05/28/2012 12:37PM

Belmont: Winter Memories shows acceleration in Just a Game prep

Adam Coglianese
Winter Memories will bring a 5-for-5 record on Belmont Park's turf course into the June 9 Just a Game.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Winter Memories will be one of the stars that will be in action on the Belmont Stakes undercard on June 9. On Monday, she prepared for her start in the Grade 1 Just a Game with a sharp five-furlong workout in 1:01.14 over the Belmont Park turf course.

With a triple set of orange cones forcing workers well beyond the center of the Widener turf course, Winter Memories went her first three furlongs in 37.52 seconds and came home in a solid 23.62 under jockey Javier Castellano.

“I told him to use her a little bit that last eighth and she just went like that,” said Jim Toner, clapping his hands together in a take-off motion. “She worked really well. She relaxes really nice all the way for Javier and she responds right away. He was happy with the breeze and so was I.”

Winter Memories is 7-for-10 lifetime and 5 for 5 at Belmont Park, including a victory in the Grade 1 Garden City here last fall. She began her 4-year-old season with a 2 1/4-length victory over Gitchee Goomie in the Grade 3 Beaugay here on May 5.

Gitchee Goomie came back with a half-length victory over Hessonite in Sunday’s $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes for New York-breds, her second consecutive Mount Vernon victory.

Trainer Rick Violette said Monday that he would like to get Gitchee Goomie a graded stakes victory and may look at the Grade 3, $100,000 Eatontown Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 30.

Four days later, Parx hosts the $200,000 James Penny Memorial, but it is not graded. Gitchee Goomie finished second in that race last year to Daveron.

“If I could come back in a Grade 3 I’d have to think seriously about it,” said Violette, who trains Gitchee Goomie for Patsy Symons. “I think it would impact her value considerably.”

With Sunday’s victory, Gitchee Goomie has a record of 6-9-1 from 18 career starts and has earned $498,020.