ELMONT, N.Y. – It won’t be too calm after the storm as there are three stakes scheduled for Sunday’s nine-race closing-day card at Belmont Park.
Two of those stakes, the $125,000 Zagora and the $100,000 Chelsey Flower Stakes, are scheduled for the turf. Whether they are run on the turf likely depends how Saturday’s forecasted nor’easter impacts the two turf courses.
The other stakes on the card is the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie for female sprinters on dirt.
The Zagora, named for the 2012 female turf champion, is scheduled for 1 1/2 miles over the Widener turf course. If it stays on turf, eight are expected to run as four were entered for the main track only.
The 3-year-old Chipolata finished third in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational here on July 7, just days after arriving from France. After getting the summer off, she was scratched out of an allowance race here that came off the turf. She also was scratched from the Valley View Stakes at Keeneland after drawing the outside post in a 14-horse field.
Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, believes the Zagora distance is ideal for Chipolata. He is just hoping the ground isn’t too soft.
“As long as she can relax and be comfortable wherever she is, it doesn’t matter,” Lorieul said. “I think she’ll run big.”
Trainer Arnaud Delacour ships up from Maryland the 4-year-old Golden Attitude, whose dam, Gold Round, is a half-sister to the multiple Breeders’ Cup winner and champion Goldikova. Golden Attitude came off a 16-month layoff to win a first-level allowance going 1 1/8 miles at Delaware Park on Sept. 5.
“I know it was only an a-other-than at Delaware, but she got boxed in a little bit and had to come late,” Delacour told the New York Racing Association publicity staff. “She did very well and galloped out strongly. I’m pretty excited about her and I think she’s a nice filly.”
If the race is moved to the main track, Indy Union and Tigalulu, first and second in a Sept. 21 allowance race, would become significant players.
Hennig set for turf or dirt
On the turf or off, trainer Mark Hennig seems well stocked for the $100,000 Chelsey Flower Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf.
For the turf, Hennig entered maidens On the Town and Take Ten, both second in their only start. He has the off-the-turf maiden winner Hollywood Glory entered if the race is run on the main track.
On the Town and Take Ten ran similar races in their respective debuts. Both were in the back of the pack before coming with a sustained rally in the lane.
On the Town was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Fierce Scarlett – who would come back to finish fourth as the favorite in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland – while finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of next-out winner Brooke Marie.
Take Ten rallied from last to be second to Pakhet, who came back to run second in the Jessamine. Take Ten stayed on her left lead leg throughout the stretch of her race.
Hollywood Glory got beat 22 lengths at Saratoga in her debut, and came back to win a one-mile off the turf race going a one-turn mile, which would be what the Chelsey Flower would become if it’s moved to the dirt.
Trainer John Servis has Shoobiedoobydoo, the Selima Stakes runner-up, and Stormy D, a maiden winner at Gulfstream, for the Chelsey Flower.
Sower to meet elders
Sower is the only 3-year-old filly among seven female sprinters entered in the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie Stakes, slated for seven furlongs on the dirt.
Sower, a daughter of Flatter, won her first three starts, including the Jersey Girl Stakes here in June. In her last three starts, she was beaten three-quarters of a length when third in the Grade 3 Victory Ride here, fourth to Dream Tree in the Grade 2 Prioress, and third to Late Night Pow Wow in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks on Sept. 22. Late Night Pow Wow is 8 for 9 in her career,
“She came out of the race at Charles Town well,” trainer Linda Rice said of Sower. “This time of year we’re going to have to start running against older fillies, so we thought we’d take a look at this race.”
Sexy Reasons went 8 for 12 in Uruguay, and will now make her U.S. debut and first start for trainer Todd Pletcher in this race.
“We’re trying to find a place to start out,” Pletcher said. “There are limited options with a horse that’s won eight races already. This seemed like a logical spot even though it appears in her past performances she’s probably better going longer, but we figured we’d give this a try and get started.”
Tequilita, winner of the 2017 Charles Town Oaks, is cutting back to a distance at which she has recorded three of her four victories.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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