06/17/2010 12:00AM

Intriguing allowance features two fast maiden winners


Though the feature race at Belmont Park on Saturday is the Grade 2 New York Stakes for fillies and mares on the grass, there is a first-level allowance race three races earlier on dirt that may hold more intrigue.

The one-mile allowance drew two of the more impressive 3-year-old maiden winners seen at this meet, Cocalero and Safety Check. Cocalero, a son of A.P. Indy out of the Grade 1-winning mare Got Koko, won his debut by 1 3/4 lengths on May 8. After breaking a length slow and racing in last for the first five furlongs, Cocalero bulled his way out, bumping with another horse in upper stretch, before powering home to victory. He ran seven furlongs in 1:23.71 and earned a 90 Beyer.

That day, Cocalero raced for Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley Stable and trainer Tom Albertrani. His performance was deemed worthy of a graduation of sorts to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing. Assistant trainer Rick Mettee will saddle the horse for Saeed bin Suroor.

Cocalero drew the outside post in the nine-horse field.

On the rail is Safety Check, a son of Empire Maker and the champion sprinting mare Safely Kept. In his second start, Safety Check went gate to wire under Ramon Dominguez to win by seven lengths. He ran seven furlongs in 1:22.99 and earned a 95 Beyer.

Global Force, a $1.2 million yearling purchase, makes his second start in this spot. He got put up to first when he was interfered with by Buddy's Saint in the debut for both colts last fall at Belmont. Buddy's Saint went on to win two graded stakes while Global Force had a chip taken out of an ankle.

For those who like their horses more seasoned, Aikenite may be for you. A debut winner at 2 at Saratoga, Aikenite has competed in eight consecutive graded stakes, most recently finishing 10th in the Preakness.