05/25/2009 11:00PM

No wait for the day's top attraction


ELMONT, N.Y. - If you miss the first race at Belmont Park on Thursday, you may miss the most interesting betting event on the nine-race card.

Provided the race remains on the turf at seven furlongs, the second-level allowance race restricted to New York-breds drew a deep field of nine, with few that can be thrown out easily. If able to return to the form he showed on turf twice last summer, Gold Vendetta could be the right one.

A 4-year-old son of Gold Fever, Gold Vendetta took sweetly to the turf last June 29, winning a first-level statebred allowance over Belmont's inner turf. On Aug. 6, Gold Vendetta was beaten just a neck in a division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Saratoga, which proved to be his last start of the year.

"He just wasn't doing any good so we stopped on him," said trainer Alan Goldberg.

Goldberg brought Gold Vendetta back at this condition level here on May 7, but the race was rained off the turf and run on the main track. Gold Vendetta finished fourth in the seven-horse field.

"I thought he'd run a little better than that because he was doing really well," Goldberg said. "Maybe he just wants the turf."

Rajiv Maragh, who rode Gold Vendetta in both of his turf races last summer, is up again, starting from the rail.

There does not appear to be much pace lined up for this race, which could make Extra Zip dangerous. Nearly one year ago, Extra Zip won a similar race in gate-to-wire fashion. He has not run since finishing last in an allowance last Aug. 23 at Saratoga. Trainer Carlos Martin said the horse underwent surgery to remove a knee chip, but has been training well for this. Extra Zip, a 5-year-old gelding, is entered for the optional claiming price of $35,000.

Remarkable Storm and Urban Flight both come off strong entry-level allowance victories. Remarkable Storm is stretching out a furlong, while Urban Flight shortens up from 1 1/16 miles.

Missinglisalewis will make his third start at the meet for trainer Carl Domino. He was third as the favorite going longer after getting beat three lengths, with some traffic trouble in the stretch, at this distance on April 30. He gets a rider switch to Eibar Coa.

Groomedforvictory will try turf for the first time for trainer Barclay Tagg, who does well making surface switches. If rain moves this to dirt, Groomedforvictory would be the one to beat.