07/15/2011 3:29PM

Belmont: Pace could set up Mineralogist in Miss South Shore


ELMONT, N.Y. – The 56-day Belmont meet concludes Sunday, when the $60,000 Miss South Shore overnight stakes highlights a 10-race program.

Mineralogist, the champion New York-bred juvenile filly of 2009 who missed her entire 3-year-old season, is the 2-1 morning-line choice over four rival fillies and mares in the one-mile race. After winning sloppy renewals of the Joseph A. Gimma and the Maid of the Mist for John Kimmel in 2009, she underwent knee surgery and later suffered a puncture wound of the same knee that led to an infection and an extended course of antibiotics.

This will be the fourth start back from a 16-month layoff for Mineralogist, who could be the beneficiary of a pace duel between Cody Samora and Queen’s Harbor. Cody Samora went wire to wire in back-to-back blowout victories at Aqueduct at the turn of the year for John Morrison but has lost five subsequent starts at 5-2 or lower. The Rick Violette-trained Queen’s Harbor went wire to wire in the East View Stakes in her final start as a 2-year-old and recaptured her best form earlier at this meet to win a $50,000 claimer over last year’s Schuylerville Stakes winner Le Mi Geaux. This will be her first start against older fillies and mares.

Banker’s Buy has finished off the board in her last four starts for Nick Zito, but extenuating circumstances have conspired to darken her form. Both of her races against New York-breds came on sealed wet tracks, and she was against the grain of a speed-favoring track against open company at Monmouth Park last time out.

Banker’s Buy, whose most recent win came on this track last July, may have tipped her hand with a bullet half-mile workout over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on July 6.

Go Unbridled, a deep-closing filly who erased early deficits of 11 and 15 lengths in two wins at the inner-track meet across town, completes the field. She will be first-time Lasix and picks up leading rider Ramon Dominguez.

Following a four-day break, the 143rd Saratoga meet gets under way Friday. Among the 2-year-old fillies expected for the Schuylerville Stakes − the traditional opening-day feature – are the Todd Pletcher-trained Georgie’s Angel, a debut winner at Churchill Downs; and Born Bullish, who won here at first asking for John Terranova.

Saturday’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is shaping up as a battle between Acorn winner It’s Tricky and Mother Goose winner Buster’s Ready.