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Belmont Park: Spectacular Sky to show speed in Vagrancy
By Dave Litfin
Six evenly matched fillies and mares will line up for Saturday’s $200,000 Vagrancy Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Spectacular Sky carries the nominal top weight of 118 pounds, giving one to four pounds to Fantasy of Flight, Glorious View, Irish Exchange, Miss d’Oro, and Withgreatpleasure.
The 63rd running of the Grade 2 Vagrancy is race 9 on a 10-race card and the third leg of a late pick four with a $300,000-guaranteed pool; post time is 5:17 p.m. Eastern.
Purchased last June and relocated from Southern California to southern Florida, Spectacular Sky made her first start for trainer Marty Wolfson in the Princess Rooney and finished last. Since then, she has won four of five races at distances up to seven furlongs, the only defeat a runner-up finish behind Aubby K, who has since won the Grade 1 Humana Distaff. Spectacular Sky also was sixth when stretching out to a mile for the Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs in November.
Spectacular Sky gets a rider switch back to Luis Saez, who was aboard for two of her most impressive victories at Calder last year, including the Whippleton Stakes against males.
“I like this filly a lot; she’s very nice,” Saez said of Spectacular Sky, who has led early in her last six starts and figures to be among several trying to get to the front.
Withgreatpleasure, who was cross-entered in Saturday’s Allaire DuPont Distaff at Pimlico but expected to opt for the Vagrancy, comes off a rail-skimming trip to win the Grade 2 Ruffian Handicap at Aqueduct, which makes her the only graded stakes winner in this field. That was her first graded stakes win and the first for trainer David Nunn.
“She was due to finally get a trip and win,” Nunn said. “She’ll definitely be a closer in here, as she’s cutting back in distance. Looking at the entries, there should be plenty of speed in the race.”
Making her stakes debut is Glorious View, who needed nine tries to garner her maiden win for Bill Mott but has now won three in a row by more than 17 lengths combined.
“Over the winter, she had become more aggressive in her training, and it seems to be working for her,” assistant trainer Leana Willaford said. “It seems like she’s moved forward, so it’s time to test the deeper waters. If she’s in front, she’s in front, but she can track a horse, too.”
Fantasy of Flight was off the board as the favorite in the Madison Stakes last out, but the Michelle Nevin-trained mare may rebound back at Belmont Park, where she ran far and away the best race of her life, winning a third-level allowance by nearly 10 lengths last fall.
The field is completed by Irish Exchange, a Parx Racing shipper who had a three-race win streak snapped when nipped in the Primonetta Stakes last month; and Miss d’Oro, second behind the unbeaten Cluster of Stars in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap most recently.
- 1.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM
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