10/23/2012 2:35PM

Belmont Park: ‘Miracle’ mare making return in Serena’s Cat Stakes


Weather permitting, some nice fillies and mares who haven’t done much running lately will clash in the Serena’s Cat, an $80,000 overnight stakes scheduled for seven furlongs on the Widener turf Thursday at Belmont Park.

The Serena’s Cat, which heads a strong final Thursday card supported by four allowance races, will see the comeback of Much Rejoicing, who suffered burns and abrasions, but no structural damage, when a van carrying six of trainer Jimmy Toner’s horses was cut off and overturned while en route from Palm Meadows in Florida to Fair Hill in Maryland on April 18.

[PHOTO GALLERY: Comeback is a reason for rejoicing]

Toner said getting the 5-year-old mare back to the races is “a miracle in itself,” as Much Rejoicing was the most seriously injured in the incident.

Future Generation, idle since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Honey Fox in mid-March, returns for trainer Christophe Clement, who also entered Federation, one of only two in the lineup who has run at the meet.

Future Generation, a Group 3 stakes winner in her native Ireland last year, is, said Clement, “a very nice filly who trained well and won very well” when she made her United States debut at Gulfstream last winter. She appeared a bit headstrong early in the Honey Fox and never seriously threatened behind subsequent dual Grade 1 winner Tapitsfly.

Federation, a three-time allowance winner since coming over from England, was fourth behind stablemate Naples Bay in the Noble Damsel on Sept. 15, less than three weeks after easily winning a third-level allowance as the 4-5 choice at Saratoga. “They both trained very well,” said Clement. “I thought they had the same chance. It was a little bit quick back for Federation.”

Whipsaw City, who had been under consideration for the Noble Damsel, makes her first start since surrendering a lengthy lead at 3-5 under similar conditions in early summer. Earlier this year at Gulfstream Park, she showed the ability to fire fresh, winning her first two U.S. starts, both for Chad Brown, who leads all trainers with 12 grass winners heading into Belmont’s final week.

Senza Rete, a two-time winner at one mile in Italy but unraced since last December, makes her U.S. debut for trainer Angel Penna Jr.

Notassharpasuthink and Platinum Exchance make their first starts since June. Agatha K and Sylvestris also were entered for turf.

Mission Impazible, a dual Grade 2 winner for Todd Pletcher whose last dozen starts have been in graded stakes, is the 6-5 favorite in race 6, a third-level optional claimer at a mile out of the chute.