07/14/2008 11:00PM

Leading turf barns square off

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - Heading into the final week at Belmont Park, Christophe Clement and Barclay Tagg were tied at 16 for the most grass victories at the meet, and they were the trainers of the first two morning-line choices in Wednesday's Irish Actress Stakes. They also saddle the two strongest contenders in Thursday's feature, a first-level allowance scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the inner course.

Queens Full was a maiden winner at Saratoga in her second career start for Clement, but during the past year the late-running filly has lost seven times in this kind of company. Be that as it may, she comes off a strong finish in her first grass start of the year, and may be favored after recording a new Beyer top of 85.

After two starts on Keeneland's Polytrack for Tagg, Value Stream was a maiden winner on the Widener turf third time out. Purchased for $675,000 as a yearling, Value Stream returns to the grass after chasing the Grade 1-placed Lovely Isle at seven furlongs on the main track.

Perhaps the most intriguing race on the card is race 4, a maiden special weight sprint that drew an overflow field of 14 first-time starters. Among those in the main body of the race are Break Water Edison and Precursor, who sold for a respective $525,000 and $500,000 earlier this year, and Ninth Client, a Marylou Whitney homebred who has posted several bullet works.

Frankel stakes winners work

Several Bobby Frankel-trained stakes winners, including champion mare Ginger Punch, worked on Belmont's main track Tuesday.

Ginger Punch, a smashing winner of the Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 14, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.05, the fourth-fastest of 18 works at the distance. She heads a list of 19 nominees to the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga on July 26, a race she won last year by six lengths.

Giant Gizmo, who won a pair of Grade 3 stakes in May, including the Lone Star Handicap with a 104 Beyer, worked six furlongs in 1:14.05.

Giant Gizmo is among 19 nominees to the $750,000 Whitney Handicap, part of the four-stakes Breeders' Cup Win and You're In package at the Spa on July 26, along with the Go for Wand, the $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, and the $500,000 Diana Stakes

The Frankel-trained 3-year-old filly Ariege, idle since winning the Santa Anita Oaks and the Beaumont on synthetic tracks in early spring, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60.