05/28/2013 12:42PM

Belmont Park: Clement, Mott have contenders in Thursday turf races

Tom Keyser
Screenplay had been a part of the exacta in six consecutive races before a fourth-place finish last time out.

Horseplayers who fancy grass races and the pick six will be delighted with Thursday’s sequence, as five of the last six races at Belmont Park are scheduled for turf, including two allowance races that share top billing.

Trainers Christophe Clement and Bill Mott will saddle contenders in both races.

In race 7, a second-level allowance at one mile with a $62,500 optional-claiming price, Clement sends out Border Song, a French import formerly trained by his brother Nicolas, who came out on the shortest end of a three-way win photo in his U.S. debut April 20 at Keeneland.

Mott counters with the uncoupled duo of Tattenham, a Juddmonte Farms homebred who has been called up to the big leagues after capturing his first two starts at Tampa Bay Downs, and Film Shot, second by a head in a driving rainstorm in last year’s Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby.

The one to beat could be Screenplay, a 6-year-old gelding who won a $20,000 claimer with no takers at Saratoga last summer.

“He had been off for a while and lacked some confidence, so we tried to get him in the right spot to get him back on track,” trainer John Terranova said.

It worked, as Screenplay then won or placed in his next five starts, capped by a front-running allowance win at Keeneland last month. Screenplay’s streak of exacta finishes ended on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs, where he was a tough-trip fourth behind Atigun in a high-end optional claimer and was placed third via disqualification.

Also entered for the $62,500 tag is the stretch-running Nine O Wonderful, who won back-to-back one-mile races at 13-1 last summer, including Saratoga’s meet opener.

“He is a one-run horse,” said trainer Jim Bond, who has prepped Nine O Wonderful for his 2013 debut with three straight bullet works.

Clement and Mott square off again in race 8, a preliminary allowance for fillies and mares scheduled for the inner course at 1 1/16 miles. White Rose meets winners for the first time, following a Gulfstream Park maiden victory at 7-10 odds for Mott.

Clement sends out the uncoupled pair of South Shore, third at this level most recently, and the import Tabreed, a close second in her U.S. unveiling behind Strathnaver, who subsequently won the Grade 3 Bewitch.

Darley Stable’s Midnight Watch, who wired maidens over the same real estate May 5, is the one to catch for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.