06/19/2013 3:49PM

Belmont Park: Close Hatches needs her very best in Mother Goose

Barbara D. Livingston
Close Hatches won the first three races of her career, including the Grade 2 Gazelle.

ELMONT, N.Y. – When Bill Mott watches Close Hatches train, he firmly believes there’s a big race with her name on it.

“She’ll break your watch in the morning,” Mott said this week. “Usually, in time, those kind eventually will get it together and show it in the afternoon.”

While Close Hatches did win the Grade 2 Gazelle over subsequent Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar, she’ll need to have it all together Saturday when she faces Dreaming of Julia in the Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Mother Goose, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, drew a field of five and will be run as race 10 on an 11-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m.

Close Hatches won the first three races of her career, including the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct on April 6. She had a wide trip when she was seventh in the Kentucky Oaks before coming back with a respectable effort running second to the razor-sharp Midnight Lucky in the Grade 1 Acorn here on May 27.

“She didn’t blow the rest of the field away, but it was a decent race,” Mott said.

Close Hatches will break from post 3 under Joel Rosario.

Dreaming of Julia is 2 for 2 at Belmont, with a blowout victory in an overnight stakes here last September followed by a gritty victory over My Happy Face in the Grade 1 Frizette in September. She won Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks by a devastating 21 3/4 lengths before encountering trouble in the Kentucky Oaks, where she finished fourth as the favorite.

Dreaming of Julia will break from post 2 under John Velazquez.

Marathon Lady, beaten a neck by Fiftyshadesofhay in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico, will come to New York for the Mother Goose as opposed to waiting a week for the Iowa Oaks. Marathon Lady, trained by Steve Hobby, will break from the rail.

Toasting, third in the Black-Eyed Susan, and Sister State, a maiden winner from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, complete the field.