Updated on 09/15/2011 12:17PM

Turf or dirt is Jaipur's puzzle


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Richard Schosberg was practicing his rain dance Friday morning.

Schosberg plans to bring Affirmed Success back from a six-month layoff in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Jaipur Handicap at Belmont Park, but would prefer not to do it over a soft turf course. With all the rain that hit the area this week - and there is more in the forecast over the weekend - there is a possibility the seven-furlong race could be moved to the main track.

Affirmed Success has won three graded stakes on dirt at seven furlongs, including the 1998 Grade 1 Vosburgh over this track. While Schosberg's main objective is the Breeders' Cup Mile on grass, the Jaipur is just a starting point and is no place to risk the welfare of Affirmed Success. That is why he is considering scratching if the race remains on turf.

Affirmed Success drew post seven and would carry 121 pounds on turf or 123 on dirt. Jerry Bailey rides.

Bevo is another who was entered in hopes the race would come off the turf. Trainer Billy Badgett said if the Jaipur stays on the turf, he would run in Monday's Metropolitan Handicap on dirt.

If the race remains on turf, the pace should be swift if Texas Glitter stays in. Texas Glitter is 4 for 6 on turf but all those wins have come at 5 1/2 furlongs or shorter and in front-running fashion.

Strategic Mission, a 6-year-old son of Mr. Prospector, comes off a front-running victory in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Handicap. In his lone try at seven furlongs, Strategic Mission finished second behind Officialpermission, who established a Widener Turf Course record of 1:19.88 for seven furlongs last July.

Strategic Mission, who will be ridden by Richard Migliore from post 8, did run well once over soft turf.

Aly's Alley is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs. Trainer Carl Nafzger said he may have inhibited his horse's chances with his instructions to jockey Edgar Prado. "I had Prado sitting too tight on the horse," Nafzger said. "I should have let him do his thing."

The race could set up well for one of three closers in the field including defending Jaipur champion Gone Fishin, Macward, and Airbourne Command. Gone Fishin is winless in eight starts since the Jaipur, although only one of those races was at seven furlongs on turf.

Macward, a California shipper, finished a fast-closing second to Lake William in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap last out at Santa Anita. John Velazquez rides from post 4.