09/23/2009 11:00PM

Weathered getting class relief


ELMONT, N.Y. - Weathered and Doodlin, a couple of Finger Lakes-based fillies, figure prominently against five other New York-bred females in Thursday's $65,000 Belle Born overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

Weathered will be taking a significant class drop, after running fourth to Seventh Street in the Go for Wand and fifth to Icon Project in the Personal Ensign.

Weathered, who won the Rare Treat and Next Move at Aqueduct earlier this year, was beaten nearly 20 lengths in the Personal Ensign, but the effort was better than it looks: She argued the pace with $1.7 million earner Unbridled Belle through the opening mile, and was overwhelmed by Icon Project, who drew away by better than 13 lengths in one of the fastest performances of the year by either sex. Finishing a distant second was Swift Temper, who returned to win the Ruffian here opening weekend.

Weathered returned to her Finger Lakes base after the Personal Ensign, and breezed five furlongs in 58.80 12 days later.

"It's definitely a softer spot, but she came out of her last race at Saratoga in good shape," said trainer Karl Grusmark. "She's trained well, and hopefully she'll pick up where she left off at Aqueduct."

Weathered breaks in the middle of the field, right outside Doodlin, the likely pacesetter for owner/trainer Charlie Baker.

Baker, who is currently third in the standings at Finger Lakes, ran three horses at Belmont last week and came away with runner-up finishes from Mr. Bourbon Street, Inherit the Gold, and Sonic Sound.

Karakorum Fugitive figures close off a series of four races from late May through early August for Jimmy Jerkens, and bettors will have to decide if she's ready to bounce back after a couple of slower races with blinkers added. The first was in the slop, however, and she had absolutely no chance on turf last time out when Mother Russia was allowed to waltz along on the lead through ridiculously slow fractions.

Among the others, Dean Henry ran down My Dinah to win the recent Saratoga Dew in her first stakes assignment for Tom Albertrani. She was getting six pounds from My Dinah that day, however, and will be giving that rival two pounds in the rematch.

The field is completed by Raffie's Treasure, who chased Doodlin around the Finger Lakes oval last out, and Morning Gallop.