06/22/2010 11:00PM

Our Friend Harvey should build on last


ELMONT, N.Y. - Three allowance races scheduled for the turf highlight Friday's card at Belmont Park, with the most competitive of them being the $56,000 third-level race going six furlongs over the outer course.

Three of the eight horses entered in the six-furlong race are coming out of stakes races, while a fourth comes out of the fastest six-furlong turf race of the meet.

Of that quartet, Our Friend Harvey may offer the best value as he comes out of a seventh-place finish in the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth on June 5, his first start of the year. Our Friend Harvey was chasing the pace in the Wolf Hill when he got shut off in upper stretch by Affirmatif, who was forced out by True to Tradition, who won at Delaware on Tuesday. At that point, jockey Paco Lopez basically stopped riding Our Friend Harvey and galloped him to the wire.

Trainer Tim Hills said Our Friend Harvey had to check earlier in the race when True to Tradition came out on him at five-sixteenths pole. Hills said that cost his horse some momentum and added that the incident in upper stretch "was the final blow."

Since it was Our Friend Harvey's first race since last October, Hills said the gelding "probably needed the race."

"He came out of it well and had a good work on Sunday," said Hills. "No excuses."

Thirteen months ago, Our Friend Harvey won the Lure Stakes over Belmont's turf course with Ramon Dominguez up. Dominguez is back aboard Friday.

Affirmatif, who finished sixth, appeared to have his back end bump with Our Friend Harvey in upper stretch of the Wolf Hill. Two starts back, Affirmatif won a second-level allowance at Keeneland.

On May 30, Congor Bay finished second in this condition over Belmont's turf course in a race that ran in an extremely fast clocking of 1:07.10 for six furlongs. That was Congor Bay's first start for trainer Tom Albertrani.

"I thought he ran extremely well that day," Albertrani said. "He's coming back in the same condition; hopefully he moves up off of his first race."

Karakorum Elektra, a 6-year-old mare facing males, finished seventh in the Candy Eclair Stakes at Monmouth in her debut and returns to Belmont where she is 6 for 13. She has been first or second in her last six starts here.

Shoptate, Drift King, Southern Exchange, and Yield Bogey complete the field.