Belmont Park Notes - June 22, 2013
By Jon Forbes | 06/22/2013 01:08 PM ET
Kauai Katie, under consideration for G3 Victory Ride, to breeze Sunday
Clement has Mystical Star probable for G2 New York, Native One possible for G3 Victory Ride
Bridgehampton to step up for Victory Ride
Fields forming for New York, Victory Ride
Kauai Katie’s long-range plans include a pair of Grade 1 races at Saratoga Race Course, but first up is a possible start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies on June 29 at Belmont Park.
“She is scheduled to breeze [on Sunday]. We’ll see how that goes and we’ll make a decision [on whether she is running in the Victory Ride] after that,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Kauai Katie for Stonestreet Stables.
Kauai Katie, a three-time graded stakes winner, was third, beaten seven lengths by Midnight Lucky, in the Grade 1, one-mile Acorn on May 27. Pletcher said Kauai Katie likely will focus on sprint races this summer such as Saratoga’s Grade 1, $300,000 Prioress on July 27 and the Grade 1, $500,000 Test on August 24. The Victory Ride is six furlongs, while the Prioress and Test are seven furlongs.
“We’re thinking about the Prioress and the Test, and we’re trying to see if the Victory Ride sets us up for that,” said Pletcher. “Those have been the target races for her for a while.”
Pletcher added that both Gary Barber’s Percussion and Burning Sands Stable’s San Pablo are under consideration for the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban Handicap on July 6. In their most recent starts, Percussion was second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap on June 7 after leading in deep stretch and San Pablo defeated Hymn Book and Mucho Macho Man in the Criminal Type overnight stakes on June 14.
Trainer Christophe Clement could be represented in both graded stakes on June 29 at Belmont Park as he has Mystical Star set to run in the Grade 2 New York and Native One under consideration for the Grade 3 Victory Ride.
Cheyenne Stables’ Mystical Star is seeking her first win since capturing last year’s New York. Since then, she has posted a record of 0-2-1 in five starts. This year, she has finished third in the Grade 3 Hillsborough in March at Tampa Bay Downs, fourth in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare over Keeneland’s synthetic surface in April, and fifth over soft turf in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay on May 25 at Belmont.
“She had a very nice work Thursday [four furlongs on the main track in 48.23],” said Clement. “It was such soft turf [in the Sheepshead Bay]. Most of the better fillies finished far back. She looks solid, looks well, so let’s go on again.”
If Native One competes in the Victory Ride, it would be her second start against winners and third start overall. After debuting a six-length winner last July, she returned from an 11-month absence to finish third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, after contesting the pace in an entry-level optional claimer on June 5.
“We’re going to keep Native One eligible [for the Victory Ride], but we’re not sure,” said Clement. “We’ll talk to the owner, Mr. Cox and we will make a decision next week. It’s a little bit ambitious on paper, but she’s a filly, so if we finish in the top three it would be nice for her pedigree. Let’s see what happens. She needs to work [before we make a decision].”
Barry Schwartz’s Bridgehampton will step up in class for the Victory Ride off a maiden victory, trainer Mike Hushion confirmed.
The daughter of Bernardini made one start for Neil Drysdale at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 4, trailing early in the field of 13 and picking up the pieces to finish fifth. Subsequently sent to Hushion in New York, she showed improved speed in her second start, tracking the pace and taking over in the stretch en route to a two-length score on May 30 at Belmont. Both races were contested at six furlongs, the distance of the Victory Ride.
“I think she’s up to it,” said Hushion of the decision to compete in a graded stakes in her first start against winners. “I think she’s this kind of a horse.”
Hushion said he is unsure whether sprinting or routing is in Bridgehampton’s future.
“She’s bred for longer,” said Hushion. “Maybe we’ll stretch her out later.”
Including Mystical Star and Dream Peace, the New York is expected to attract six runners out of the Sheepshead Bay: top three finishers Tannery, Anjaz, and Minakshi and eighth-place finisher Starformer. Also probable for the New York are Lady of Shamrock and Regalo Mia, according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes.
In the Victory Ride, Fusaichiwonderful and I’m Mom’s Favorite are slated to face Kauai Katie and Bridgehampton. Lighthouse Bay, and Native One are possible.