09/10/2012 2:21PM

Belmont Park: Turf sprint fillies clash in Smart 'n Fancy

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Tom Keyser
Anna Sophia will be making her first start since winning an allowance race on June 28.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Anna Sophia hopes to pick up where she left off nearly 11 weeks ago while Madame Giry hopes to continue her streak of success running back on short rest when the two meet in Wednesday’s $80,000 Smart ’n Fancy Stakes at Belmont Park.

Anna Sophia, trained by Bill Mott, has not run since winning a first-level allowance going seven furlongs on the turf here June 28, having suffered a temperature that sidelined her during the Saratoga meet. Madame Giry, trained by Cam Gambolati, will be making her third start in 40 days and brings a three-race winning streak – all in turf sprints – to the Smart ’n Fancy, restricted to 3-year-old fillies and run at six furlongs on the inner turf course.

After three unsuccessful attempts at a mile or farther, Anna Sophia showed a strong closing kick winning her first-level allowance condition going seven furlongs here June 28.

“I think she’s best probably under a mile,” Mott said. “She’s able to show her best. We tried her a little longer, and it stretches her out a little too much. She can’t sustain her run that far.”

Julien Leparoux is expected to replace Junior Alvarado, who will miss at least a month due to a fractured collarbone suffered in a spill Saturday.

The New Jersey-based Madame Giry has owned New York in turf sprints this summer. After finishing second for maiden claiming $65,000 in June, Madame Giry won a six-furlong maiden race on the turf here in July, then two allowance turf sprints in 20 days at Saratoga in August.

“She’s doing great,” Gambolati said. “Even though I’ve run her back on short rest, it doesn’t seem to bother her at all. She’s a great shipper and she’s done everything right. I expect her to run well.”

Four of the eight fillies entered in the Smart ’n Fancy come out of the $100,000 Coronation Cup on Aug. 13 at Saratoga. Kiss in the Forest, who dueled early with Heaven Knows What in that race, did well to finish second behind the multiple stakes-winning Sensible Lady in the Coronation Cup. Kiss in the Forest is drawn outside of Heaven Knows What, who adds blinkers for this spot.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out the uncoupled entry of Sweet Cat and Dear Lavinia in the Smart ’n Fancy. Sweet Cat finished sixth as the favorite in the Coronation, but has two wins and a second in three other turf sprints. Dear Lavinia cuts back to six furlongs after finishing last in the Nani Rose going a mile at Saratoga on July 29.

Somasach, third to Sensible Lady in the Jenny Wade Stakes at Penn National on July 27, and Quick Flip, eighth in the Coronation Cup, complete the field.