09/27/2013 3:29PM

Belmont Park: Futurity duel could set things up for In Trouble

Barbara D. Livingston
In Trouble, an impressive maiden winner at Saratoga last month, could get an ideal trip coming from off the pace in the Futurity.

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ELMONT, N.Y. – If, as it appears on paper, a hotly contested speed duel develops in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park, the field could be In Trouble.

In Trouble, a son of Tiz Wonderful who came from off the pace to win his debut at Saratoga, could be the beneficiary of a contested pace duel between Corfu and Big Sugar Soda in the Futurity, a six-furlong race for juvenile males that shares billing with the Grade 2 Matron for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday’s 11-race card at Belmont.

A field of six was entered for the Futurity, but Wired Byran, who won the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga, will scratch as he was to run in Saturday’s $237,457 New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes instead.

The three horses who finished directly behind In Trouble in his Aug. 10 win – Sound of Freedom, Tiznowforamerica, and Mosler – each came back to win a maiden special weight race in their next starts. Sound of Freedom is back in this field.

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Tony Dutrow said he liked In Trouble when he took him from Maryland to Saratoga but didn’t necessarily think he would win at first asking.

“I was very impressed with In Trouble’s race at Saratoga,” Dutrow said. “I was not predicting he’d win. He was not 100 percent [fit]. When he ran the way he did, he looked professional and talented.”

In Trouble has come back with a trio of solid workouts at Fair Hill in Maryland.

“I can’t say I’m seeing a different horse, but I sure am happy with what I am seeing,” Dutrow said.

Dutrow was not that happy that his horse drew the rail in the small field. Joe Rocco Jr. rides.

Big Sugar Soda and Corfu were big winners at Saratoga. Big Sugar Soda won a maiden race by 8 1/4 lengths before finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Hopeful run over a sloppy track.

“His hind end slipped out from underneath him,” Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Big Sugar Soda, said. “Definitely didn’t want to be last early. He didn’t run horribly, considering. He’s a nice horse capable of better.”

Corfu won a maiden race and the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at Saratoga before finishing ninth as the favorite in the Hopeful. Trainer Todd Pletcher chalked the performance up to the sloppy track.

“I think like a lot of people that ran in the Hopeful if you weren’t [Strong Mandate] you kind of got to draw a line through it,” Pletcher said. “It seems like too many horses did not run their races on that track that day.”

Pletcher said Sound of Freedom “broke his maiden the way you would expect him to after a quality second first time out.”

Financial Mogul, who ran fourth to Big Sugar Soda first out, won an off-the-turf maiden race at seven furlongs by 5 1/2 lengths. Though trainer Rick Violette said he doesn’t like shortening up in distance, he does like the way the race could potentially set up.

“You can’t be a mile back but you could get lucky and get two or three hook up,” Violette said. “On paper, it likes a good spot.”