10/07/2011 3:15PM

Belmont: Forest Crown has been waiting for right spot at home track

Barbara D. Livingston
The filly Forest Crown will make her first start since July in Sunday's Stormy West.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Compromised by a slow start and a wide trip, Forest Crown was beaten just a nose when she made her North American debut in a second-level allowance race at Belmont Park on July 14.

Though she has not run since, a repeat of that performance puts Forest Crown in the mix of a competitive 10-horse field set to run seven furlongs over Belmont’s Widener turf course in Sunday’s $60,000 Stormy West Stakes. The Stormy West shares billing with the $60,000 Duck Dance for older sprinters on dirt.

Forest Crown went 2 for 11 in Europe and Dubai when trained by Ralph Beckett. She was shipped to trainer Chad Brown in the spring. Though pleased with Forest Crown’s debut, Brown said he was a little hesitant to run her at Saratoga.

“She’s a very high-strung filly that took a little time to acclimate over here,’’ Brown said. “That Saratoga environment can be a little busy for a horse. I think she needed just a little more time mentally to get her to settle. She does so well out of her Belmont barn here. I really did want to wait for Belmont.’’

Alan Garcia will ride Forest Crown from post 7.

There should be some pace to close into with Ultimate Class – who beat Forest Crown in that July 14 race – and Bella d’Oro, who scratched out of a Friday race at Laurel presumably to run in this spot.

Brown will also send out Evading Tempete, another 4-year-old British-bred who was twice a beaten favorite going one mile around two turns at Saratoga. Brown said he thought she was compromised by wide trips in both of her Saratoga races.

“And she was really close to the pace and I think it took away a little bit of her punch,’’ Brown said. “Cutting her back to a one-turn race, I’m real curious to see what she’s going to do. She’s training really perfect right now. This kind of trip might suit her a little bit better I’m thinking.’’

Javier Castellano rides Evading Tempete from post 10.

Becky’s Exchange might be a live longshot as she returns to Belmont Park, where she has run her better races. This will be her first start at seven furlongs, a distance that trainer Bob Barbara said he thinks “will hit her right over the head."