09/12/2012 3:37PM

Belmont: Karlovy Vary recovers quickly enough to make Garden City

Barbara D. Livingston
Karlovy Vary will compete for the first time since July 29 when she runs in Saturday's Garden City Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – What looked to be the ideal spot for Karlovy Vary turned out to be anything but when she came out of her third-place finish in the Nani Rose Stakes on July 29 at Saratoga with a significant cut to the cannon bone of her right foreleg, an injury that could have been a lot worse.

“We got lucky,” trainer Rusty Arnold said. “It missed the suspensory by a quarter of an inch.”

Needing only limited time to heal, Karlovy Vary came to hand quicker than anticipated and will return to the races in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park. Karlovy Vary, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland in April, drew post 6 in a field of seven entered for the Garden City scheduled for 1 1/8 miles over Belmont’s inner turf course.

“I thought she was going to take more time,” Arnold said by phone from Kentucky, where he was attending the Keeneland yearling sale. “She missed only 10 days, has done well since. It just worked out.”

If you draw a line through her two dirt races – including a 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks – Karlovy Vary is 4 for 7 with two thirds. She is 3 for 6 on turf, was beaten less than one length when she debuted at Saratoga last September, and was beaten three lengths with a troubled trip in the Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream in December. In the Nani Rose, Karlovy Vary may have sustained her cut early in the race then had to steady at the five-sixteenths before finishing third behind Alaura Michele.

“Her conditions fit that race so well. She had kind of a rough trip, nobody’s fault,” Arnold said.

Arnold noted that the 1 1/8 miles of the Garden City should be more favorable than the one mile of the Nani Rose. In her only start at nine furlongs, Karlovy Vary won a third-level allowance at Churchill Downs.

For a Grade 1-winning filly, Karlovy Vary has had a difficult time retaining riders. Julien Leparoux, who rode Karlovy Vary in her debut, will ride her on Saturday for the first time since then.

Samitar, a Group 1 winner in Ireland who finished third in the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga; Tannery, a Group 2 winner in Ireland in July, and Somali Lemonade, winner of the Grade 3 Jessamine at 2, head the list of contenders. Ciao Bella, Open Water, and Trophy Wife all seek their first graded stakes victories in this spot.