06/09/2011 9:53AM

Belmont Park: Turbulent Descent the one to beat in Acorn


ELMONT, N.Y. – When the connections of the California-based 3-year-old filly Turbulent Descent opted to concentrate on one-turn races, Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn at Belmont Park was one of their primary objectives.

To listen to her connections, Turbulent Descent is ready to dazzle the East Coast fans when she heads a compact field of six set to run a one-turn mile in the Acorn, the first of six stakes to be run on Belmont Stakes Day.

“She’s doing excellent,” trainer Mike Puype said this week. “I’d be very disappointed if she wasn’t in the winner’s circle on Saturday.”

Though Turbulent Descent counts among her four stakes wins victories in the Hollywood Starlet and Santa Anita Oaks – both Grade 1 events around two turns – Puype said she is a superior one-turn horse.

“The fact that this filly has won two Grade 1’s routing is just a testament to how great she is,” said Puype, who trains Turbulent Descent for Scott Sherwood’s Blinkers On Racing Stable and Bill Strauss.

After winning the Santa Anita Oaks in March by a diminishing neck over Zazu, Puype devised a schedule that includes Grade 1 races like the Acorn and then a return trip to New York for the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga on Aug. 6.

“My only concern right now is that track is a beast,” Puype said of Belmont’s expansive 1 1/2-mile oval. “She takes her game everywhere. I don’t have any doubts that she’ll like the track, but I have to leave a little bit of margin there. Any track can beat a horse, if they don’t like it. It’s a possibility, but it’s not a probability because this filly is at the top of her game.”

Turbulent Descent, who breaks from post 2, will be ridden by David Flores. It is Flores’s lone mount on the card.

Turbulent Descent likes to have something to run at, and Savvy Supreme figures to make a nice target. Savvy Supreme, a half-sister to Commentator, will try a mile for the first time after winning twice going six furlongs.

“I’m hoping she takes after her brother,” trainer Todd Pletcher said, noting that Commentator successfully stretched his speed out a distance of ground. “She’s a free-running filly. We’ll see how far she can take it.”

Pletcher also will run Her Smile, who was overmatched in the Kentucky Oaks but now cuts back to a one-turn mile, a distance at which she ran a solid second in the Grade 3 Comely at Aqueduct in April.

Victoria’s Wildcat brings a three-race winning streak into the Acorn, including a solid off-the-pace victory in the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day.

“She was awesome that day, she won in hand, she got to the front and she pulled herself up,” trainer Bob Hess “The race prior, she was good; she fell down leaving the gate and it was a miracle she didn’t rip her foot off. I think she’s improving, and it’s going to take another five lengths of improvement to run with Turbulent, but I think it’s a possibility.”

It’s Tricky had a three-race winning streak snapped when she finished fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Cutting back to one turn, she could show speed early under Eddie Castro.

Snow Fall, a minor stakes winner at Delaware Park, completes the field.