07/03/2011 11:40AM

Belmont: Fast & firm


  Despite some rain overnight, and a 60 percent chance of scattered t-showers this afternoon, the main track is fast and the turf courses are labeled firm for Sunday's 10-race card, which begins with the 2 1/4-mile William Entenmann Stakes for "novice" steeplechasers.

  Also on tap are the Futurity (4th) and Matron (5th), a pair of six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds; and the Grade 3 Bed O'Roses Handicap (9th) for older fillies and mares.

  Judging from the fields for the Futurity and Matron, the attempt to jump-start the local juvenile program with $60,000 maiden races hasn't worked. The Futurity and Matron are essentially $150,000 "a other than" allowance races. All six Futurityentrants began their careers out of town, and only two of the seven Matron entrants are locally based: Born Bullish, who scratched, and the New York-bred Hook It Up.