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Belmont Park: Miss Valentine back at a mile in Princess Dixie
By Dave Litfin
After a trio of $100,000 New York-bred stakes on Sunday, the next-to-last week of the Belmont Park meet begins Wednesday with another $100,000 statebred race, the Princess Dixie for fillies and mares.
The Princess Dixie is race 8 on a 10-race program and drew a field of eight, including the entry of Carameaway and Dreaming of Cara for trainer Mitch Friedman, who also entered the just-claimed Read the Research.
Miss Valentine, who won three straight stakes before coming up a flat fourth in the Dancing Renee Handicap last time out, looks to rebound as she stretches back out to one mile, a distance at which she has won five stakes.
"She's fun," said trainer Christophe Clement. "She always tries very hard and is great to be around. She has won close to the pace and she has won from off the pace."
Beautiful But Blue, a three-time stakes winner last year, makes her second start as a 4-year-old. Her trainer, Tom Bush, saddled layoff winners Wholelottashakin and Caribbean Beat last week.
Lady On the Run, who finished fastest of all to miss by a head in the Dancin Renee, seeks her fourth stakes victory, all for John Morrison.
The wild card is Erin Enchanted, who gave multiple stakes winner Sunny Desert a scare in the Shot Berry overnight stakes at Aqueduct on April 14, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 87 that is among the fastest in the field.
Erin Enchanted subsequently finished an even fourth behind Miss Valentine in the No Reason on May 10.
"I think she should move forward from her last, as we feel she reacted negatively last time from the big effort at Aqueduct," said trainer Richard Schosberg. "She's training great and looks terrific, but this is no easy spot."
Poker draws seven plus one
The Grade 3, $150,000 Poker Stakes highlights a 10-race Fourth of July card that also includes two $100,000 overnight stakes scheduled for turf, and the first grass race of the season for 2-year-olds.
From the rail out, the field for the Poker is: Upgrade, Big Screen, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Data Link, Lubash, King Kreesa, Howe Great, and main-track-only Politicallycorrect.
Flat Out set for Suburban
Flat Out notched the first of his four Belmont Park stakes wins in the 2011 Suburban, and he may try to win that race for a second time after breezing a half-mile in 48.41 seconds at Saratoga Monday, the second-fastest of 61 workouts at the distance on the training track.
"I would think the Suburban might not be as tough as the Met Mile was," said trainer Bill Mott. Flat Out ran third in the May 27 Metropolitan Handicap. "If we were to wait for the Whitney, we'd have to wait another month and I'm not sure the horse needs another month."
Also eyeing Saturday's Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban are Alpha, Easter Gift, Last Gunfighter, and Percussion.
Good luck today, Miss Valentine!
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
- 2.Posted 12/10/2013 02:23PM
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