Discreet Marq Slight Favorite in G2 Sands Point
By Jenny Kellner | 05/25/2013 05:34 PM ET
A closely matched field of 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point launches the Memorial Day stakes action at Belmont Park, with Discreet Marq narrowly favored in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
The Sands Point will be run as race 7 on Monday’s 11-race holiday card, followed by a trio of Grade 1’s: the $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap for fillies and mares, the $300,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, and the afternoon’s marquee event, the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap. The Ogden Phipps, Acorn, and Met Mile will serve as the first three legs of the $500,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4.
Also on Monday, fans will receive a Belmont Park cooler bag, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
A stakes winner at age 2, Discreet Marq was transferred to trainer Christophe Clement late last year at Gulfstream Park. After setting the pace, the gray daughter of Discreet Cat finished third and second in a pair of ungraded turf stakes, most recently on January 27.
“It’s a bit ambitious first time back, but she trains well and I think she’s a nice horse,” said Clement. “She’s training like a nice horse and breezing like a nice horse. The bottom line is, I’m very lucky to get her.”
Jose Lezcano will ride the 5-2 morning-line favorite from post position 2.
Trainer Barclay Tagg has entered both Unbelievable Dream, who will be trying for her third straight victory, and Caroline Thomas, unraced since being soundly bumped in the stretch and finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on March 2 at Gulfstream.
“I gave her a little break after that, and she’s come back very well,” said Tagg of Caroline Thomas, who carries the colors of Joyce Young. “She’s a very high-quality filly.”
Unbelievable Dream, a daughter of Kitalpha, broke her maiden facing New York-breds last year at Aqueduct Racetrack but has competed exclusively in open company this year. Fifth in her 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream going 1 1/8 miles, she returned to post a late-running victory in a one-mile optional claimer and then rallied from last, 15 lengths back, to win the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland Race Course on April 18.
“She’s a very nice filly who never stops surprising us,” said Tagg of Unbelievable Dream, a Sure Thing Stables homebred. “She came flying down the stretch in her last race. I shipped her out there because they have a long stretch. She likes a mile, but I hope she isn’t stuck on a mile, even though she’s usually a mile out of it. She does everything you ask her and she seems happy to do it, and she’s a beautiful mover.”
Caroline Thomas, who drew post position 3, was tabbed at 5-1 on the morning line under Luis Saez, while Unbelievable Dream, the 7-2 third choice, will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post position 5.
Multiple stakes winner Watsdachances, fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Appalachian in her 2013 debut, and Wave Theory, who lost her rider in the Edgewood at Churchill Downs last time out, represent a strong hand for trainer Chad Brown.
The Irish-bred Watsdachances won the P. G. Johnson at Saratoga Race Course and the Grade 3 Miss Grillo over a yielding course at Belmont last fall in her first two starts for Brown, and ended her 2-year-old campaign with a second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Overall, the Diamond Green filly is 3-1-1 from six starts for owners Michael Kisber and Bradley Thoroughbreds, while Wave Theory, who carries the colors of Martin Schwartz, was second, third and fourth in three stakes appearances prior to the Edgewood.
The 3-1 second choice on the morning line, Watsdachances will leave from post position 4 under Javier Castellano, while Wave Theory, 4-1, drew the rail and will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
Rounding out the field is Kitten’s Queen, a supplemental entry who most recently was third in an allowance at Keeneland.
Fusaichiswonderful was entered main track only.
The field for the Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point: