10/02/2009 11:00PM

Key scratches at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. There were two early scratches from Saturday's $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park, but Presious Passion wasn't one of them.

With only light rain having fallen as of late Saturday morning, trainer Mary Hartman remains hopeful of running the speedy Presious Passion in the Hirsch, but only wants to do so on firm turf. The turf courses were labeled good as of Saturday morning.

"As long as it doesn't rain anymore I'll run," Hartmann said at 11:15.

Meanwhile, trainer Christophe Clement has scratched Winchester and will run just Gio Ponti in the Hirsch. Also, trainer Todd Pletcher scratched Ready's Echo from the race to run in Sunday's $250,000 Kelso Handicap.

In a bit of a surprise, Clement scratched Carribean Sunset out of the Flower Bowl Invitational, and will run Beauty O'Gwaun. Clement said Carribean Sunset "is not training as well as she should at the moment."

Beauty O'Gwaun, a 3-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Rainbow Quest, is making her North American debut. She was a Group 3 winner in Ireland in May at the Flower Bowl distance of 1 1/4 miles.

"Yes it looks a bit ambitious, but it's the right place and the right day to be ambitious," Clement said.

In other stakes, Peace Chant scratched out of the Vosburgh, reducing the race to a four-horse field.