February 7, 2023

Maiden winner Value Proposition steps up in Pennine Ridge

Value Proposition graduated in style in his April 27 debut (Coglianese Photography)

With the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) six weeks away, Chad Brown could have an intriguing contender for that race if Value Proposition can win Saturday’s $200,000 Pennine Ridge (G3) at Belmont Park in just his second career start.

A half-brother to English and French highweight filly Speedy Boarding, Value Proposition will break from post 1 in the 1 1/8-mile Pennine Ridge on the inner turf. The son of Dansili has seven to beat, including stablemate Demarchelier.

Both Value Proposition and Demarchelier are English-breds making their respective stakes debuts. The former impressively won on debut by more than four lengths over yielding ground on April 27. The latter edged future stakes winner Seismic Wave in his debut at Aqueduct back in November, and came back to take a Keeneland allowance in his season return April 12.

“Both horses are training well and the distance should be good for them,” Brown said.

Seismic Wave was rallying fourth last time in the American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs, one spot behind the favored Social Paranoia, who had previously graduated by eight lengths at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher. Social Paranoia was second and third in all five starts at two, including a stakes attempt in the Pilgrim (G3).

Clint Maroon led all the way to win the $100,000 Woodhaven at Aqueduct in April, though he got away with setting soft fractions. Henley’s Joy and Swamp Rat have fared well in stakes company on occasion, but appear to need career-best efforts to spring an upset.