10/05/2011 3:46PM

Belmont: McGaughey shoots for sixth Frizette victory


Though Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Frizette Stakes is viewed as a showdown between My Miss Aurelia and Stopshoppingmaria, it’s never a good idea to dismiss trainer Shug McGaughey in this race.

McGaughey has won the Frizette five times and goes for his sixth when he sends out Spare Change in the one-mile race. The Frizette is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Spare Change, a daughter of Bernardini, won a seven-furlong maiden race by eight lengths in front-running fashion in her second start. That race, as did her debut, came in the slop.

“She was a good second in her first race and she was much more aware of things the second time around,’’ said Buzz Tenney, assistant to McGaughey. “She was a little bit sharper, broke running and stayed there.’’

That race was Aug. 21, but the seven weeks between races is by design, according to Tenney.

“Everything’s gone according to plan,’’ Tenney said. “The filly’s doing good, we’re going to find out a little bit more. I think she’ll run good.’’

Spare Change will break from post 5 under Javier Castellano.

My Miss Aurelia, who won the Adirondack, drew the rail. Stopshoppingmaria, who won a maiden race by 9 3/4 lengths on the same card as the Adirondack, drew post 3. Others entered include Miss Netta, Holiday Soiree, and Harbor Mist.

Brilliant Speed tops Jamaica Handicap

Brilliant Speed, winner of the Grade 3 Saranac at Saratoga last out, heads a field of eight entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at 1 1/8 miles over the inner turf.

Brilliant Speed won the Blue Grass over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April, then made his next three starts on the dirt, which included a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. In the Saranac, he rallied from fifth position to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Brilliant Speed will face seven rivals, including the European shipper Western Asritocat, a Kentucky-bred son of Mr. Greeley owned by the Vinery Stables and trained by Jeremy Noseda. Casino Host, Rustler Hustler, Wilkinson, Seal Cove, Top Surprize, and Sky Blazer complete the field.

Boys At Tosconova returns Saturday

There are three Grade 1 stakes on Saturday’s card, but the first race features the return of the Grade 1 winner Boys At Tosconova to the races. Winner of last year’s Grade 1 Hopeful, Boys At Tosconova makes his first start since he finished second to Uncle Mo in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Boys At Tosconova, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., was hampered by ankle problems that forced him to miss the spring races. He has a steady work tab leading to his return, which comes in a second-level allowance race at seven furlongs and also features stakes winners Tapizar and Uptowncharlybrown.

“He’s doing good, I expect to see him run big,’’ trainer Dutrow said.”`He likes Belmont. We’re excited to see him run.’’

Boys at Tosconova will break from post 3 under John Velazquez. Tapizar, trained by Steve Asmussen, makes his first start since getting hurt in the Robert Lewis in February. In January, he won the Grade 3 Sham at Santa Anita.

Uptowncharlybrown has not run since he finished fifth in the 2010 Belmont Stakes, but was disqualified to last because he did not carry the proper weight through the duration of the race.

McClain appointed VP/COO

The New York Racing Association has promoted Ellen McClain to executive vice president and chief operating officer, replacing Hal Handel, who did not renew his contract last month.

McClain had held the position as senior vice president and chief financial officer since July 2009.

“In her two years with NYRA, Ellen has become a key member of the senior management team and has developed a deep appreciation and knowledge of Thoroughbred racing,’’ NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward said in a press release. “Her superlative analytical abilities and management skills will help us take advantage of the great opportunities we have to transform the business and result in the best racing experience for industry stakeholders.’’

McClain, 47, boats a 20-year track record in media finance and operations. From 2004-09, she served as the vice president of finance for Heart-Argyle Television Inc., a publicly traded group operator of 29 local television stations.