04/24/2013 5:14PM

Belmont: Shirreffs is new in town

Shigeki Kikkawa
Eblouissante, half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta, has won her first two starts.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The uncertainty of the Southern California racing schedule prompted trainer John Shirreffs to move the bulk of his stable to Belmont Park for the summer. Led by Zenyatta's half-sister Elbouissante, 20 horses arrived here on Monday. Ten more are expected in on May 5.

"I would have to say there didn't seem to be a direction that anybody knew about, and it's very difficult to make plans when you have really nice horses," said Shirreffs, who is in Barn 41, about the Southern California situation.

Shirreffs has run just five horses at Belmont, the last being After Market who finished second in the 2007 Kelso, then a Grade 2 race on turf. He said he's "thrilled" to be at Belmont.

"For every trainer it's a dream come true that they actually train at Belmont Park," Shirreffs said.

The stable is led by Eblouissante, the half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta who has won her first two starts. Eblouissante was being pointed for the Santa Margarita Stakes in March, but suffered a foot abscess. She has breezed four times, but Shirreffs did not yet have a race picked out.

"She's going to love it here," Shirreffs said. "Coming from a synthetic track to Belmont Park, it's going to take a little time to get adjusted."

Mr. Commons, a multiple Grade 2 winner who finished third in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark at Keeneland last out, also is in New York. The Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Day could be next for him.

"We are thinking about going a little farther with him," Shirreffs said.

Among the many maidens Shirreffs has brought, he is high on Peace and Justice, a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Hudson Steele. Sendario is a maiden out of the mare Randaroo, who was a multiple graded stakes winner in the Northeast.