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Author Topic: Filly & Mare Turf  (Read 2084 times)
jrstark
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« on: October 26, 2005, 11:11:14 PM »

Tuesday, October 25, 2005               Contact: Breeders' Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS' CUP FILLY & MARE NOTES

Angara (GB) - The 4yo filly breezed 5f at Turfway Park in Kentucky Tuesday; the clockers timed the move in 1:00 2/5, fastest move of the day at that distance on the all-weather Polytrack..
        "It was very good. I'm very pleased," trainer Patrick Biancone said.
Like Biancone's other three Cup starters, he said Angara will be ridden Saturday by Gary Stevens.
The four will fly from northern Kentucky on Thursday afternoon, he said.

Favourable Terms (GB) - The Michael Stoute-trained mare was out for a canter on the sloppy main track Tuesday morning with exercise rider Marie Thompson aboard.
        The 5yo daughter of Selkirk is under the care of Stoute's head traveling lad Jock Brown, who accompanied the Clive Brittain-trained Pebbles to New York in 1985, when that filly beat the boys in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Aqueduct.
        Favourable Terms, who arrived at Belmont last Friday, gets a new rider for the Filly & Mare Turf with Michael Kinane named aboard. The mare runs in the colors of Sheikha Alia al Maktoum.

Film Maker - Trainer Graham Motion thinks that Film Maker is training just as well for this year's Filly & Mare Turf as she did last year, when she finished a solid second at Lone Star Park. He's hoping that Ouija Board may not prove to be the same filly this year as the one who beat Film Maker by more than a length as the odds-on favorite.
        "The fact that she's the defending champion and (Jerry) Bailey will ride her will make Ouija Board the favorite," said Motion, noting Ouija Board's drastically lighter racing schedule this year. "This year she's probably just as good, but she has to prove that she's as good as she was last year. We won't know that until Saturday."
        Pat Valenzuela will ride film Maker, who galloped 1½ miles on wood chips at Fair Hill Training Center Tuesday morning.
        "I've been frustrated that I couldn't keep a jockey on her for more than a race," Motion said. "This is the first time this year that the same jockey will be on her for two races in a row."

Flip Flop (Fr) - Taking shelter in the shedrow of the Shug McGaughey barn, the Filly & Mare Turf prospect owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Ben Cecil walked under exercise rider Peter Barry.
Cecil, who is attending the Tattersalls October sale at Newmarket, England, is expected to arrive in New York late Friday to give jockey Garrett Gomez a  leg up for the Saturday race.

Intercontinental (GB) - The feisty mare with designs on Saturday's Filly & Mare Turf was out for a jog Tuesday morning, touring the Belmont Park oval once under exercise rider Nuno Santos.
        Trainer Robert Frankel's charge had to deal with rain, gusts and a sealed strip for the exercise, but that was all part of the game on a raw Long Island day.
        Intercontinental will have Rafael Bejarano aboard for her mile and one-quarter journey Saturday as she tries to build on a resume that reads 12 wins and more than $1.5 million in earnings.
   
Karen's Caper - The War Chant filly, who was beaten just a nose at Keeneland this month, had a mile-and-a-half canter on the training track under exercise rider Kirsten Richbell Tuesday morning.

        Trainer John Gosden said the Kentucky-bred, who just missed to Sweet Talker in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15, will be ridden again by Robby Albarado.
        "She took a while to get going in that race, but she was flying at the finish," Gosden said. "She was just a little unlucky."
        Gosden said he's planning to have Karen's Caper, owned by Stonerside Stable LLC, gallop on the turf course Thursday.
        "I'm hoping Robby (Albarado) will be here to gallop her," the trainer said.

Luas Line (IRE) - The David Wachman trainee, in the care of Patrick Biancone at Turfway Park since she ran sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland, Oct. 15, worked a bullet 4f on the Polytrack in 47 2/5 Tuesday morning. The 3yo will ship to Belmont Park on Thursday. No rider has been named.

Megahertz (GB) - The stretch-running mare was a jogger Tuesday morning, heading out from trainer Robert Frankel's Barn 2 shortly after 6 for a one-time tour of the Belmont oval under exercise rider Nuno Santos.
        The track was sealed, the wind was gusting and the rain fell, but the little chestnut was not deterred from her preparations for what could be the final start of her five-year, 34-start career in the Filly & Mare Turf.
        Megahertz, a winner of 14 races and more than $2.2 million, gets regular rider Alex Solis for her Saturday start.

Mona Lisa (GB) - The daughter of Giant's Causeway, who finished far back in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Lone Star last year, is scheduled to arrive at Belmont at 5 p.m. Tuesday on a flight bringing the Aidan O'Brien-trained runners to New York.
        Mona Lisa, who won a stakes in Ireland in August for her first career victory, flashed her best form to be second in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp last out. Kieren Fallon, who was aboard that day, has the mount Saturday.

Ouija Board (GB) - The daughter of Cape Cross arrived at Belmont Park Tuesday morning after a flight from England, ready to defend her Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf title. She will remain in quarantine for 24 to 36 hours.
        Edward Dunlop trains the 4yo filly, who warmed up for her Breeders' Cup assignment by winning a stakes at Newmarket last out on Sept. 24.
        Jerry Bailey will ride Ouija Board, owned by Lord Derby, for the first time Saturday.

Riskaverse - The 6yo mare, preparing for her fourth start in the Filly & Mare Turf, walked Pat Kelly's shedrow at Belmont Park Tuesday after working 5f in 1:03 (dogs up) Monday.
Kelly said she would pony Wednesday. "We'll see what the weather brings; we don't have much to do."
He also said Riskaverse would be able to hold her own if the going is off Saturday, though a firm track would be more to her liking.
"We'll play with what there is to play with," Kelly said. "She handles it, but it's not her cup of tea."

Sundrop (JPN) - The Godolphin representative walked the shedrow Tuesday morning after working 5f in 1:01 Monday at Belmont Park.  Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, had moved the exercise to Monday in anticipation of a stormy day Tuesday.
Stable rider Frankie Dettori will have the mount on Saturday. Bin Suroor is expected in New York on Wednesday.

Wend - After an also-ran finish in her debut over the Aqueduct main track last Nov. 24, Wend ripped off five straight victories on turf. Yet, she faltered in her Grade 1 debut, finishing sixth in the Beverly D. over a yielding turf course at Arlington Park.
        Trainer Bill Mott doesn't necessarily believe that the sub-par showing by the 4yo daughter of Pulpit can be attributed to the company or the condition of the turf.
        "We think it could have been because she didn't ship well. She was very nervous. The shipping upset her," said Mott, whose filly jogged a mile over the Belmont Park training track Tuesday morning in preparation for the Filly & Mare Turf. "I think that was the problem."

Wonder Again - The colorbearer for John Phillips and the Phillips Racing Partnership hand-walked trainer Jim Toner's shedrow in Barn 26 at Belmont Park Tuesday after working 4f in 48 3/5 on turf (dogs up) Monday.
"She came out of the breeze good," Toner said. "It was a nice breeze. We're just awaiting the weekend now.
"I won't be disappointed if we get a little shower Saturday," he added, explaining the 6yo Silver Hawk mare does fine on softer turf.
As for the rest of the week, Toner said, "If the track is bad, we'll jog; if it's fast, we'll gallop. Everything is in the bank already. Now you jut try to stay happy and healthy and that's it."

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jrstark
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2005, 04:13:19 PM »

Thursday, October 27, 2005                   Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE NOTES

Angara (GB) – The Patrick Biancone trainee had “light exercise” at Turfway Park Thursday morning and then boarded a flight to New York, assistant trainer Pierre Bellocq said.

            The 4yo filly is traveling with her trainer, Stream Cat (Juvenile) and Gorella (Fr) (Mile), and should arrive around 2:30 p.m., Bellocq said. They will be stabled in Barn 17.

 

Favourable Terms (GB) – The 5yo mare breezed 3f in 39 4/5 on the soft inner turf course Thursday morning with trainer Michael Stoute looking on.

            Favourable Terms won at Doncaster over a “good” course in September, but last out tired badly to finish eighth in the Sun Chariot Stakes on soft going at Newmarket.

            The daughter of Selkirk gets a new rider for the Filly & Mare Turf with Michael Kinane named aboard. The mare runs in the colors of Sheikha Alia al Maktoum.

 

Film Maker – Trainer Graham Motion put Film Maker on a van headed for Belmont Park Thursday morning with the hopes that the 2004 Filly & Mare runner-up will be up for another strong performance on Saturday.

            “I don’t see why she couldn’t,” said Motion, whose mare galloped two miles on wood chips at Fair Hill Training Center before making the trip to New York. “Pat Valenzuela’s ridden her before, and I feel good about that.”

            Despite finishing second behind Ouija Board last year at Lone Star Park and winning her 2005 debut in the Gallorette Handicap, Film Maker has been ridden by five different jockeys this year. Valenzuela, who was aboard when she finished a fast-closing third in the Flower Bowl, will ride her Saturday.

            “I think it’s definitely hurt her every time someone new got on her for the first time and had to figure her out. I think she’s gotten a little quirky, the older she’s gotten,” said Motion.

 

Flip Flop (FR) – The possibility of a soft turf course could enhance the prospects of the 4yo French-bred filly, according to exercise rider Peter Barry, who has been overseeing her preparation for Saturday’s Filly & Mare Turf in the absence of trainer Ben Cecil.

“She won on soft ground and good ground when she was running in France,” Barry said Thursday morning after he brought her back from what he called “a steady mile-and-half gallop.

“She’s settling in very well,” Barry said, adding that Cecil is expected to arrive later Thursday on a flight from England, where he has been attending the Tattersalls October sale at Newmarket.

 

Intercontinental (GB) – Exercise rider Nuno Santos brought the Danehill mare to the track Thursday at 9 a.m. for a strong gallop of 1 3/8 miles.

            The Juddmonte Farms’ homebred, who races out of Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel’s barn, will be making the 22nd start of her career in the Filly & Mare Turf Saturday.

Rafael Bejarano will ride the 5yo for the first time in the 1¼ miles test, breaking from post 10 in the 14-horse field.

 

Karen’s Caper – The War Chant filly breezed 5f in 1:06 on the soft inner turf course with Frankie Dettori aboard Thursday morning.

            Trainer John Gosden said the Kentucky-bred, who just missed by a nose to Sweet Talker in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15, handled the soft going with no problem.

            “The course is soft now, but not heavy,” Gosden said, “and I thought she handled it very well. The Filly & Mare Turf is an open race, and the ground will be an issue Saturday. I think it will be a question of who handles it best.”

Gosden said that Karen’s Caper, who is owned by Stonerside Stable, will remain in the U.S. after the Breeders’ Cup.

 

- more -

2-2-2-2-2

 

Luas Line (IRE) – The 3yo filly by Danehill is scheduled to arrive at Belmont Thursday afternoon after a flight from Kentucky with the Patrick Biancone-trained horses.

            David Wachman, who is based in Ireland, trains Luas Line for Mrs. Evelyn M. Stockwell. The filly owns a victory over the Belmont turf, winning the Garden City Breeders’ Cup Stakes in September. Wachman will be on hand to saddle the filly Saturday.

            Luas Line finished sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last out and remained in Kentucky with Biancone’s horses.       

 

Megahertz (GB) – The diminutive mare with the big heart took another step toward the final start of her career as she galloped 1 3/8 miles Thursday morning at Belmont Park alongside stablemate Leroidesanimaux.

            Megahertz, who’ll break from post eight Saturday in the 14-horse lineup for the Filly & Mare Turf, had exercise rider Orlando Tiapia up for her exercise, accomplished at approximately 8:45 following the track’s renovation break.

            The English-bred 6yo by Pivotal has made 33 starts to date and earned more than $2.6 million in the process. Alex Solis has been aboard the chestnut for 11 of her 14 victories and will be aboard again Saturday for the stretch-runner’s career swan song.

 

Mona Lisa (GB) – The daughter of Giant’s Causeway, who finished far back in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Lone Star last year, cleared quarantine today, but remained in the barn Thursday morning, awaiting the arrival of trainer Aidan O’Brien.

            Mona Lisa, who won a stakes in Ireland in August for her first career victory, flashed her best form to be second in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp last out. Kieren Fallon, who was aboard that day, has the mount Saturday.

 

Ouija Board (GB) – The daughter of Cape Cross looked ready to defend her Breeders’ Cup Filly  & Mare Turf title Thursday morning as she galloped around the main track under the watchful eye of trainer Edward Dunlop.

            “She’s moving as well as I’ve ever seen her,” Dunlop said. “I think she’s better than she was a year ago.”

            The 4yo filly was injured earlier this year (a stress fracture in her left fore cannonbone), but resumed training in late summer and won a mile and a half stakes at Newmarket on Sept. 24 as her prep race for the Breeders’ Cup.

            “It was always my goal to bring her back to win another Breeders’ Cup race,” Dunlop said. “There was never much thought of retiring her. It was past the breeding season when she was injured, and we just waited for her to recuperate.”

            Jerry Bailey will ride Ouija Board for the first time Saturday, and Dunlop was asked how that came about.

            “His agent rang us up,” Dunlop said. “I brought the question to Lord Derby (Ouija Board’s owner), and he approved.”

           

Riskaverse – Trainer Patrick Kelly hopes the fourth try at the Filly & Mare Turf is the charm for his 6yo trainee, who will be retired after Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup.

            “The first time [at Arlington Park] it was just two weeks after [a win] in the Queen Elizabeth [II Challenge Cup] and we took a chance. We were already in Chicago with Evening Attire. She was a 3-year-old going against older fillies and it didn’t work out.”

            In her second F&M Turf at Santa Anita, he said, “she didn’t particularly like California. It was hot, smoky, and the track played to the speed.”

            Last year, Kelly added, he initially planned to skip the race because it was at 1 3/8 miles and because of the configuration of the Lone Star Park track. But when she won the Flower Bowl, a traditional prep to the F&M Turf, he changed his mind. “We were right in the first place. She was out-finished, but she had a wide trip the whole way.

            “This year we decided to try at home where she’s had good luck.”

 

Sundrop (JPN) – Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was at Belmont Park Thursday morning as Godolphin Racing’s Sundrop galloped 1 3/8 mi. on the training track at 6 a.m. The daughter of Sunday Silence will school in the paddock during racing today.

            “We need good ground for Sundrop although she has won on soft turf in England,” bin Suroor said. “But she is really well.”

            Assistant trainer Rick Mettee noted that it was a 14-horse field on Saturday. “With that many runners we’ll need some luck with all those fillies going slow early,” he said.

 

- more -

 

 

 

3-3-3-3-3

 

Wend – From her first start on turf, a two-length maiden score at Tampa Bay, Wend has distinguished herself as a turf specialist until she encountered a yielding turf course at Arlington Park that derailed a five-race win streak with a sixth-place finish in the Beverly D.

“We’d like to see good to firm turf for her,” said trainer Bill Mott, who sent the 4yo daughter of Pulpit to the training track Thursday morning for a 1 3/8-mile gallop. “I don’t think that’s very likely at this point.”

 

Wonder Again – “A horse takes you to the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer James Toner said Thursday after his 6yo mare galloped 1 ½ miles over Belmont Park’s main track.

            Toner figures having the home track will work to the advantage of Wonder Again.

            “It helps to be here,” he said. “They’re on a regular routine. It’s better this year, though she shipped well last year.”

            He said he also liked the situation he had in 1999, when Soaring Softly was able to van over from his barn at Payson Park to Gulfstream Park and win the inaugural Filly & Mare Turf. “We were out before the last race,” he said.

 

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jrstark
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2005, 11:13:07 PM »

Friday, October 28, 2005                        Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE TURF NOTES

Angara (GB) – Trainer Patrick Biancone said Friday morning his Beverly D winner would “upend them all” on Saturday.

            “She looks good; she’s going to win the Breeders’ Cup,” he said.

            In a jocular mood on his first morning at Belmont – he shipped from Turfway Park Thursday – Biancone had a number of jokes and one-liners ready.

            “What’s a Breeders’ Cup?” he asked.

            “Ninety-two percent losers and eight percent winners,” he answered himself before declaring he and his clients were thrilled to participate win or lose.

            Angara jogged 1 ¼ miles in her final preparation for the race.

 

Favourable Terms (GB) – The 5yo mare had an easy gallop on the turf Friday morning, the day after she breezed 3f in 39 4/5 on the soft course for trainer Michael Stoute.

            Mick Kinane, who rides Saturday, was aboard for the exercise.

            “I sat on her last week at home for the first time,” Kinane said, “and she’s in great shape. She’s very fresh because she hasn’t had much racing this year.

            “Unfortunately, I think she likes quicker ground than we’ll get here tomorrow.”

            Favourable Terms won at Doncaster over a “good” course in September, but last out tired badly to finish eighth in the Sun Chariot Stakes on soft going at Newmarket.

            The daughter of Selkirk runs in the colors of Sheikha Alia al Maktoum.

 

Film Maker – Jockey John Velazquez couldn’t have been happier with the way Film Maker ran while finishing second behind European superstar Ouija Board in last year’s Filly & Mare Turf, but it took trainer Graham Motion a little while to fully absorb his 16-1 longshot’s effort at Lone Star Park.

            “I couldn’t believe I was disappointed when she didn’t win. When Johnny came back he was surprised that I wasn’t excited,” Motion said. “But her performance really was gratifying, and I was excited with how well she ran.”

            Patrick Valenzuela will be aboard Film Maker Saturday and will be the only jockey to ride the 5yo mare in back-to-back races this year.

            “I think Pat’s excited about riding her again,” said Motion, noting that Valenzuela felt like he’d learned a lot about the filly while finishing a close third in the Flower Bowl. “Her races tend to be a little peculiar at times. She’s been shuffled back early a couple times. Once you ride a horse, it helps you to learn about the horse.”

            Film Maker, who galloped 1 1/2 miles over the main track Friday morning, may return to the races next year, reported Motion, depending on her effort in the Filly & Mare Turf.

            “She obviously has great value as a broodmare, but there’s a chance she could stay in training,” he said.

 

Flip Flop (FR) – In his first day at the track this Breeders’ Cup week, trainer Ben Cecil, who has been attending the Tattersalls October sale in Newmarket, England, watched his 4yo prospect for the Filly & Mare Turf gallop 1 ½ miles on the main track Friday morning.

But getting around the oval wasn’t his biggest concern during the morning. That had to do with his filly’s ability to handle Saturday’s stint in the Belmont Park detention barn. “She’s very high-strung,” he said. “But we have a goat that’s her buddy. I need to find out if we can take the goat into the detention barn with her. That’s my big worry. If we can’t do that, then I might as well not run her. It would be a disaster.”

Aside from that, he’s happy with her progress, he said. “I think her last race [second in Santa Anita’s Yellow Ribbon] was very good. We kind of waited a little longer (to make her move) than I wanted. I thought if we would have come a little earlier, we might have given [winner] Megahertz more of a race for her money. But I’m very happy with the way she ran.”

Garrett Gomez gets the call this time, and Cecil is eager to see how things go. “He hasn’t ridden her before, but he worked her at Santa Anita and seemed to get on very well with her.”

 

Intercontinental (GB) – Exercise rider Nuno Santos brought the handsome bay mare trackside Friday morning shortly after 9 and steered her through a 1 3/8 miles gallop.

            Trainer Robert Frankel watched the proceedings from a location in the main gap, noting “She looks good for a filly who has had a long campaign.”

            The Juddmonte Farms’ homebred has been in steady training since 2004 after arriving from France.

The 5yo daughter of Danehill will have Rafael Bejarano on her back for the first time in Saturday’s Filly & Mare Turf as they break from post 10 in the 14-horse field.

Frankel indicated that she would be out “early” on race morning for a bit more exercise coming up to her turf testing.

 

Karen’s Caper – The War Chant filly galloped once around the training track and schooled in the gate Friday morning, the day after she breezed 5f in 1:06 on the soft inner turf course.

            Trainer John Gosden said the Kentucky-bred, who just missed by a nose to Sweet Talker in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15, is coming up to the race the right way.

            “She handled the ground very well yesterday,” the trainer said, “and the race might come down to the question of who handles the soft going the best.”

            Karen’s Caper, who is owned by Stonerside Stable, won the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket this year.

 

Luas Line (IRE) – The 3yo filly by Danehill jogged 1 1/4 miles around the main track Friday morning, the day after arriving from Turfway Park with the Patrick Biancone-trained horses.

            David Wachman, who is based in Ireland, trains Luas Line for Mrs. Evelyn M. Stockwell. The filly owns a victory over the Belmont turf, winning the Garden City Breeders’ Cup Stakes in September.

            Luas Line finished sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last out and remained in Kentucky with Biancone’s horses.

            She gets a new rider Saturday for the Filly & Mare Turf in Christophe Soumillon.

 

Megahertz (GB) – Trainer Robert Frankel had his diminutive mare out Friday morning for a

1 3/8 miles gallop around the main track at Belmont Park under exercise rider Orlando Tiapia. The 6yo chestnut went about her business as usual for what is meant to be the final start of her stellar career in the Filly & Mare Turf.

            The English-bred by Pivotal has made 33 starts and earned more than $2.6 million and will once again be handled by California-based Alex Solis, who has been aboard for 20 of her runs and 11 of her 14 victories.

            Frankel noted that Megahertz also would stretch her legs race morning, going out “early” prior to the rich 10-race card.

 

Mona Lisa (GB)—Not a factor in the Juvenile Fillies last year, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway is back for the Filly & Mare Turf this year. She galloped on the turf course Friday morning under jockey Kieren Fallon.

            “In an ideal world she would like fast ground,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien. “I don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but it’s going to be nothing like European soft ground.

            “She’s very much like her dad. The more racing and work she gets, the more she comes out smiling. Kieren was very happy with her this morning.”

 

Ouija Board (GB) – The daughter of Cape Cross, who will seek a repeat in the Filly & Mare Turf, galloped a mile on the turf and schooled in the paddock for trainer Edward Dunlop. Jerry Bailey, who rides for the first time Saturday, was aboard for part of the exercise program.

            Last year, Ouija Board won the Breeders’ Cup event as the 9-10 favorite, but she’ll be a longer price this time because of the problems that beset her late last year.

            The 4yo filly suffered a stress fracture in her left fore cannonbone, and has had just two starts this year, the first a poor showing against colts in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and the next – and most recent – a victory in a stakes at Newmarket.

            Lord Derby, who owns Ouija Board, said Friday he was delighted the filly has recuperated well enough to get a chance to defend her Filly & Mare Turf title.

            “It was touch and go there for a while,” he said. “I give Edward Dunlop all the credit for being careful, conservative and protective of the filly.”

            The owner said they wanted Ouija Board to have one more prep before coming to the U.S., but it did not work out that way.

            “But she’s doing fantastic right now,” he said, “as good or better than last year.”

            Lord Derby added that he’ll be wearing his “lucky” green tie Saturday, the same tie he wore at Lone Star Park last year.

 

Riskaverse – Trainer Pat Kelly was asked Friday what has to happen Saturday for his 6yo mare to win the Filly & Mare Turf.

            “All she has to do is run back to her last race, really,” he said after she ponied around Belmont’s main track one time. “She beat most of the contenders in it.

            “If she runs as good as her last race she’ll be right there with the contenders. Whether that’s good enough we’ll have to see. It [the Flower Bowl] was a good prep. She came up with a great race. She got a 102 Beyer figure. She just needs a safe trip and a little luck.

            “It’s her home track. The preparations have been good. There’s a lot of good stuff involved. The rest is up to her. We just want her to come back safe and sound.

            “She doesn’t owe us a thing. It’s been a great thrill and honor to be around her.”

 

Sundrop (JPN)—The Godolphin runner galloped 1 3/8 mi. on the Belmont training track before the sun was up Friday morning. Assistant trainer Rick Mettee watched the exercise with Godolphin head trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

            “There’s no horse in the race where I look at the Form and I say, ‘This horse can’t win,’ ” Mettee said later. “I watched Ouija Board gallop around and she looks really good and hasn’t been heavily campaigned, but there’s only three or four lengths separating all of them. We’re a big price (30-1), but it isn’t a bad race to have a longshot in. We’ll save ground from the inside but it comes down to whoever pulls the best trip.”

 

Wend – The 4yo daughter of Pulpit continued to impress her trainer Friday morning while galloping 1 3/8 miles over the training track in preparation for her start in the Filly & Mare Turf.

            “She went really well. She galloped strong,” trainer Bill Mott said.

            The Hall of Fame trainer is somewhat concerned about the condition of the turf course, since Wend finished sixth over a yielding Arlington Park turf course in the Beverly D. after winning her previous five starts on firm going.

            John Velazquez, who finished a strong second in the WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland in his first ride aboard Wend, has the return call in the Filly & Mare Turf.

 

Wonder Again – Emmanuel Davy, assistant to trainer Jimmy Toner, said the 6yo mare had a “routine” 1 ½ mile gallop Friday to complete preparations for her last career start. “She enjoyed herself. She’s as happy as she’s going to get.

            “She’s as good as everybody else [in the field],” he added. “You can’t tell what will help. If she runs her race, she’s ready to do it (win).

            “This is a 14-horse field. They are the best fillies in the world. Ouija Board is a past winner. Riskaverse is proven. Film Maker is talented. They are all good. This is one of the most competitive races on the card. Even with Ouija Board, I don’t think one horse stands out like Leroidesanimaux does, for example, in the Mile. It could be an exciting race.”
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