06/01/2012 1:45PM

Belmont: My Jopia follows up good turf debut in Cupecoy's Joy


ELMONT, N.Y. – Before he takes a swing for the fences with longshot Five Sixteen in next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, trainer Dominick Schettino looks to be a more realistic player with My Jopia in Sunday’s $75,000 Cupecoy’s Joy Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Cupecoy’s Joy, for 3-year-old fillies, shares billing with the $75,000 Spectacular Bid, for 3-year-old males, on Sunday’s 10-race card. Both races, scheduled for seven furlongs on the Widener turf course, are part of the New York Stallion Series, restricted to progeny of New York-based stallions.

My Jopia, a daughter of Utopia, made a successful turf debut last month, winning a six-furlong statebred, first-level allowance race by one length.

Schettino said My Jopia worked on the grass once in Saratoga last summer and thought she was equally as good on turf or dirt. He had her entered in a turf race last October, but it was rained off to the main track.

After My Jopia made her first six starts in blinkers, Schettino took them off for her turf debut last month.

“I put the blinkers on her as a 2-year-old because she wasn’t focused,” Schettino said. “She’s more mature.”

My Jopia stalked the pace from post 12 in her last start. Sunday, she will break from the rail. Ramon Dominguez replaces Rosie Napravnik, who is out of town on the day.

“She’s the type of filly who’ll do anything you ask,” Schettino said. “She’ll go to the front, sit off the pace. She’s a very versatile filly. With Ramon, I don’t worry about the rail.”

Why Take a Chance, second against open company in her lone turf start, Barrel of Joy, a maiden winner last out, and first-time turfers Sweet Moon and Gabrilicious are in with a chance.

In the Spectacular Bid, King Kressa will have to overcome the outside post in a field of 12.

\After finishing fifth in his dirt debut over Aqueduct’s inner track on March 5, King Kressa, a son of King Cugat, won a maiden $25,000 claimer at Aqueduct on turf while finishing second to Fox Rules in a first-level allowance race at Belmont on May 5. Fox Rules came back to win a second-level allowance on Thursday. King Kressa wore blinkers in both of his turf starts.

“He’s bred for the turf, it probably picks his head up a little bit,” said trainer Jeremiah Englehart. “As soon as I ran him on the grass he acted different, like he had a new lease on life.”

Englehart isn’t thrilled with the outside post, but his horse does have enough early speed to gain position. Irad Ortiz Jr. rides.

Western Tryst won a six-furlong maiden turf sprint over this course last fall. He is coming off a third-place finish in a Stallion Stakes race run on dirt behind I’ll Stake U and Sportswriter, both of whom are back in this field.

Sportswriter is the only three-time winner in the field, with one of those wins coming in a turf sprint at Saratoga last August.