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2016 suburban handicap preview entries and odds

The Grade 2 Suburban Handicap is on tap for this Saturday, July 9 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A purse of $500,000 is on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's dirt track.

Eight older entries have been confirmed for the Suburban Handicap - race 9 on Belmont Park's stacked Stars & Stripes Saturday card. Post time is 5:13 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 2 race.

2016 Suburban Handicap Race Preview at Belmont Park

Effinex 5-2 - defending champ and Eclipse Award finalist for Older Male had eight starts last year for trainer James Jerkins - four wins - the Grade 1 Clark Handicap November 11, the Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March. He also had a very good runner-up finish behind some horse named America Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic October 31 and a third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup October 3 with a DNF in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational and a fourth in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes sprinkled in there. He enters off his worst result in a while however - a sixth as favorite in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 18 which followed a victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April and a third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March. Effinex now has eight wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 23 career starts (two wins and three thirds in eight starts at Belmont Park) and will be out to avenge an uncharacteristic effort as the race highweight and morning line favorite. Mike Smith will try to accomplish that goal from post 5.

Mubtaahij 7-2 - globetrotting Irish bred colt had four wins and a second place finish in five races overseas last year including a win in the 2015 UAE Derby by eight lengths March 28 and the Al Bastakiya Stakes - all at Meydan before debuting in North America. He failed to place in four starts before a second behind California Chrome in the 2016 Dubai World Cup last time out in March. He had a fourth in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 March 5, a fourth in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes February 4 (both at Meydan), a fourth in the Belmont Stakes and eighth in the Kentucky Derby. Mubtaahij has been a force in the past and enters off his best effort in a year. He tries for his first win in 15 months Saturday with Irad Ortiz aboard the morning line second choice from gate 2.

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Noble Bird 4-1 - Mark Casse pupil looked great early last year - he won two Allowance Optional Claiming races, finished second in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, 2015 and went on to win the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. He wasn't great after that before a terrific win two starts back by an astounding 11 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 20 - a race he followed with a sixth in the Grade 1 Met Mile on this track June 11. This year he has recorded a disappointing last of eight as favorite in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6, an OK second in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 14 and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. Noble Bird has been impressive in the past but has placed in just two of his last six starts overall. Julien Leparoux will try to get the tough-to-figure-out entry his second graded stakes score in three starts when they leave from the rail as the morning line third choice.

Eagle 5-1 - Neil Howard trained colt has placed in 13 of 15 career starts - six wins, five seconds and two third place finishes and enters this week on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes. Last time out was in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap June 18 after the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes May 6 - both at Churchill Downs. Before that was a nice win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland in April, a third in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap and a second in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap. He has placed in nine straight ahead of this week - competitive every time out and hopes to be again Saturday from gate 4. Brian Joseph Hernandez gets the call on this intriguing co-fourth choice.

Shaman Ghost 5-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award winner for 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Colt won Canada's biggest race last year - the Queen's Plate and also posted a nice win in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine last May. His last race of 2015 was second in the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown - the Prince of Wales Stakes in July before being sent to the sidelines for 10 months. He returned to action May 21 and finished an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here and followed that with an easy win last time out in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational on this track June 11. Shaman Ghost now has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 10 career starts and has five wins, a second and a third in his last seven overall. He has been competitive as they come and will hope to remain so from post 3 Saturday. Joel Rosario rides.

Samraat 12-1 - was at his best in 2014 for trainer Richard Violette when he won three straight including the Grade 3 Withers Stakes and Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He went on to a second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and was fifth in the 2014 Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Belmont Stakes that year. Samraat had just one start in 2015 - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming and has raced three times this year. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational here June 11 after a respectable second in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes on this track May 7 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in April. Samraat now has five wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts and will be after his first win in 28 months from post 7. Jose Ortiz has been scheduled to ride.

Turco Bravo 20-1 - Chilean bred Gary Contessa trained gelding has 13 wins, 15 seconds and seven third place finishes in 51 career starts and has placed in five straight starts ahead of this week. Last time out was a respectable second in the Grade 3 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes here June 11 after a good win on this track in the minor Flat Out Stakes, a third in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and a win in the minor Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct in March - a race he's won two straight years. Turco Bravo has been impressive lately and will chase his first ever graded stakes score from gate 6 Saturday. Javier Castellano will be in the saddle from gate 6.

Tapin Mojo 50-1 - Naipaul Chattrpaul pupil has placed in eight of 10 career starts - five wins, a second and two third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut having won five of his last six starts overall - the last being a Claiming race on this track May 2. Tapin Mojo steps up in pretty darn good form but has never faced a field like this. He departs from the outside gate 8 with Angel Arroyo in the irons.

Through the card southwell, monday january 30

13:30 - START SEVEN (1) was an impressive winner of his most recent outing at Wolverhampton, forging clear to win with plenty in hand and maintaining his unbeaten record for this yard in the process (two wins from two starts). The switch to fibresand is an obvious concern here, but Start Seven remains open to more improvement after just eight starts and can defy a 6 lb penalty to complete a hat-trick for the in-form Jamie Osborne (six winners from last 22 runners).

14:00 - PEARL NATION (1) shaped as if something was amiss when last of seven on his most recent outing at Chelmsford, losing his place quickly with two furlongs to run and allowed to come home in his own time thereafter. He clearly hasn't been the most straightforward to train, but takes a significant drop in grade on his return from over nine months off the track and should prove extremely difficult to beat if reproducing anything like his best form at a venue he likes.

14:30 - WARM WORDS (10) failed to meet market expectations when only fourth on her most recent outing over this C&D, but that effort is best forgotten in the circumstances (stumbled at the start) and she is better-judged on the form of her earlier second here. That form leaves her rivals with some 8 lb to find on Timeform ratings and Warm Words simply has to enter calculations with the Placepot in mind. She is joined by FINALE (9)/, who showed signs of ability when sixth on debut at Kempton and looks the type to improve significantly with that experience under her belt.

15:05 - COLOURBEARER (3) had been knocking on the door and duly gained the reward his consistency deserved when running out a narrow winner of his most recent outing at Chelmsford. He has a 2 lb rise in the weights to contend with here, but has shown himself to be capable of winning from higher marks than this in the past and is fancied to follow up in this fourth leg of the Placepot. He is joined by HOLD ON MAGNOLIA (8), who took to this surface well when third over C&D three weeks ago and remains one to keep onside in his current mood.

15:40 - SECRET GLANCE (1) returned to something like his best form when third here last time, forcing a good pace from the outset and keeping on well in the circumstances to be beaten just three lengths. He was a further three and a half lengths clear of the fourth and - 2 lb clear of his nearest rival on Timeform ratings here - Secret Glance remains potentially well-treated on pieces of old form and is fancied to confirm the promise of last time with a defeat of Cadeaux Pearl.

16:15 - PLAYFUL DUDE (4)/ is thriving at present and produced the best effort of his career to date when second over this C&D six days ago. He has finished first or second in each of his last four starts at this track and, with Adam Kirby taking over in the saddle, Playful Dude appears to hold obvious claims from the same mark as when filling the runner-up spot last time and is taken to regain the winning thread in this final leg of the Placepot. Athassel arrives here in a similarly rich vein of form and looks the main danger if handling the surface.