from the barn of Todd Pletcher, who most recently finished second behind Public Sector in the Saranac in his first race in more than seven months.

Hill Prince Stakes Predictions

Public Sector

The first of three from the red-hot barn of Chad Brown, this son of Kingman comes into the Hill Prince off two straight graded stakes wins at Saratoga. Neither the Hall of Fame nor the Saranac, seemed to be relatively strong or deep editions, though. On Saturday, he should be in store for his toughest test yet. Having said that, there is a lot to like, as he stays in touch early and has a solid closing punch. The probable favorite is also consistent and improving. Perhaps he is on the verge of becoming another top turf runner for Brown. He is an obvious threat, but as the favorite facing a strong bunch, I look forward to taking a swing against him.

Soldier Rising

This Christophe Clement-trained import comes into Saturday’s test never having finished outside the top two in six career starts. He was in very good hands in France for his first four races and you could see him improving race to race. Since transferring to America, he remains in excellent hands and has accounted for himself very well in a pair of million-dollar races. In the 1 3/16 mile Saratoga Derby, he came from well back to fall only a length short at the wire. At Belmont for the Jockey Club Derby, he was closer to the pace in the 1 ½ mile event but still ran on well to finish second behind the powerhouse performance of Yiber. On Saturday, it looks like he has found his easiest spot yet. He is the top pick.

Sifting Sands

It seems like Brown has an endless supply of talented and well-bred runners. My guess is that he has another graded stakes caliber turf runner in this beautifully bred son of Dubawi. Clearly, it took him a little while to come around, but things are starting to click for him of late. In fact, it all happened at Saratoga, where he got up to defeat a good allowance field in late July, before winning the Better Talk Now Stakes in a similar fashion five weeks later. Now he makes another jump up in class for the Hill Prince, but I don’t believe his improvement has ended just yet. I think he has a big shot to upset his favored stablemate and the rest on Saturday.

Never Surprised

This lightly-raced speedster returned after a lengthy layoff to set the pace in a six-horse field in the Saranac, ultimately finishing second best behind Public Sector. Never worse than second in four starts, all on the turf, he has every right to be even better second time off the layoff. Still, I believe this is a tougher spot, a deeper field, with more speed in which to contend. Trained by Todd Pletcher, and a stakes winner at 2, he is an obvious threat if he can relax on the lead, but I think the pressure will do him when the real running begins in the Belmont Park stretch.

Slicked Back

This one has not been respected yet at the betting windows, or at least not in his first two stakes attempts. After winning an allowance race at Indiana Grand three starts back in his turf debut, this Brad Cox-trained son of Quality Road went on the road and was a strong second in the Virginia Derby, finishing with a flourish after traffic issues. He faced tougher in the rich Jockey Club Derby last time at Belmont and again outran his odds with a very solid third-place effort, only a neck back of Soldier Rising. Once again, I think the odds will be right and I’ve nothing yet from him on the grass to expect anything less than another good effort.

Founder

The final of the Brown trio is the long shot of the group but is in with a shot. Unlike his stablemates, his pedigree does not scream turf, but it does seem to be his preferred surface. He became a stakes winner in a pretty light edition of the Tale of the Cat on the Monmouth Park turf, which gave him a shot in the Grade 3 Saranac next out. He finished fifth behind Public Sector but was beaten less than three lengths and I think the winner got the better trip. Perhaps he can do better in his fourth lifetime start on the grass.

Original

This one actually defeated Public Sector in the Manila Stakes at Belmont two starts back. A confirmed front-runner, he was never able to get to the lead in the Hall of Fame and did not look like he was going to contend, before clipping heels and not finishing. This time, I look for him to try to get out on the lead again, but there is other quality speed to contend with and he will not get the easy lead which he did in the Manila win. The son of Quality Road trained by John Terranova II is one to consider, but I do like others better.

War Bomber

This one comes from Canada on a three-race winning streak. Bred in Ireland, he did not show much of anything in his first two career starts but turned it around rather dramatically in his third career start. The son of War Front has scored each of his three wins at Woodbine, but the first two look quite cheap. In his last, however, he stepped up to stakes company and won in good fashion. Has he become so good that he can win a solid graded stakes race in New York? I am going to lay off him here, but it would not surprise me if he continued his upward ascent with a solid effort.

It Can Be Done

On the one hand, he has been in the picture now in three straight-stakes races, but on the other hand, this Greg Sacco-trained runner has only won once in eight starts on the grass and has never before faced a field this strong. Still, he is consistent and there are enough good efforts to at least consider him for the exotics. He should be forwardly placed early, but as far as winning, I am going to say it can’t be done.

Hilliard

Watch out when trainer Mike Maker claims a horse and brings him up to stakes racing on the grass. He’s had this son of Temple City now for two starts and he has already shown some improvement. He didn’t embarrass himself in the Dueling Grounds Derby, before a good runner-up effort on the Belmont turf. That last one came against significantly cheaper, though, and while I respect the trainer, I just don’t believe this one can step up this much quite so quickly.

He’spuregold

A New Jersey-bred son of Vancouver, he made his graded stakes debut last time, finishing fourth in the Saranac. It wasn’t a poor performance, but he didn’t exactly threaten Public Sector either. After taking many attempts to break his maiden, he did win two in a row before heading to Saratoga, but both came against fellow New Jersey-breeds. While he did improve this summer, I am looking elsewhere in this difficult spot.

How to Watch the Hill Prince Stakes

Hill Prince Stakes Race Information
Race Hill Prince Stakes (Grade 2)
Location Belmont Park
Time Saturday, October 23 — 4:52 pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $400,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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