09/13/2012 4:59PM

Belmont Park: Samitar will debut for new barn in Garden City

Tom Keyser
Samitar was narrowly beaten in her United States debut and is the horse to beat in the Grade 1 Garden City.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Samitar, a Group 1 winner in Ireland, will try to become a Grade 1 winner in the United States when she heads a field of seven entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Garden City, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, tops a 10-race card that also includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Samitar won the 1000 Irish Guineas at a mile at The Curragh in Ireland before finishing fourth in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot in June. In her first start in this country, Samitar was beaten a neck when third in the Grade 2 Lake George, a finish that somewhat surprised her jockey Ramon Dominguez, who thought his filly was done in upper stretch.

“It was her first race in this country, they said she definitely liked some cover,” Dominguez said. “The two fillies that were in front, they were way in front of me and it almost felt like she was by herself back there. If anything, I was very pleased to see how she came back after I thought she was probably done turning for home. I felt like she was trying real hard to get there, she dug back in to almost win.”

Trained by Michael Channon for the Lake George, Samitar was transferred to Chad Brown following the race. Samitar put in some very solid works at Saratoga before having an easy half-mile work at Belmont on Monday. Samitar gets Lasix for the first time Saturday.

Tannery, a Group 3 stakes winner in Ireland, makes her U.S. debut and first start for new owner Richard Santulli and trainer Alan Goldberg. Tannery won the Group 3 Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland on July 22. Up, who finished third that day, has come back to win a pair of group stakes in Europe since then.

Goldberg, based at the Colts Neck training center in New Jersey, said Tannery only arrived in the United States on Sunday, but he has liked what he’s seen so far from the daughter of Dylan Thomas.

“I’ve watched her races and I spoke to her trainer and I said she looks like she takes a pretty good hold and he said ‘no, she’s very relaxed and quiet about everything,’ ” Goldberg said. “I don’t know how she’s going to run here, but she looks like she’s got a lot of class.”

Jose Lezcano rides Tannery from the rail.

Karlovy Vary, who won the Grade 1 Ashland, is the only member of this field to have won at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. She did that in a third-level allowance race at Churchill in June.

“I would think that other than the Ashland it was her best race,” said Rusty Arnold, trainer of Karlovy Vary. “She settled really well, she likes a mile and an eighth, that’s what she’s bred to do.”

Karlovy Vary finished third in the Nani Rose at a mile, a race from which she emerged with cuts to her right foreleg that required stitches.

Somali Lemonade could surprise at a price in the Garden City. Though winless since taking the Grade 3 Jessamine at 2, she encountered traffic when sixth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths in the Lake George and had some more traffic issues when third behind Stephanie’s Kitten and Centre Court in the Lake Placid.

Open Water, Ciao Bella, and Trophy Wife complete the field.