Tannery Looks to Remain on Top of the Heap as Others Try to Make New Start of It in New York
By Jon Forbes | 06/26/2013 05:27 PM ET
Familiar faces will gather at Belmont Park on Saturday for the Grade 2, $200,000 New York for fillies and mares.
The New York, race 8 on Saturday’s 11-race card, will immediately precede the Grade 3 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies. The New York and Victory Ride will respectively serve as the first two legs of the $300,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4.
Five of the eight New York entrants are coming out of the Grade 2, 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay, which was contested over soft turf on May 25 at Belmont.
The Sheepshead Bay was the first win in North American for Tannery, who was a Group 3 winner in her native Ireland.
Purchased privately by Richard Santulli and transferred to trainer Alan Goldberg, Tannery was third her stateside debut, the Grade 1 Garden City in September at Belmont, and then was third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in October at Keeneland and fourth in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap in November at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Tannery raced evenly to finish fourth in her 4-year-old debut, the Owsley overnight stakes on May 1 at Belmont, followed by a break-through, one-length score in the Sheepshead Bay.
“I hope she runs as well as she did last time,” said Goldberg. “I wish she was carrying more weight, but she’s training well, eating well, and doing well. I expect her to run a good race. I think she likes a little give in the ground, but she should run well as long as it’s not too hard.”
Luis Saez will ride Tannery, 9-2 on the morning line, from post position 4.
Also coming out of the Sheepshead Bay are Anjaz (second), Minakshi (third), Mystical Star (fifth), and Starformer (eighth).
Like Tannery, Anjaz is a 4-year-old who made her second start of 2013 in the Sheepshead Bay. A two-time handicap winner in England, the Godolphin Racing color-bearer was fourth in the Grade 3 Orchid on March 30 over firm ground at Gulfstream Park.
“She settled well into the country in the first race, and she has adapted well here,” said trainer Tom Albertrani. “She made a good first appearance at Gulfstream, and she did well over the soft turf last time. I’ve seen some improvement since her last race, so I’m pretty hopeful coming into the weekend. I don’t think [the turf course condition] will make a difference.”
Anjaz, a homebred, is the second foal out of English champion Playful Act, who purchased by Darley for $10.5 million at the 2007 Keeneland November Sale. Playful Act’s first foal, Giants Play, won the 2011 New York.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call aboard Anjaz, 12-1, from post 2.
Northern Bloodstock’s Minakshi is yet another runner who began her career in Europe and will be making her third start of the year in the New York. After rallying from sixth to finish second, beaten a half-length, in the Owsley, Minakshi set the pace before yielding in the stretch when third in the Sheepshead Bay.
Installed at 8-1 on the morning line, Minakshi will depart from post 5 with Javier Castellano aboard.
Trainer Christophe Clement seeks third straight New York Stakes triumph, having won last year with Mystical Star and in 2011 with Giants Play. Mystical Star will attempt to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since last year’s New York.
Mystical Star was prominent early in the Sheepshead Bay before tiring to fifth, and Clement said he is hoping for firmer turf in the New York.
“Most of the better fillies finished far back [in the Sheepshead Bay],” said Clement, who has four total wins in the race. “She looks solid, looks well, so let’s go on again.”
Mystical Star, 10-1, drew the rail post. Jose Lezcano will ride the Cheyenne Stables color-bearer.
Like Mystical Star, three-time graded stakes winner Starformer faded badly in the Sheepshead Bay, finishing eighth, beaten 32 lengths, after contesting the early pace. Trainer Bill Mott said he hopes there will be a reversal of form in the New York.
“If [the Sheepshead Bay outcome wasn’t an aberration], I’m in real trouble,” the trainer quipped.
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will ride Starformer from post 6. The Juddmonte Farms homebred was tabbed at 5-1 on the morning line.
The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Etreham Farm’s Dream Peace, a Group 2 winner in France who is aiming for her first victory in North America, having finished second or third in five graded stakes, including the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor. The 5-year-old has competed once in 2013, finishing third in the Grade 1 Beaugay at 1 1/16 miles on May 4 at Belmont.
“The [Beaugay] was a little too short for her and the turf was very firm that day,” said trainer Chad Brown. “Heading into the New York, I would welcome a little bit of rain. She appreciates some give in the ground. I’m not sure I’ll get it, but one way or another I’m going to run her.”
Joel Rosario will ride Dream Peace for the first time in the New York. The daughter of Dansili drew post 7.
Crossing the country is Hronis Racing’s Lady of Shamrock, who has raced exclusively in California since late 2011. A two-time Grade 1 winner, Lady of Shamrock has made three starts this year, finishing second in the Grade 2 Santa Ana in March at Santa Anita, being promoted to the victory in Santa Anita’s Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 20, and reporting home third in the Grade 1 Gamely on May 27 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
“The reason why we’re headed to Belmont is because it’s year it’s become apparent she wants to run longer, and there is no race at a mile and a quarter in California,” said trainer John Sadler. “I think she’ll do well on the larger turf course, and she’s in good form, even though she was third the other day [in the Gamely]. Those were some nice fillies [Marketing Mix and Tiz Flirtatious] who beat her. I’m actually looking forward to possibly trying her over less-than-firm ground. My concern is the same always: we’d prefer that she had some pace in front of her, and you don’t always get that in these races.”
Rajiv Maragh has picked up the mount aboard Lady of Shamrock, the 7-2 morning-line second choice. The duo will depart from the outside post in the field of eight.
The New York field also includes Regalo Mia, who this year has won the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf and Grade 3 Orchid and finished second in the Grade 3 Bewitch.
The field for the Grade 2, $200,000 New York: