A field with parity on paper will contest the Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Trainer Chad Brown will saddle a pair of stakes debuters in the Pennine Ridge, a 1 1/8-mile race over the inner turf, Demarchelier and Value Proposition.
Demarchelier broke his maiden at first asking over Aqueduct's inner turf in November where he defeated fellow Pennine Ridge aspirant Seismic Wave by a head. Following a five-month hiatus, he continued his winning ways against winners at Keeneland on April 12, defeating next out winner Award Winner by three-quarters of a length.
A bay son of Dubawi, Demarchelier is out of the Sadler's Wells broodmare Loveisallyouneed who is a full sister to Irish Group 1 winners Yesterday and Quarter Moon.
Javier Castellano will be aboard Demarchelier from post 3.
Value Proposition will take the leap from maiden to graded stakes company after an impressive 4 1/4-length triumph over a yielding inner turf at Belmont Park in a maiden special weight. He recorded a 90 Beyer Speed Figure.
Despite sitting well off of a slow pace, the son of Dansili was able to make up plenty of ground and took command at the top of the stretch under little urging from Joel Rosario. Value Proposition, although green in the final sixteenth, was easily best.
Value Proposition is out of the international stakes winning Diktat broodmare Dash to the Front who also produced two-time French Group 1 winner Speedy Boarding.
Jose Lezcano will guide Value Proposition, who breaks from the rail.
"Both horses are training well, and the distance should be good for them," Brown said. "We're using this race as a prep for the Belmont Derby Invitational if they prove that they're good enough."
Todd Pletcher also sends out a talented duo of sophomores in Clint Maroon and Social Paranoia.
Clint Maroon scored last out over the turf at Aqueduct in the Woodhaven, which he won by four lengths. He will be attempting his fourth straight victory on Saturday. Prior to the Woodhaven, the son of Oasis Dream broke his maiden third time out on Feb. 6 at Gulfstream and beat winners over the South Florida turf course the following month.
Clint Maroon will be guided by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 5.
Social Paranoia was a close third American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day as the lukewarm favorite.
Never off the board in seven career starts, Social Paranoia began his career on the main track as a 2-year-old before switching to grass where he finished behind Forty Under twice. After six months away from the races, the dark bay son of Street Boss broke his maiden by eight lengths over the turf at Gulfstream Park, where he recorded a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure.
Social Paranoia will emerge from post 4 under Jose Ortiz.
Henley's Joy, a two-time stakes winner, was a close second against graded stakes caliber on two occasions. He will attempt his first win at stakes level when he breaks from post 8.
Trained by Mike Maker, the son of Kitten's Joy won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile in his second career start last September before finishing a nose behind Current in the Bourbon at Keeneland. He completed his 2-year-old season on a high note with a 4 1/4 length win in the Pulpit at Gulfstream Park. Three starts later, Henley's Joy was beaten a half-length by Avie's Flatter in the Transylvania at Keeneland before finishing off the board in the American Turf last time out.
Henley's Joy will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Seismic Wave, a son fo Tapit that will break from post 7 under Joel Rosario for trainer Shug McGaughey, was just short in the American Turf. He finished fourth, within a length of Social Paranoia. after a wide trip that found him in 10th place at the furlong marker.
Completing the field are Swamp Rat (post 2, Dylan Davis) and Magnificent McCool (post 6, Rajiv Maragh).
The Pennine Ridge is carded as Race 8 on Saturday afternoon's nine-race card. First post is 1:30 p.m.