09/11/2012 1:31PM

Belmont Park: Sum of the Parts out to add a grass win to his repertoire

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Sum of the Parts has won all three of his starts this year.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Already a stakes winner on dirt and synthetic, Sum of the Parts will try to add turf to his résumé when he runs in Thursday’s $80,000 Groovy Stakes, a six-furlong race named for the 1987 champion sprinter who never raced on the grass.

Sum of the Parts has won all three of his starts this year, beginning with an allowance over Keeneland’s Polytrack, the Tom Ridge over Presque Isle’s Tapeta, and, most recently, the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes over the dirt at Charles Town on June 30.

As a 3-year-old, Sum of the Parts would have been eligible to run in the Grade 2 Amsterdam and Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, but owners Seth Klarman and William Lawrence had Currency Swap for those races.

Trainer Tom Amoss said that he worked Sum of the Parts three times on the turf at Churchill in the spring and was happy enough with what he saw to give that surface a try. Two of those works were bullets.

“He did very, very well, so the idea of trying the grass is not as out of the box as it might look,” said the Kentucky-based Amoss, who is starting his first horse at Belmont since 2007, when Graeme Six finished second in the Grade 1 Prioress. “Plus, his pedigree suggests it.”

Sum of the Parts is a son of Speightstown, the 2004 champion sprinter who never raced on grass but who sired the multiple turf stakes winner Bridgetown. The dam of Sum of the Parts, Enjoy the Moment, also never raced on turf, but did produce two turf winners.

Sum of the Parts has won all his races this year in front-running fashion and, provided he breaks alertly Thursday, Amoss said the plan will be to “play catch me if you can.” Julien Leparoux will ride Sum of the Parts from post 3.

Amoss said he is hoping to use this race as a prep for the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix Stakes, a six-furlong race run over Keeneland’s Polytrack on Oct. 5.

Artest is 2 for 2 sprinting on turf and returns to that type of race after finishing fifth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the one-mile Equalize Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 30. Before that, Artest won the Quick Call Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs under John Velazquez, who is back aboard Thursday.

Banner Bill, a three-time winner on synthetic, will try turf for the first time, while Spring to the Sky, potentially the other speed in the field, is shortening up to six furlongs after three turf tries at a mile or farther.

◗ In Thursday’s opener, Fire On Ice, a 10 3/4-length debut winner at Saratoga on Travers Day 2011, makes his second career start in a first-level allowance race going six furlongs. Fire On Ice, trained by John Kimmel, suffered a condylar fracture of his left hind leg last September preparing for the Grade 1 Champagne.

j More than 1 year ago
so who puts a race in the memory of the champion sprinter Groovy on the belmont grass? it makes no sense, a bettor sees the name Groovy Stakes and thinks they'll be treated to a quality field of dirt sprinters not grass runners. too many grass races at saratoga this year, too many grass races period, the saratoga meet seemed harder to handicap than ever, apparently that's what richer purses brings, horses from every direction to muddle the handicapping process down to a turkey shoot, throw the form into the air like Harvey Pack used to do and pull the trigger hoping the winner lands between your feet like manna from that cloud track in the sky. want to hear a sad story, no, then close the page. went to saratoga once this year, on a wednesday, nothing special, small crowd left room for everyone to walk around comfortably, highly recommended. the only other memories of that day being picking up a loose page of the saratogian sports section with an article about zito liking fast falcon in the upcoming travers and willy beamin's easy score in the feature, easy pick but lost the super. so travers day comes and the magic force compels me to use golden ticket on every pik 4, but sabotage, and isn't there always sabotage involved, makes me not even consider willy, he isn't even running he can't be right, right, not 3 days later. catch the first 2 legs of the pik and have trinniberg and currency swap in the kings bishop, so willy beamin wins. then out of the pik 4, i'd gone back and used alpha in some other pik 4 tickets, i only use golden ticket in the 4th hole and cringe when the only 2 horses used in the piks dead heat. didn't use fast falcon tho the track gods floated the page touting him at my feet 3 days earlier, didn't use willy to score the pik 4's tho he won on my only trip to saratoga in 2 years. it's a brutal game this life when we resist the gifts lying at our feet, making it harder than it need be, or something like that, when we turn stop and linger over what might have been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad to have the Groovy Stakes, but yeah, not so much with the turf racing.