Updated on 09/15/2011 1:03PM

Desacapte reloads - at higher level


ELMONT, N.Y. - Descapate would have been the likely favorite had she run in a second-level allowance race at Belmont Park last Wednesday, but the card was canceled after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Thursday she will run outside her eligible conditions, but should still be a major player in a third-level allowance.

A field of seven fillies and mares, 3 years old and upward, was entered in the mile dirt race.

Descapate, who is lightly raced, stretches out for the first time in this spot. In her two career starts, Descapate, a 3-year-old, won her debut against maidens at Churchill Downs in June and then captured a preliminary allowance race by 11 lengths, under wraps, at Saratoga. She covered the seven furlongs in a very respectable 1:21.76 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

The Saratoga race was Descapate's first for Team Valor and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, which purchased the filly privately after her maiden win. Descapate's trainer, Steve Asmussen, said his filly was ready to roll last week, so he wanted to get her entered in another race as quickly as possible, even if it meant skipping an eligible condition.

"I didn't want to hold her up and confuse her, so we're running here," Asmussen said. "Needless to say, we are excited about her future. I think she definitely has enough talent [to be a stakes horse], she just needs seasoning."

Donnie Meche, aboard Descapate at Saratoga, has the mount from post 2.

The race looks like a good spot for Princess Ellen, a 4-year-old, who is making her third consecutive start in a dirt race. Group-placed in Europe last year, Princess Ellen was slow to get going on the grass in America. During the summer, trainer Tom Skiffington switched gears with Princess Ellen and tried her on the main track. She responded by winning a mile race over four allowance rivals at Belmont in July. In her last start, Princess Ellen was second behind Grade 1 winner Secret Status in a Saratoga allowance race, run over a muddy track.

Shiny Band has won three of her last four starts. Her only loss during that time was to Flute, the country's leading 3-year-old filly.

Orphan Avie is 2 for 2 at Belmont and was second to Shiny Band in her last. Miss Kate, Keratoid's Chubbs, and Majority Whip complete the field.