05/26/2010 12:00AM

Platinum, Qualia meet in allowance


ELMONT, N.Y. - An intriguing matchup between two 4-year-old fillies that have gotten their careers off to impressive starts is on tap Friday at Belmont Park when Platinum faces Qualia in a third-level allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The $56,000 race is one of three allowance heats on Belmont's nine-race card.

Platinum, owned and bred by Peter Blum, reeled off three consecutive victories in a 46-day span last summer for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. The streak began with a five-length victory in a six-furlong maiden race here July 17 and concluded with a 3 3/4-length victory in the Mollie Wilmot Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 31.

According to Blum, Platinum developed some issues shortly after the Saratoga meet that required her to have some time off. Since then, Blum has transferred several horses, including Platinum, to Bill Mott, who wintered at the Payson Park training center in south Florida.

Platinum worked three times at Payson before moving up to Saratoga, where she has fired two bullet works including a five-furlong move in 59.84 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on May 19.

Though she won at six furlongs over this track, Platinum may actually be better going a distance of ground.

"I think this is a good starting point," Blum said. "I hope she can perform well and comes back well."

Qualia has won three of her first four starts, including a pair of allowance races at Gulfstream Park during the winter. In her Jan. 15 allowance win, Qualia got stopped around the turn and had to check and alter course before closing late.

Trainer Robert Ribaudo said those two races plus a fast work at Gulfstream in March "took a little something out of her," and Ribaudo wanted to proceed with caution. He said Qualia has settled down and begun to relax since returning to New York.

La Concerto is a speedy New York-bred who has won two open-company allowance races in her last three starts. Power Princess won a second-level allowance at Gulfstream.