05/22/2013 4:18PM

Belmont: Met Mile won't get Jimmy Creed

Jamie Hernandez/Hodges Photography
Mark Valeski, winning the Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds, will cut back in distance for the one-mile Metropolitan Handicap.

ELMONT, N.Y. – A solid field of nine is shaping up for Monday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, but the race did lose a horse on Wednesday who may have vied for favoritism in the one-mile race.

Jimmy Creed, winner of the Grade 1 Malibu in December and Grade 2 Potrero Grande in April, will not ship cross-country from Southern California for the Met as originally planned. Trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday that he wasn’t satisfied with Jimmy Creed’s seven-furlong workout in 1:27.60 on Saturday at Santa Anita.

“He was very disappointing in his work,” Mandella said Wednesday from California. “I didn’t want to him put on a plane after that. He’s fine, but he usually works very well. Maybe we’ll take him back there for the Forego.”

While Jimmy Creed was declared out of the race, Flat Out and Mark Valeski were confirmed as starters.

Flat Out is 4 for 4 at Belmont with victories in consecutive runnings of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, as well as last year’s Grade 2 Suburban and last month’s Grade 3 Westchester.

Mark Valeski, who won the Grade 2 Peter Pan last May at Belmont, worked five furlongs in 58.80 seconds at Churchill on Wednesday and was to ship Thursday on a Tex Sutton flight from Kentucky.

In the Met Mile, Mark Valeski will be running at his shortest distance since he won a first-level allowance race at six furlongs in January 2012.

“At the Derby, they were telling me he’s a miler, so we’re doing what they said he was supposed to do,” said trainer Larry Jones, who kept Mark Valeski out of last year’s Derby.

Others confirmed for the Met Mile include Cross Traffic, Discreet Dancer, Fed Biz, Fort Loudon, Handsome Mike, Sahara Sky, and Swagger Jack.

Rattlesnake Bridge is possible, though trainer Kiaran McLaughlin indicated he may look more strongly at the $250,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National on June 1.

Jones has two for Phipps

In addition to bringing Mark Valeski to the Met Mile, trainer Larry Jones is bringing both of his Grade 1-winning fillies – Joyful Victory and Believe You Can – for Monday’s Grade 1, $400,00 Ogden Phipps Handicap.

Originally, Jones was planning to run Joyful Victory, owned by Fox Hill Farm, but owner Brereton Jones wanted to run Believe You Can, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Oaks.

Due to the late notice, Rosie Napravnik will ride Joyful Victory while John Velazquez has been secured to ride Believe You Can, on whom Napravnik won the Kentucky Oaks.

Believe You Can, who won Grade 3 Tempted at Belmont at 2, is coming off a third-place finish in the La Troienne at Churchill as the even-money favorite.

“It’s a Grade 1,” Larry Jones said. “It’s worth a lot of money. She appears to have bounced out of the race at Churchill good enough to do it. Both horses do have the same running style.”

Joyful Victory, coming off a front-running score in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita in March, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on Wednesday.

Others pointing to the Phipps include Centring, Disposablepleasure, and Tiz Miz Sue.

My Happy Face moved to Brown

My Happy Face, who won the Grade 3 Tempted at 2, has been moved from trainer Rudy Rodriguez to Chad Brown, owner Michael Dubb confirmed Wednesday.

“I just felt like Chad has a lot more experience being around developing Grade 1 horses,” Dubb said. “I’m trying to give her every chance I can.”

Dubb said his plan is to have My Happy Face ready for the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga in July with a possible prep beforehand.

My Happy Face, who was beaten a neck by Dreaming of Julia in last year’s Grade 1 Frizette, hasn’t run since finishing second to Kauai Katie in the Forward Gal at Gulfstream in January. She had a respiratory issue that prompted her to spend some time at a clinic in Kentucky before shipping to Rodriguez’s barn at Aqueduct.

She was moved to Brown about 10 days ago, according to Dubb, and on Wednesday she worked a half-mile in 49.68 seconds over the Belmont training track.

Dubb said he still maintains 20 horses with Rodriguez, who has had several positives for the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory flunixin.

“I totally support Rudy, though he hasn’t taken my advice and has taken on too many horses, and I’m not sure my horses are getting the attention they deserve,” Dubb said. “In terms of integrity and work ethic I think he’s fantastic.”

Point of Entry works toward Manhattan

Point of Entry, who is pointing to the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day, worked a leisurely half-mile in 50.47 seconds on the dirt Wednesday morning.

Trainer Shug McGaughey canceled a scheduled workout for Point of Entry on Tuesday because he felt the main track was heavy following the renovation break. McGaughey said he would like to get Point of Entry on the turf to work this Sunday.

On Wednesday, Point of Entry went his final quarter in 25.97 seconds.

Castellano works Lovely Syn

With Mike Luzzi sidelined until fall due to shoulder surgery, the undefeated New York-bred Lovely Syn got acquainted with her new rider, Javier Castellano, on Wednesday.

Castellano put Lovely Syn through a five-furlong workout in 1:01.89, a move done in company with My Jopia.

As per instructions from trainer Dominick Schettino, Lovely Syn sat just off My Jopia but didn’t pass her at the wire.

“I told Javier to sit off of her so they don’t go too fast,” said Schettino, noting that Lovely Syn had a very fast half-mile work prior to her last race. “She doesn’t have to go that fast.”

Lovely Syn is pointing to the $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes, a seven-furlong race for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies on June 1.

Mystical Star back in Sheepshead Bay

Mystical Star, who ran an amazing race in last year’s Sheepshead Bay before being disqualified, is back in this year’s running, which will take place Saturday.

Last year, Mystical Star broke through the gate just before it opened and was well behind the field before rallying to be third.

Despite losing all chance at the start, Mystical Star was viewed by the stewards as gaining an unfair advantage and thus was disqualified and placed last.

Mystical Star came back to win the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont last June 30. She has not won since.

Mystical Star, trained by Christophe Clement, will take on a field that includes Hessonite, winner of the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 4; Strathnaver, winner of the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland in April; and Starformer, who won the Grade 3 The Very One at Gulfstream in February.

◗ Eblouissante, undefeated half-sister to champion Zenyatta, worked four furlongs in 49.17 seconds over the Belmont training track Wednesday morning. It was her first workout in a month.