10/06/2011 3:50PM

Belmont: Boys At Tosconova, Tapizar back in action


ELMONT, N.Y. − Saturday’s first race at Belmont Park is a second-level allowance/optional claiming event with a purse of $54,000.

It could be called the Comeback Derby.

Boys At Tosconova, the Grade 1 Hopeful winner from 2010, and Tapizar, the Grade 2 Sham Stakes winner from earlier this year, both return to the races in this seven-furlong race, which also includes Uptowncharlybrown, who hasn’t raced since last year’s Belmont Stakes.

Boys At Tosconova, who won a five-furlong maiden race by 12 lengths here in July 2010, hasn’t run since finishing second to Uncle Mo in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. Training in south Florida during the winter, Boys At Tosconova was sidelined in mid-January by ankle problems.

Boys At Tosconova has breezed eight times since Aug. 31, though he missed one breeze after getting his foot caught on a stall door, which resulted in a quarter crack, according to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

“He’s just ready to run, we put him in and we’ll see what happens,” Dutrow said. “I don’t see a problem with seven-eighths. I’m always hoping for an easy spot. I’m not looking to gut him first start back.”

This is no easy spot.

Tapizar, trained by Steve Asmsusen, won the Grade 3 Sham at Santa Anita in January before finishing fifth as the 1-4 favorite in the Robert B. Lewis. He came out of that race with a chip in a knee that needed to be surgically removed. Since returning to Asmussen’s care this summer, Tapizar has been breezing with a purpose, including a bullet five-furlong move in 59.40 seconds Monday at Belmont.

“I’m anxious to have him back running,” Asmussen said. “Obviously, this isn’t the ultimate goal for him, being a two-other-than. It’s a nice spot to get him back to the races. He’s a very impressive horse that’s trained well.”

Uptowncharlybrown won the first two starts of his career, including a six-length win in the Pasco Stakes going seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs in January 2010. He has not run since finishing fifth in the Belmont Stakes, in which he was disqualified and placed last because a lead weight pad fell out of his saddle, meaning he didn’t carry the required 126 pounds for the entire duration of the race.

Uptowncharlybrown, owned by the Fantasy Lane Stable, will be saddled by trainer Ed Coletti and ridden by Javier Castellano.

Veteran sprinters such as Mannington, Starforaday, and Three Day Rush loom the main hurdles for the comebacking trip.

Garcia, Nakatani to winter in New York

With the recent announcement that the New York Racing Association will be giving away approximately $375,000 a day in purses money during Aqueduct’s inner track meet, jockeys Alan Garcia and Corey Nakatani are planning to remain in New York for the winter.

Garcia has spent the last three winters at Gulfstream Park. The last time he spent an entire winter in New York was 2007-08 when he won 80 races.

Nakatani spent last winter at Santa Anita and the winter before that at Oaklawn.

“The purses will be good,” said agent Ron Anderson, who represents both riders. “Corey needs to establish himself as a New York rider. Alan, the last time he was here for the winter, he won [80] races. I think it’s the right year to try it.”

Garcia rides frequently for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who won 22 races during the 2010-11 inner-track meet compared with 11 wins at Gulfstream.

Clement to wait for Good Karma

Trainer Christophe Clement has a new acquisition in his barn, the Italian-bred 3-year-old filly Good Karma. Two starts back, Good Karma finished second to Dandedream, a noteworthy performance after Danedream won Sunday’s Arc de Triomphe so impressively.

Clement was thinking of running Good Karma in Monday’s Pebbles Stakes here, but she got tired at the end of a four-furlong workout on Wednesday, so Clement will wait.

“She’s a good moving filly, she just got very tired at the end of her, so I think we’ll give her a bit more time,” said Clement, who will probably run Ruthenia in the Pebbles. “She’s a very nice filly, exciting for the future.”

Others under consideration for the Pebbles are Arch Support, Divalariuos, Elusive Pearl, Embarr, Master Shade, My Redbyrd, and Shatoosh.

◗ Mucho Macho Man, one of three horses who ran in all three Triple Crown races this year, worked three furlongs in 36.27 seconds Thursday morning over the Belmont training track. Mucho Macho Man finished third in the Kentucky Derby, sixth in the Preakness, and seventh in the Belmont. He had worked four times from Aug. 12-Sept. 2 before getting sick. The connections hope to get him back to the races later this year.