07/05/2011 12:59PM

Belmont Park: Rob N Gin Stakes looks like Saratoga prep

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Tom Keyser
Stormy's Majesty will try turf in Thursday’s $60,000 Rob N Gin overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Thursday’s $60,000 Rob N Gin overnight stakes should serve as a useful prep for upcoming Saratoga stakes, but looking at the eclectic group of nine older males entered in the 1 1/16-mile race scheduled for the Widener turf, the question is, which ones?

Those with an eye toward the Fourstardave (July 31) and/or the Bernard Baruch (Aug. 26) might include any among Beau Choix, Boots Ahead, Cherokee Artist, Monument Hill, and Voodoo Swinge.

Voodoo Swinge won five in a row from August 2009 to February 2011, before finishing fast to just miss in back-to-back Grade 3 stakes in Florida for trainer Christophe Clement, who developed his dam, Voodoo Dancer, into a seven-time graded stakes winner on grass. The lightly raced 5-year-old had trained recently at Saratoga before being relocated to Fair Hill with Michael Matz last month.

“We’ll see how he runs and learn more about him, but he looks like an honest horse,” Matz siad.

Pocket Cowboys and Uncle T Seven, who won the Mohawk and Ashley T. Cole, respectively, last fall, appear to be targeting the West Point (Aug. 18). However, the other New York-bred in the field, last year’s Grade 3 Discovery winner Stormy’s Majesty, is harder to gauge as he tries the grass after beating half the field in the Met Mile for Dominic Galluscio. If the experiment fails, he could always go back to dirt in a spot such as the Evan Shipman (July 25).

Stormy’s Majesty, whose half-brother and stablemate Dream Drop Kid wired maidens on the Widener first time on turf here in May, breezed five-eighths over the course in 58.67 seconds Saturday.

Finally, there is the question of what to make of Sangaree, a half-brother to five-time Grade 1 winner Congaree who returns to the United States for Godolphin Stable and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Sangaree has started 20 times, all on synthetic tracks, including three straight runner-up finishes at Hollywood Park last year in the Mervyn LeRoy, Californian, and Triple Bend.

“You just don’t know how that’s going to translate to turf, but he should be competitive off his best form and it gives us some options if he handles it,” assistant trainer Rick Mettee said. “But we really did bring him back [from Dubai] to try him on the dirt, and the Suburban and races like that were just going to be too tough.”