04/25/2013 4:48PM

Belmont: Turf sprinter from Italy tries mile in Tweedside


Girl of the Rain, a successful turf sprinter in Europe last year, will make her North American debut at a mile in Saturday’s $90,000 Tweedside Stakes at Belmont.

Girl of the Rain, an Irish-bred daughter of Refuse to Bend, won 4 of 7 starts in Italy last year. She was sent to trainer Graham Motion over the winter and had been entered in a stakes at Pimlico last weekend that was rained off the turf.

“The question with her is how far she’s going to want to go,” Motion said Thursday. “Ideally, I would have rather brought her back in a sprint race. She should stretch out as long as she settles. I imagine she’d lay a little closer than you’d expect a European would, perhaps.”

Bella Castani, a daughter of Big Brown, was purchased privately by Roy and Gretchen Jackson following her 4 1/4-length win at Gulfstream on March 23 in her turf debut. She was transferred to Christophe Clement, who has a 20-percent success rate with horses making their first start for him.

“She’s training well. We don’t have that ‘one-other-than’ for straight 3-year-olds, so we’ll just go in an overnight stakes and see what happens,” Clement said.

Pink Trillium, Riverboat Queen, Alydorable, and Exchange Cat complete the field.

Lovely Syn fires bullet

Lovely Syn, a 3-year-old New York-bred filly who was a dominant winner of her first two starts, gave every indication Thursday morning she remains on top of her game, working a bullet half-mile in 46.89 seconds over the Belmont main track.

Lovely Syn, who broke off a length behind Mia Poppy, went her first eighth in 12.79 seconds but zipped her final three furlongs in 34.10 seconds under jockey Mike Luzzi. Lovely Syn was scheduled to work on Wednesday, but she dumped Luzzi while backing up on the track and ran loose. Obviously, she was none the worse for the incident.

“She worked very well,” trainer Dominick Schettino said. “She’s been like that from Day One.”

Lovely Syn, a daughter of Freud, debuted on March 2, winning a six-furlong maiden race over Aqueduct’s inner track by six lengths. She came back on April 6 and won a first-level allowance over the main track by two lengths. She is being pointed to the $100,000 Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes on May 5.

Meanwhile, Schettino said that Always in a Tiz, who finished ninth in the Wood Memorial on April 6, could run back in a first-level allowance race at Belmont on May 4.

“We know he has ability,” Schettino said. “It’s just getting it out of him.”

◗ Beau Choix, runner-up to Za Approval in the Grade 2 Appleton at Gulfstream Park last out, worked five furlongs in a sharp 59.78 seconds Thursday morning over the Belmont main track. He is preparing for a start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy here on May 4.