09/26/2008 11:00PM

Key scratches at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. - The wet conditions in New York on Saturday prompted the scratches of three prominent horses from Grade 1 stakes at Belmont Park.

Timber Reserve, a third-level allowance winner at Saratoga, scratched out of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup and instead will run in Friday night's Meadowlands Cup, trainer John Kimmel said.

Unbridled Belle, last year's Beldame winner, will not seek a repeat in Saturday's $600,000 Beldame and instead will run in next Sunday's Spinster at Keeneland, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Hostess, the only horse to beat Mauralakana this year, will not run against that rival in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, trainer Jim Bond said. Instead, she will be pointed to next Saturday's Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine.

Kimmel and Pletcher both said they did not want to run their horses on wet surfaces, while Bond said he did not want to run his mare over a yielding turf course.

Elusive Fort, a 20-1 longshot, was scratched out of the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.

As of 11:30 a.m., Belmont's main track was listed as muddy and the turf courses as yielding. The heavy rains that were forecasted for Friday never came, but there was more heavy rain forecasted for Saturday afternoon.