09/07/2003 11:00PM

Sunstone tries to get it done


ELMONT, N.Y. - A solid weekday card awaits fans on Wednesday, the start of the first full week of racing at Belmont Park's fall meet.

The featured eighth race, one of two strong grass races on the card, is a $65,000-added overnight stakes for filly and mare turf runners, the Via Borghese.

The Via Borghese, which will be run at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf, drew nine horses, plus two main-track-only entries, Call an Audible and Golden Sonata.

Sunstone, who hasn't won since Aug. 2002, is coming off a close fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Glens Falls at Saratoga on Aug. 25. Last year, she finished third in the Glens Falls. The 5-year-old Sunstone, who has been in some tough spots much of the year, should benefit from the drop in class. On the other hand, when she has run in easier races, Sunstone hasn't been able deliver. She ran in a second-level allowance race on Aug. 13 and finished fifth.

Sunstone's trainer, Bobby Barbara, won Sunday's Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup with Indy Five Hundred and took over the training of Buy the Sport after she won Saturday's Grade 1 Gazelle. Barbara said he hopes his weekend hot streak will rub off on Sunstone.

"I don't know why she doesn't get it done," said Barbara, who trains Sunstone for Peter Minikes, the owner of Indy Five Hundred and Buy the Sport. "Sometimes she gets there, sometimes she doesn't. She likes to come from behind and needs a big pace to come back to her."

Affirmed Dancer figures to be a serious factor. She had a tough trip when finishing ninth in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park on Aug. 17.

Perfect Energy, 2 for 4 over the Belmont turf, is the likely pacesetter from post 2.

The sixth race, a $52,000 allowance race for turf males, has drawn a stronger field than the Via Borghese. Run at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf, the race attracted graded stakes winners Chiselling and Blazing Fury.

The lone 3-year-old in the field, Hidden Truth, finished second in the Grade 3 Lexington here in July.

Chiselling seeks his first win since the Grade 1 Secretariat last year at Arlington. Blazing Fury makes his second start following a layoff to recuperate from tendon surgery he had late last year.