09/17/2012 4:30PM

Belmont Park: Horse-for-course Karakorum Elektra fresh and ready

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Barbara D. Livingston
Karakorum Elektra has won 10 of her 22 starts at Belmont Park.

Death and taxes may be life’s only sure things, but for the past six years Karakorum Elektra on turf at Belmont has been pretty close. The 8-year-old mare will vie for favoritism with Eden Is Burning, Wholelottashakin. and Jitney if Wednesday’s opener, and nominal feature, stays on the Widener course.

Karakorum Elektra has won locally each and every year since unveiled as a 3-year-old by Linda Rice in 2007, compiling 10 wins from 22 starts at Belmont as opposed to just one victory from 11 tries elsewhere. She has been particularly reliable in five previous situations coming back from a Saratoga freshening first out at the fall meet, winning three times – including a score against males at 7-1 – and running second twice. This will be her first start since the Irish Linnet Stakes in late July against Hessonite, who currently rules the New York-bred filly and mare stakes division.

“Karakorum Elektra never seems to run well at Saratoga – the turns are too tight for her,” Rice said. “She doesn’t corner well, so the bigger turns are better for her. Going seven-eighths, she should be fine breaking from the outside. I re-entered for Friday [against males], because I didn’t know about the weather,” she said, referring to the potential for thunderstorms Tuesday and lingering showers Wednesday.

Eden Is Burning was claimed by Gary Contessa in early June and missed by a nose to Karakorum Elektra three weeks later. The filly contributed to the trainer’s strong Saratoga showing with two sharp efforts at 5 1/2 furlongs, leading to the final strides against the Rice-trained Lady Rizzi on July 23 and then leading all the way Aug. 15. She appears to prefer firm turf, judging from one subpar effort on yielding ground.

Wholelottashakin was stakes placed at Gulfstream last winter for Tom Bush and is the lukewarm 5-2 choice off a sharp placing first time in this condition. She won her only start on non-firm turf here back in May.

Jitney won her maiden and first-level allowance conditions at the Spa for John Hertler. She breezed nicely last week and picks up John Velazquez.

Should the rains come, Great Gracie Dane would be making her third start back from a layoff for Richard Dutrow Jr. She would get an apparently favorable pace matchup if Full of Intent and Fiftyfour Forever hook up early.