10/01/2012 4:12PM

Belmont: Soft turf could change complexion of feature


ELMONT, N.Y. – Course condition could play a major role in handicapping Wednesday’s $80,000 Valor Lady Stakes, scheduled for seven furlongs on Belmont Park’s Widener turf course.

On paper, the top contenders appear to be the Christophe Clement uncoupled entry of Future Generation and Fontley, and the Chad Brown-trained Whipsaw City.

While all three of those fillies raced on soft ground in Europe, none was particularly fond of it.

Belmont’s turf course was definitely yielding during morning workouts on Monday and showers were in the forecast for Tuesday.

Future Generation won four of 10 starts in Ireland before coming to Clement’s care late last year. She won an optional claimer at Gulfstream in February before finishing fourth behind Tapitsfly in the Grade 2 Honey Fox, also at Gulfstream, in March.

“She was doing well. She had a small setback in the spring so we gave her the whole summer off,” Clement said. “She’s not quite 100 percent fit, but she’s a good filly. She trained like a nice horse over the winter. I’m excited to see her back running.

“I would prefer the ground not to be too soft because she’s such a good mover; I think the softer turf will be against her.”

Rajiv Maragh rides Future Generation from post 4.

Fontley beat a good field winning a third-level allowance race over firm turf here in May. She regressed a little over good ground in the Voodoo Dancer Stakes in July before finishing a late-running fourth in the De La Rose at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

Jose Lezcano, aboard for the win in May, is reunited with her on Wednesday.

Whipsaw City won twice at Gulfstream over firm turf and was second here in a stakes in June. She missed one race in Saratoga early in the meet due to a foot injury and a second race for her at the Spa didn’t fill.

“She’s been doing really, really well,” trainer Chad Brown said. “I’m a little concerned about the turf for her because she appreciates firm. She was sent to me with that in mind. Her races [in France] weren’t great on soft.”

Javier Castellano rides Whipsaw City from post 8.

Notassharpasuthink comes off a win in a second-level allowance race over firm turf here in June. She has run respectably on good or yielding turf.

If the race comes off the turf, stakes winners Mildly Offensive, Agave Kiss, Dancinginherdreams, and Tamarind Hall would run.

Mildly Offensive won an overnight stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 31, her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.