09/25/2009 11:00PM

One Note Samba back with statebreds

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ELMONT, N.Y. - After being overmatched in the Grade 1 Hopeful last time out, One Note Samba returns to New York-bred company Sunday in the $100,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Bertram Bongard for 2-year-olds shares billing with the $100,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies on Sunday's 10-race card. Both races are run at seven furlongs.

After encountering trouble when he ran fourth in his debut, One Note Samba won his second start by 7 3/4 lengths against New York-breds on Aug. 16 at Saratoga. He ran six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.80, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 80. He came back 22 days later in the Hopeful, where he broke slowly, rushed up, and faded to ninth, 18 1/4 lengths behind Dublin.

"From the inside he was forced to establish some position and went a little quick," trainer Todd Pletcher said, referring to the Hopeful. "We still think he's an above-average New York-bred. We're not removing him from open stakes options down the road. This looks like the logical thing to do with him right now."

One Note Samba's biggest competition figures to come from City Trooper, who after finishing second in his first two starts, rallied from off the pace to win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race for New York-breds by a length in the mud at Saratoga. The wet-track form could serve City Trooper well, as showers are in the forecast for Sunday.

In the Gimma, Mineralogist heads a Chester and Mary Broman-owned entry that also includes Screen Saviour. Mineralogist finished second to heavily favored So n So in the Lucy Scribner Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24. In that race, Mineralogist chased the winner from the rail for five furlongs before being forced to steady and alter course, and was guided to the outside by Kent Desormeaux. Mineralogist made a run at the winner, falling less than a length short and galloping out past the winner.

"I think that she was compromised by being on the inside," trainer John Kimmel said. "If she had an outside post, I think she would have been able to win that race. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get her off the fence until he was forced to get off the fence."

Hook Me Up, second to the multiple stakes winner Franny Freud in the $150,000 Lady Fingers Stakes, looks to be the major threat to Mineralogist.