05/02/2012 3:34PM

Belmont: Difficult to look beyond Risky Rachel in Put the Powder To It


Soon after Risky Rachel blitzed her rivals in the Broadway Stakes as the first starter for Manny Coronel, the new trainer already had an idea of what to do for an encore.

“We have to be smart for the next race – we want to win again,” said Coronel, a native of Argentina who was an assistant to Pancho Martin, Angel Penna Jr., and Jim Bond, for whom Risky Rachel won 4 of 10 starts, including the Iroquois Stakes last fall.

Friday’s $85,000 Put the Powder To It at Belmont Park looks like a wise choice. Risky Rachel faces only four rivals, and is the prohibitive favorite at 2-5.

Set to oppose Risky Rachel in the 6 1/2-furlong overnight stake are Lady Gracenote, Lady On the Run, Midnight Visit, and Saltamontes.

Risky Rachel has had nearly six weeks off since the Broadway, which was her first outing since a fifth in the Grade 2 Go for Wand four months earlier. After tracking the early pace, she took command nearing the stretch, and widened her lead steadily to win by better than six lengths, earning a career best 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She ran huge that day,” Coronel recalled. “She came out of the race really good. Hopefully, she runs as good as she’s training.”

Lady On the Run came within a neck of sweeping her four starts at Belmont last year for John Morrison, the lone defeat coming when she ran out of ground against Saltamontes at six furlongs. The stretch-running filly was a maiden when she won a New York Stallion Stakes from dead last here last May, also at 6 1/2 furlongs, and she capped off a productive campaign with a similar score at Aqueduct in the fall.

Midnight Visit won three of her first four starts, including an overnight stakes. She returned from a layoff to win second time back at Aqueduct’s inner-dirt meet, setting an easy pace against second-level allowance sprinters Feb. 15, and now returns to stakes company for Todd Pletcher.

“She hasn’t done a whole lot wrong in her career,” said assistant trainer Michael McCarthy. “She ran super last time and has had a few decent works, so we are optimistic.”

Beaugay, Fort Marcy get nine apiece

Fields were drawn Wednesday for the Beaugay and Fort Marcy, a pair of Grade 3 $150,000 races that share top billing Saturday. They are the first graded turf stakes of the year in New York, each scheduled for the Widener course at 1 1/16 miles.

Nine older fillies and mares entered the Beaugay, headed by Winter Memories, a five-time graded stakes winner for Jimmy Toner, including the Grade 1 Garden City last fall. She is coupled with La Cloche.

Hessonite, scratched from a scheduled prep three weeks ago due to a foot abscess, also makes her seasonal debut for David Donk.

Check Point, Check the Label, Federation, Gitchee Goomie, Principal Role, and My Redbyrd also entered.

Nine older turf-meant males go in the Fort Marcy. Heading the lineup are Boisterous and Silver Medallion, who won graded stakes back to back before being upended in their latest starts.

Beau Choix, Boots Ahead, Desert Blanc, Gourmet Dinner, Sal the Barber, Top Surprize, and Upgraded also entered for turf. Trickmeister entered for dirt only.