07/21/2009 11:00PM

Bush entry tough on the turf


ELMONT, N.Y. - Racing officials hope to make full use of the Belmont Park turf courses this final week of the meet, carding six races for the grass each day Thursday through Saturday, including Friday's featured New York-bred second-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles.

The allowance feature drew a field of 10, but trainer David Donk said he planned to scratch Queen of Protocol, who also was entered to run Thursday.

Trainer Tom Bush sends out the coupled entry of Ambidaxtrous and Boxitup, and both are capable with their best efforts. Ambidaxtrous, who drew the outside post, came back off a year layoff to run second in this same condition July 3, running a solid race though failing to run down Higher Incentive in the stretch. She lost by three-quarters of a length.

"I was pretty pleased with it," said trainer Tom Bush, who said Ambidaxtrous had been ready to run since April, but he was unable to find the right race for her. "She's always had a little difficulty around the turn; she didn't track around the turn even the other day too well, and that cost her."

The outside post in this big field was not a concern to Bush, who has had an outstanding meet, with 15 victories through Wednesday's card. Kent Desormeaux will ride Ambidaxtrous.

"She's a better filly covered up," Bush said. "He should be able to get her covered up from that position."

Boxitup has not been out since last November when trained by Tom Albertrani. Boxitup finished third to Ambidaxtrous in a first-level allowance here in April 2008.

"She was competitive with this group of fillies last year," Bush said. "She's coming off quite a bit of a layoff. She's put on some weight since she's gotten here."

Higher Incentive, trained by this meet's leading conditioner, Gary Contessa, successfully stretched out around two turns on July 3, stalking stablemate Love Co before taking over in the stretch. She could play out as the main speed under Ramon Dominguez, who is closing in on the record for wins at a Belmont spring/summer meet, believed to be 92.

Offhand Remark seeks to bounce back from a dismal sixth-place finish over yielding turf on June 24. Her career-best race came at 1 1/8 miles over Belmont turf last summer.

If this race comes off the turf, Luck looms the one to beat. Both of her victories have come in off-the-turf events.

First post Friday is 3 p.m.