05/07/2012 3:39PM

Belmont Park notes: Winter Memories, Hungry Island to renew rivalry in Just a Game

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Winter Memories, winner of the Beaugay, will make her next start in the Just a Game Stakes.

It appears as though Winter Memories and Hungry Island will renew their rivalry in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes here on the June 9 Belmont Stakes undercard.

Both fillies won stakes over the weekend. Winter Memories, in her 4-year-old debut, won the Beaugay at Belmont by 2 1/4 lengths, her seventh win in 10 career starts.

Meanwhile, at Churchill, Hungry Island won the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile by a length over Tapitsfly, her fifth win in 12 starts.

Last year, Hungry Island and Winter Memories met twice. Hungry Island upset Winter Memories in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga. Winter Memories exacted her revenge winning the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont, with Hungry Island running fourth.

“It should be interesting,” said Jimmy Toner, trainer of Winter Memories. “[Hungry Island] won the tougher of the two races, but at least [Winter Memories] got started and got off on the right track. You always want to get that first one out of the way.”

Hungry Island got her first one out of the way when she ran third in a stakes-caliber allowance race at Keeneland. Shug McGaughey, trainer of Hungry Island, noted that his filly had a wide trip that day under jockey John Velazquez, who was riding her for the first time.

“There was a lot of stuff going on in the race, it felt like afterwards he knew her better and he rode her perfect the other day,” McGaughey said. “When I was walking over there and saw her at 5-1, I said ‘Do these people not know how to read the Form ?’ ”

Boisterous points to Manhattan

McGaughey had mixed results in a pair of turf stakes over the weekend. At Belmont, Boisterous won the Grade 3 Fort Marcy by a length over the European import Desert Blanc.

At Churchill, Data Link finished fifth in the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic behind the loose-on-the-lead winner Little Mike.

McGaughey said Boisterous would likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day. Data Link is possible for the Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 10.

Emcee possible for True North

Emcee bounced back from a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Carter by rolling to an eye-catching 4 1/2-lenth victory in a second-level allowance race at Belmont on Saturday.

Emcee, owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, ran seven furlongs in 1:21.78 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107. He showed the ability to come from just off the pace.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said that he would not run Emcee back in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on May 28, but might consider the True North on June 9.

McLaughlin said his priority is to have Emcee ready for Grade 1 races such as the Vanderbilt and Forego at Saratoga and/or the Vosburgh at Belmont in the fall.

◗ Jockey Junior Alvarado will serve out a three-day riding suspension Wednesday and Thursday. He also sat out Sunday. Alvarado waived his right of appeal of a careless riding infraction from the seventh race on April 29.