07/03/2006 11:00PM

Shippers pack Prioress


Shippers have dominated the filly-and-mare stakes in New York this summer, a trend that could very well continue in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park.

Six of the nine 3-year-old fillies entered in the six-furlong Prioress are coming in from out of town for the country's only Grade 1 six-furlong race restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

Diplomat Lady, who won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet as a 2-year-old, is coming from Southern California after a 13th-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks. She chased the pace that day before backing up after six furlongs. Before that, Diplomat Lady won the Grade 2 Beaumont at seven furlongs at Keeneland. Diplomat Lady drew post 7 and will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez.

Downthedustyroad, a Bob Baffert trainee who was third in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks, also ships in from Southern California.

Misty Rosette, who won the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream, shipped up from Florida a month ago and shows three solid breezes over the Belmont main track. Garrett Gomez will ride the filly for owner-trainer James Chapman from post 2.

Wild Gams, the Grade 3 Cicada winner, and Livermore Valley, a multiple stakes winner, ship in from New Jersey. Wildcat Bettie B, trained by Larry Jones, won the Grade 3 Miss Preakness and ships in from Delaware.

Capote's Crown, who won the Queen of Song Stakes last out, and recent allowance winners Silverstris and Win McCool head up the local contingent. Bob Barbara, the trainer of Win McCool, said he was thrilled that his filly drew the outside post.