07/03/2012 11:57AM

Belmont Park: Doctor Chit moves to dirt in Western Larla Stakes

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Renee Torbit/Coady Photography
Gypsy Robin is entered for the Thursday feature but could run instead in the Victory Ride.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Doctor Chit and Gypsy Robin, each a perfect 2 for 2 this year racing exclusively on synthetic tracks, head a field of seven 3-year-olds in Thursday’s $85,000 Western Larla overnight stakes at six furlongs on the dirt. The competitive dash also lured Vexor, winner of the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes; and Saint of Saints, a sharp second to odds-on older horse Associate in his local bow.

Doctor Chit, a $375,000 purchase as a 2-year-old, finished sixth on turf in his only start last year, which came in a race won by subsequent Grade 2 winner State of Play. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt resurfaced in April to wire maidens at Keeneland and shipped to Woodbine four weeks later to garner a first-level allowance.

Doctor Chit was scratched from last week’s $400,000 Red Legend at Charles Town. His task will be made easier if trainer Wesley Ward opts to scratch the filly Gypsy Robin and run her in Saturday’s Grade 3 Victory Ride.

The well-traveled Gypsy Robin was a respectable seventh in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and closed out the season by winning the Sorority Stakes on the dirt at Monmouth Park. She led all the way through easy fractions in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Beaumont first time out this season, followed by a romp in the Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs.

“She’s talented, but we’ve been kind of lucky, though,” Ward said, pointing out that Gypsy Robin got a good trip in the Beaumont and inherited the lead in the Inaugural when another speed horse broke slowly.

Ward is considering Grade 1 stakes such as the Prioress (Aug. 4) and Test (Aug. 25) for Gypsy Robin this summer.

Vexor’s form has been spotty, but the colt was talented enough to win the Nashua last fall. Some of his lesser performances can be attributed to track conditions, including an eighth in a sloppy Hopeful Stakes and a sixth on synthetic in the OBS Sprint.

“He’s a horse that has a particular dislike for off racetracks,” trainer John Kimmel said.

Saint of Saints has won or placed in three of his four starts, all for Dale Romans. The exception came when he was caught up in a pace duel in a sloppy renewal of the Derby Trial.

Hannibal Lecter, He Can Run, and Sportswriter also were entered.

Heath Raymer More than 1 year ago
Saint of Saints by a length