10/17/2009 12:00AM

Distance, track suit Turn Away


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Bobby Frankel's stable figured to have a top contender for Sunday's feature at Belmont Park. While the race and surface have changed, the fact Frankel still has a major player remains the same.

One day after opting to postpone Saturday's Grade 3 Athenia to Wednesday due to weather concerns, New York Racing Association officials decided to postpone Sunday's Grade 3 Knickerbocker scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on turf until Thursday. Frankel will run Proudinsky in the Knickerbocker.

Now, Sunday's feature is the $65,000 Top Secret Stakes on dirt for fillies and mares at seven furlongs where Frankel's barn will be represented by Turn Away.

Turn Away, a 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, has recorded 2 of her 3 lifetime victories over Belmont's main track, including a 3 1/4-length score in the mud here May 29. That was her first start off a seven-month layoff, or since she won a one-mile maiden race here on Oct. 3, 2008. She injured a splint bone last fall, which precipitated her layoff, according to assistant trainer Ruben Loza.

In her last two starts, Turn Away was beaten a half-length in the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap here June 28 before finishing second, beaten 5 1/2 lengths, in a third-level allowance race at Saratoga on Aug. 13. In the seven-furlong First Flight, Turn Away was six wide from the quarter pole home, while the allowance was at six furlongs.

"She prefers seven," Loza said. "She's doing really good here. She likes Belmont."

Turn Away has breezed five times at Belmont this fall, including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00.04 on Oct. 10. Turn Away will break from post 4 under Ramon Dominguez.

J Z Warrior's last victory came in the Glowing Honor Stakes here on June 5 in the Belmont slop. That race was at six furlongs, her preferred distance. J Z Warrior is 0 for 2 at seven furlongs, though those races were the Grade 3 Nassau County here and the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga.

Ocean Goddess could be the main speed under Jose Espinoza. She has not run since finishing fifth in the same Saratoga race in which Turn Away was second.

* Jockey Alan Garcia dropped an appeal of his careless riding suspension aboard Vineyard Haven that resulted in that colt being disqualified from first in the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. Garcia was to begin his seven-day suspension Saturday, making him eligible to ride again next Saturday.