06/14/2013 3:51PM

Belmont: Brown well stocked for major summer stakes

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Tom Keyser
Summer Applause could make her next start in the Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga on July 20.

ELMONT, N.Y. – If the last month is a harbinger, trainer Chad Brown could be sitting on a big second half of 2013.

In the last month, Brown has won 17 races from his last 50 starters, eight of those wins coming in stakes races. Brown will be pointing to more lucrative prizes with the likes of Summer Applause, Last Gunfighter, Easter Gift, My Happy Face, and others.

Summer Applause, who won the Grade 3 Allaire duPont Distaff at Pimlico on May 18, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga on July 20. Brown had given consideration to Saturday’s Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park, but ultimately decided to skip that $100,000 race and point for a richer prize.

“She runs pretty well fresh,” Brown said. “She gets a lot out of her training. From the Shuvee on through the rest of the season, she’ll run consistently so she’s getting her little breather now.”

Summer Applause won the Grade 2 Top Flight at Aqueduct before finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn.

The duo of 4-year-old males Last Gunfighter and Easter Gift have combined to win nine consecutive races. Last Gunfighter, whose streak includes a 4 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special on May 17, and Easter Gift, who most recently won the $250,000 Mountainview Stakes at Penn National on June 1, are both being considered for the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban Handicap here on July 6. Brown indicated that most likely only one would run.

Dayatthespa, whom Brown scratched from the Grade 1 Just a Game on June 8, is being pointed to the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga on July 27, but will likely have one start before then. Brown said Dayatthespa would be nominated for the All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs on June 22; the Eatontown at Monmouth on June 29, and the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx on July 2.

“If she can get to the Diana with another nice race under her belt and we can get the firm ground we’re looking for at Saratoga then we’d like to take a shot,” Brown said.

Brown won a pair of overnight stakes at Belmont on Thursday. My Happy Face, a graded stakes winner when trained by Rudy Rodriguez last year, won Thursday’s Lotka Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths. She ran a mile in 1:35.89 and earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Brown would like to run her in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 20.

“A lot of it depends how she comes out of the race and how she trains,” Brown said. “I’ll learn more about her exiting the race than I actually did in the race.”

Brown said that Barbie Wire, who won Thursday’s off-the-turf Astronomia Stakes, would likely be pointed to a stakes on turf for her next start.

While Brown has the highly regarded 3-year-old Normandy Invasion – the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby – ready to return to the work tab next week, he has another intriguing 3-year-old named Integrity, who won a first-level allowance race on Belmont Stakes Day.

Brown said he is pointing Integrity to the Dwyer Stakes on July 6.

“It might be a touch tight, but he seemed to come out of race in good shape so far,” Brown said. “We finally figured him out. I think that horse likes to rate off the pace and make one move and not be too involved early on if he can help it.”

Few challengers for Dreaming of Julia

It doesn’t appear as though there will be many challengers for the multiple graded stakes winner Dreaming of Julia in next Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes.

As of Friday, Close Hatches and Toasting were considered the only other definite starters. The racing office hoped to get two of the following three – Carnival Court, Marathon Lady, and Plenty O’Toole – to get a five- horse field.

Marathon Lady, beaten a neck by Fiftyshadesofhay in the Black-Eyed Susan, is also under consideration for the $200,000 Iowa Oaks on June 29. Toasting, trained by Tom Albertrani, finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan. Albertrani also mentioned that he may enter Let Me Entertain U if the field was short.

Close Hatches, who won the Grade 2 Gazelle, finished second in the Grade 1 Acorn.

Hessonite to Penny at Parx

Hessonite, who finished a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay here on May 25, will likely make her next start in the Grade 2, $250,000 James Penny Memorial Handicap at Parx on July 2, trainer David Donk said.

Hessonite finished second in that 1 1/16-mile race last year to Gitchee Goomie as New York-breds ran 1-2. Hessonite could face fellow New York-bred Dayatthespa in that race this year.

Donk said one reason he chose the Penny is that he would be able to get John Velazquez to ride.

Velazquez would replace Junior Alvarado, who rode Hessonite in the Sheepshead Bay.

Purse increase for N.Y.-breds, stakes

Purses for races restricted to New York-breds will receive a $5,000 purse increase for the final two weeks of the meet, June 26 through July 14.

Also, all overnight stakes will get an increase to $100,000 for the final two weeks. Those races had been worth $85,000 or $90,000 depending on distance. Purses for open company races will remain the same.

“We have some purse money. It’s only 14 days. We just bumped them up a little bit,” said P.J. Campo, New York Racing Association vice president/director of racing.