04/28/2009 12:00AM

Chilean import part of fresh bunch


ELMONT, N.Y. - As is customary at Belmont Park in early spring, layoff horses abound on Thursday's card.

In race 3, four of six fillies in a first-level allowance sprint return from a layoff, including Proclaim, part of a Jim Bond-trained entry with recent maiden winner Speculation.

Proclaim wintered in Florida after winning a muddy maiden race here last fall, and has picked up the tempo in her last couple of workouts.

Gran Appeal, an easy winner in Chile over 13 rivals six months ago in her only start, will make her U.S. debut for owner Jorge Cardemil and trainer Seth Benzel. They are also the connections of Real Merchant, a Chilean import whose second U.S. start was a placing in the Stymie at 40-1.

Shafter and Break Point will make their first starts since running third and fifth at Aqueduct seven weeks ago.

Reforestation, who capitalized on a speed-favoring track to wire maidens on April 1, completes the field.

No one had a hotter hand with fresh turf horses at Aqueduct than Dave Donk. He had five such winners, beginning with Adastraperaspera, who meets winners for the first time in race 5 following an eventful debut victory on soft turf April 9.

Adastraperaspera is a half-sister to Incurable Optimist, who won all four of his turf starts as a 2-year-old for Donk, including graded stakes in New York and California.

In her first start, Adastraperaspera broke in the air and trailed by a country mile, looped the field to get clear in midstretch and turned back a challenge from Reeley Misbehaving, a 1-2 shot from Barclay Tagg.

"She got tested a little bit - I think Barclay's horse is okay," said Donk.

Adastraperaspera's strongest opponents are also fresh. Wild Awake was a maiden winner off a two-month layoff for Tagg opening week at Gulfstream Park, and returns from a similar absence. Hangingonaprayer and Debbie's Fast Girl will each be making her second start of the year.

Dancing Tin Man, who won at Belmont in 2007 off an October-to-June layoff for Donk, makes his 6-year-old bow in race 7, a starter allowance at seven furlongs on the Widener turf.

"I'd like to run him longer, but the race hasn't filled longer," Donk said. "He does have that closing kick, though, and he's ready to run."

Other fresh contenders include Call Tiger and Missinglisalelwis, who have both run well on turf at Belmont.