by Brian Bohl
Lady Sheila Stable's Holiday Disguise will look to capitalize on a cutback in distance as she seeks her second consecutive stakes win on Saturday in the sixth running of the $125,000 Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont Park.
The ultra-consistent Holiday Disguise, who has six wins in nine starts, has finished off the board just once in her career and will be seeking her third win in four starts for trainer Linda Rice.
After rallying from fifth to win the Critical Eye against state breds at one mile last out, Rice said the six-furlong Dancin Renee could be beneficial for the Harlan's Holiday filly.
"She's been doing well and is coming off the Critical Eye at a mile, but we were looking for a race between here and Saratoga, and this fit pretty well," Rice said. "I think it'll work. Frankly, the mile is a little long for her. We think her ideal distance is seven [furlongs], but this is within her range of effectiveness."
Jockey Junior Alvarado, aboard for her win in the Biogio's Rose in her 4-year-old debut on February 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, will have the return call from post 5.
"I'm hoping they set a fast pace in front of her and she can close through the stretch, that's the kind of style she prefers," Rice said.
Kennesaw Mountain Racing's Picco Unio will look to capitalize on class relief after running fifth in the Grade 3 Distaff on April 6. Trained by Jason Servis, Picco Uno will be making her seventh consecutive stakes start and could be part of the pace scenario in breaking from post 3. Manny Franco will ride.
Trainer Charlton Baker will saddle a pair of entries, including Newman Racing's Absatootly, who started her 5-year-old year by challenging in the La Verdad before tiring and finishing fifth on January 19 at Aqueduct. She returns from a five-month layoff looking for her first win since the Iroquois on October 21 at Belmont, having Joe Bravo in the irons from the outside post.
Absatootly's stablemate Cozzy Spring, who ran third in the Iroquois, dropped down in class to finish second in an optional claimer on May 11 and returns to stakes actions in drawing post 2 in tandem with Dylan Davis.
Bluegrass Flag, for trainer Tom Morley, will be looking to regain her 3-year-old form in which she won three races in 2017. After finishing fifth or worse in four straight races, the 4-year-old Bluegrass Cat filly will attempt to rebound, breaking from the rail with jockey Joel Rosario.
The lightly raced Still There, making her first stakes appearance after starting her career 2-for-2, will break from post 4 for trainer Dane Kobiskie with David Cohen aboard. Bobby's Song, who broke her maiden at second asking on May 18 at Parx for Silvio Martin, will leave from post 6. Kendrick Carmouche will have the call.
Dancin Renee, bred in New York, won 14 races in 21 starts from 1995-97, including the 1997 Grade 3 Honorable Miss at Saratoga.