09/29/2009 11:00PM

Icon Project to skip Beldame


ELMONT, N.Y. - Icon Project, who would have been the favorite for Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame at Belmont Park, will skip that race and instead run in the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 11, trainer Marty Wolfson said Wednesday.

The decision was made Tuesday night after owner Andrew Rosen, who was in France, and Wolfson talked by phone. By running in the Spinster, it will give Icon Project a start over a synthetic surface. The Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on Nov. 6 will be run over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface.

"He just wants to run in the Spinster," Wolfson said of Rosen. "I think it's probably the synthetic issue."

The Spinster also keeps Icon Project racing around two turns. The Beldame, like the Spinster and Ladies' Classic, is also at 1 1/8 miles, but contested around one turn.

In June, Icon Project won the New York Stakes at Belmont by 13 1/4 lengths in a race that was moved from the turf and run at 1 1/8 miles around one turn. Icon Project is coming off a 13 1/2-length win in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga.

The defection of Icon Project figures to leave Music Note as an overwhelming favorite in the $600,000 race. Only three others are expected to run, a Team Valor entry of Captain's Lover and Unbridled Belle, and Copper State.