09/11/2012 12:31PM

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

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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.