Three stakes close the curtain on Belmont Fall Championship Meet on Sunday
by NYRA Press Office
A three-stakes lineup, featuring the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie, the $100,000 Chelsey Flower and the $125,000 Zagora, will close the Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet on Sunday.
The day's feature - the first running of the Zagora for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up - will be the last of the 44 stakes worth more than $10 million total for Belmont's 36-day meet, which started Friday, September 7.
LNJ Foxwoods homebred Golden Attitude will make her Belmont debut in the Zagora, a 1 ½ miles event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on the Widener turf course in Race 8.
The 4-year-old daughter of Redoute's Choice is out of Gold Round, who is a half-sister to the Hall of Famer and two-time Eclipse Award winning champion Goldikova. Initially campaigned in France by Frederic Head, Golden Attitude graduated at second asking over the Chantilly synthetic in a maiden affair on Valentine's Day of 2017.
Following her five starts in France, in which she posted a record of 1-1-1, Golden Attitude was sent to North America in the care of trainer Arnaud Delacour.
"I've had her since the spring and she's been very nice to train. She's a delight, very easy to train, and has always breezed well," said Delacour.
Golden Attitude made her U.S. debut in a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming event on September 5 over a firm Delaware turf, arriving in the nick of time under Trevor McCarthy to score a neck victory.
"I know it was only an 'A other than' at Delaware, but she got boxed in a little bit and had to come late. She did very well and galloped out strongly," said Delacour. "I'm pretty excited about her and I think she's a nice filly."
Delacour had hoped to try a 10-furlong turf allowance at Belmont following her Delaware score, but the event didn't fill. Despite the jump up in distance to 12 furlongs, the French-born conditioner said he is confident his filly can handle the added ground.
"That race would have given us a chance to stretch her out gradually, but the race didn't go so we decided to go straight to the mile and a half," Delacour said. "It is, of course, a question mark, but she looks like she settled very well in that last race and if the ground is a little soft, she's got good form on soft turf in Europe."
Javier Castellano, who recently secured his 5,000th win in North America, has the call.
The Zagora is named for the Chad Brown-trained mare who banked in excess of $2.3 million, including wins in the 2011 edition of the Diana at Belmont and in the 2012 Ballston Spa at Saratoga ahead of her famous score in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
To win the 1 ½ mile turf marathon, Golden Attitude will have to topple a competitive field of 12 that includes the Grade 1-placed Chipolata and Homeland Security, a winner at the distance in the River Memories.
Chipolata, a 3-year-old French-bred daughter of Muhtathir, won twice in France as a juvenile when under the care of Jerome Reynier. Following three sophomore starts in France, which included a good second in the Prix Melisande at Longchamp, Chipolata was shipped to trainer Christophe Clement in North America and rallied for third in the Grade 1 Belmont Invitational Oaks at odds of 36-1. Manny Franco has the call for the return engagement.
Homeland Security, a 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike has won three of seven starts for Brown, including her first stakes win in the River Memories when prominently placed under regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. The dark bay, a $240,000 Keeneland Yearling Sale purchase has posted all three of her wins over the Belmont turf including a good allowance score over 1 1/4 miles here last September.
Beau Belle, Giovanna Blues, Queen of Connaught, True Egyptian and Violet Blue complete the field. Arewehavingfunyet, Matty's Magnum, Tigalulu and Indy Union are entered for the main track only.
In the seventh running of the Chelsey Flower in Race 4, a field of eight 2-year-old fillies will look to win their first respective stakes in competing at one mile on the Widener turf.
Trainer John Servis will send out a pair of talented entries, including the only horse in the field to compete in a stakes in Shoobiedoobydoo, who finished second by a half length to Monkeys Uncle in the Selima on September 22 at Laurel Park.
Owned by James Morrissey III, Shoobiedoobydoo broke her maiden at second asking on August 26 at Parx, winning at 5 ½ furlongs on the main track. Servis switched the Dialed In filly to turf in the six-furlong Selima, where she handled the yielding turf in rallying from ninth before falling just short at the wire. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will pick up the mount for the first time from post 7.
DJ Stable and Aron Yagoda's Stormy D will enter her first stakes start off a maiden-breaking win on September 20 at Gulfstream Park when she edged She's an Introvert by a neck at the Chelsey Flower distance. Servis moved the daughter of Will Take Charge to the grass after she ran sixth on the Gulfstream main track in her debut on August 16 and will now stay on the turf, drawing post 2 with Joel Rosario set to ride.
A pair of fillies making their second career starts are entered for trainer Mark Hennig. Both Take Ten and On the Town posted second-place finishes in their respective first races at 1 1/16 miles on September 15 on the Belmont turf.
Courtlandt Farms' Take Ten, purchased for $350,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, ran second to Pakhet on yielding turf last month, making up ground when 10th of 12 horses before finishing 1 ¼ lengths short of the winner, who makes her next start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Uncle Mo filly will leave post 8.
On the Town, a $450,000 purchase for Courtlandt Farms at the same sale, also came from well of the pace in her debut, moving from last of 11 to second behind Fierce Scarlett. She enters stakes company in drawing post 4 with Dylan Davis aboard.
"Out of those two, I'll probably run one of them, but we figured we'd take a shot if we're happy with the field," Hennig said. "Both of them came out of their races well and have trained forwardly since. We figured the form held up pretty well on the day. You never know if we'll get more rain.
"I would anticipate both of them being closer to the speed in their next race," he added. "It looked like both fillies kind of figured it out at the quarter-pole and put in a nice run."
Klaravich Stables' Multi Strategy, who won her first race in her third start on October 8 on a Belmont turf course listed as good, will cut back from 1 1/16 miles for meet-leading trainer Chad Brown. The filly by Scat Daddy drew post 6 with Irad Ortiz, Jr., looking to wrap up the meet's riding title, in the irons.
Three first-time stakes starters will round out the field in Sweet Timing, for trainer Jimmy Toner; Lucky Lips, for conditioner Jonathan Thomas, and the Edmund Pringle-trained Tweety Kitten.
Hollywood Glory, Two Dozen Roses and Seek and Destroy are entered for the main track only.
Leonard Green's Sower will headline a field of seven in the sixth running of the Pumpkin Pie, going six furlongs for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, in Race 7.
Sower, a 3-year-old daughter of Flatter in the care of trainer Linda Rice, impressively won her debut by 7 ¼ lengths on April 28 at Laurel Park. Following up with back-to-back wins in an optional-claiming race on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course and the Jersey Girl on June 10 at Belmont, she made her graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Victory Ride on July 8 in which she finished third.
Following a freshening, Sower returned to finish fourth in her next start in the Grade 2 Prioress on September 2 at Saratoga Race Course, and last time out was third in the Charles Town Oaks on September 22.
"She's doing very well," Rice said. "She has trained nicely into this race. She's been coming along since her last race at Charles Town and we're looking to use this race to setup for a nice winter campaign at Aqueduct [Racetrack] as well."
Drawing Post 4, Sower will depart with Ortiz, Jr. in the irons.
Argentine-bred Sexy Reasons is entered for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trainer Todd Pletcher. Unraced since last April, she is set to make her North American debut in the Pumpkin Pie. The 4-year-old Jump Start filly posted eight wins from 12 career starts in Uruguay and is a multiple graded stakes winner in South America.
"She has a good record in South America, and our options are limited in bringing a horse here like that who's won as many races as she has," said Pletcher. "We felt like this was a good spot to get her started."
Sexy Reasons will leave from post 2 with Velazquez in the irons.
Completing the field is Tequilita for trainer Michael Matz; Betranada, conditioned by James Noble; Squan's Kingdom, trained by Patrick McBurney; and Tiffany Case, for trainer Eric Reed.