12/28/2010 2:28PM

Bells of Concerto gets some class relief in sprint


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – At face value, it may not seem like a first-level open company allowance race at Aqueduct would be a class drop from a starter allowance race at Parx Racing. But the field Bells of Concerto meets in Thursday’s $47,000 allowance feature at the Big A seems significantly inferior to what she ran against last time.

In fact, on paper, Thursday’s first-level allowance sprint may be the easiest spot Bells of Concerto has been in since trainer Scott Volk claimed her for $25,000 at Gulfstream Park last March.

“She’s hit every tough filly on the Eastern Seaboard,” Volk said Tuesday. “She’s never had an easy race.”

Volk claimed Bells of Concerto with the idea of bringing her to Monmouth Park and aiming for the lucrative purses that meet offered last summer. Off a two-month freshening, Bells of Concerto finished first in a $78,000 first-level allowance race only to be disqualified by the stewards for a brushing incident in midstretch.

“Baloney call,” Volk said.

In four subsequent starts, Bells of Concerto finished third three times and second once. In those races, she was beaten by the likes of Five Grand Girl, who came back to win a second-level allowance at Monmouth; Lots of Stones, who currently has a five-race win streak; Thatsallshewrote, who won her third consecutive race when beating Bells of Concerto; and Wind Caper, who came back to win a starter allowance at Aqueduct in November.

“Nobody runs in an ‘a other than’ against those kind every time,” Volk said. “Last time [against Wind Caper], she didn’t like the track at Philly.”

Though Bells of Concerto will be running for the first time in nine weeks, she has run well off the layoff before. Two of her four career wins have come off layoffs of seven weeks or more, and she also won first time out as a 2-year-old in 2008.

“She’s alright, she’s not a superstar,” Volk said. “Hopefully, she’ll get a little class relief and get the job done.”

Junior Alvarado rides from post 6.

Beauty Is a Beast and Star Orchid look like the major threats. Beauty Is a Beast is making her first start for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and returns to dirt for the first time since she finished fourth in her debut at Gulfstream in March.

Star Orchid, trained by Steve Asmussen, won a starter allowance sprinting on dirt at Belmont in September before finishing eighth in a turf allowance at Belmont on Oct. 11

Spina, Eager Emma, and Flying Wildcat complete the field.