09/17/2010 4:52PM

Pinckney Hill returns in softer spot


ELMONT, N.Y. – Pinckney Hill hopes to revert to his early-season form when he takes a drop in class for Sunday’s $60,000 Keep the Promise Stakes at Belmont Park. The Keep the Promise, run at 1 1/16 miles over the Widener turf course, is the first race on a 10-race card that is highlighted by the Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

Pinckney Hill began his 4-year-old season with two allowance wins at Gulfstream Park and a head loss to Mambo Meister in the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap at Calder. After that, trainer Angel Penna put Pinckney Hill in the deep end of the pool, attempting to stretch him to 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 1 Manhattan, where Pinckney Hill finished eighth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

“He didn’t run bad at all, he just did not have the kick he normally has,” Penna said.

Most recently, Pinckney Hill finished sixth to Get Stormy in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga. Penna said Pinckney Hill began to grow a winter coat in Saratoga and that a blood test after the race “was not good.”

“We just freshened him up a little bit and we think he’s back to himself,” Penna said. “We hope.”
Pinckney Hill will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez.

Whatsthescript seeks his first win since the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar in 2008. He finished fourth, about three lengths in front of Pinckney Hill in the Fourstadave, before running a non-threatening sixth in the Bernard Baruch, also won by Get Stormy.

Yorktown may have needed his last race when sixth in a third-level allowance at Monmouth, his first start off a seven-month layoff.

Violette eyes Monmouth futurities

Trainer Rick Violette will point Bail Out the Cat and Overseas Market to the colt and filly divisions, respectively, of the $200,000 N.A.T.C. Futurity on Sept. 26 at Monmouth Park.

Bail Out the Cat won his debut by 2 1/4 lengths at Belmont going 5 1/2 furlongs before finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Sanford after a horrendous start and second to Kantharos in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Aug. 17.

On Tuesday, Bail Out the Cat worked four furlongs in 48.37 seconds at Aqueduct.

Overseas Market was the beneficiary of a stewards’ decision to disqualify Palooza in a six-furlong maiden race at Saratoga on Sept. 3. Overseas Market worked a half-mile in 48.67 seconds on Tuesday at Aqueduct.

Violette reported that Let’s Get Fiscal, who finished fourth in the Schuylerville on opening day at Saratoga, will miss the remainder of the year after having chips removed from an ankle.

Sovereign Default, a sharp debut winner for Violette at the Belmont spring meet, is getting 30 days off following an injury to a hind ankle and will be re-evaluated.