09/06/2012 4:56PM

Belmont: Sean Avery back from one-year layoff in Affiliate

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Tom Keyser
Sean Avery, winning the Vanderbilt in August 2011, returns in Saturday's Affiliate at Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. − Allen Iwinski has entered Sean Avery so many times in the last three weeks that the 6-year-old gelding’s return to the races in Saturday’s $80,000 Affiliate Stakes is almost anti-climactic to the trainer.

After several aborted attempts, Sean Avery will return from a 13-month layoff against five opponents in the six-furlong Affiliate at Belmont Park.

Sean Avery has not run since winning the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7, 2011, his sixth win from 10 career starts. While training toward a start in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont, Sean Avery suffered a bowed tendon, an injury similar to the one that sidelined him for nearly 17 months earlier in his career.

Iwinski entered Sean Avery in an Aug. 20 allowance at Saratoga that didn’t fill. He entered Sean Avery in the Icecapade Stakes on dirt at Monmouth scheduled for last Monday and the $350,000 Turf Monster at Parx, also on Monday. The Icecapade didn’t fill and the Turf Monster was run on soft ground, which prompted Iwinski to scratch.

Sean Avery has been in regular training for several months, though Iwinski hasn’t been able to do as much as he would have liked lately because of the compromised schedule.

“He’s been training excellent,” Iwinski said. “Of course, the way things have worked out these last 12 or 13 days we’re not bringing him up to the race ideally. But with this horse it may not make a difference. He seems to run well fresh.”

Iwinski said the tendon has not been an issue. “If there was never any talk about a tendon, no veterinarian or trainer would look at that horse and say that horse has got a tendon,” he said.Joe Bravo rides Sean Avery from post 2.

The Affiliate is no easy spot, with the likes of Royal Currier and Crossbow in the field. Royal Currier, a winner of 12 of 26 starts, has won four of his last five, including an overnight stakes here in May. Crossbow, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, was most recently third in the Grade 3 James Marvin at Saratoga.