Belmont: Sweet Cat, R Gypsy Gold give Pletcher contenders in both stakes
Courtesy of: DRF
Six of nine races on Wednesday’s card at Belmont Park are for fillies, among them a pair of overnight stakes and the first 2-year-old race of the meet.
The stakes action begins with race 7,the $85,000 Thirty Flags, scheduled for the inner turf at six furlongs.
Heading the field of nine is the Todd Pletcher-trained Sweet Cat, who last fall beat a total of 21 rivals in the Jessamine and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Although Sweet Cat ran fifth at 1-2 in her seasonal debut at Gulfstream Park, the effort may be better than it looks. The winner, Karlovy Vary, jumped up to win the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes after that, and is bound for the Kentucky Oaks.
Sweet Cat turned back to five furlongs second time back, and rebounded to win a first-level allowance in a sprightly 55.01 seconds.
“I have to think she’s the class of the race,” said assistant trainer Michael McCarthy.
Let’s Get Married appears the main threat, and will be a strong pace factor. She started off with a front-running debut win on dirt at Tampa Bay Downs for Graham Motion, and remained unbeaten withstanding a duel in a first-level allowance on Keeneland’s Polytrack.
Five Star Momma, second in the Grade 3 Debutante at 2, switches to turf in her second start for John Terranova II, after breaking slowly as the favorite in her return at Gulfstream.
Softly Lit, 3 for 3 in turf sprints last year, and Embracing Hearts, who led in both April route starts, are a ship-in entry for Pimlico-based Dane Kobiskie, who is winning at a 36 percent clip this year.
Allwewantforxmas, Beautiful But Blue, Five Star Momma, and Jazzy Idea also entered.
In race 8, seven older fillies and mares clash in $90,000 Heatherten at 1 1/6 miles on dirt, headed by R Gypsy Gold, Cash for Clunkers, and Nefertini.
R Gypsy Gold, also trained by Pletcher, was third in the 2011 Mother Goose. She returned at the fall meet to win twice, including an overnight stake with a lifetime best 95 Beyer Speed Figure. In her only start this year at Tampa Bay Downs, she rallied from far back to reach the lead in midstretch, and was nipped late by dual graded stakes winner Arena Elvira.
“It was a very good effort first time back, and we’ll go over there with some confidence,” said McCarthy.
Over at Aqueduct, Cash for Clunkers won three of four starts by better than 22 lengths for Rick Violette Jr., capped by an easy score over second-level allowance foes on the main track.
Nefertini overcame early trouble to win first out for Alan Goldberg last year, before disappointing twice as the favorite. Returned from a layoff in March, Nefertini, a daughter of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, won back-to-back allowance races on wet dirt.
Catch a Thief and Indian Burn, one-two in a muddy overnight stakes March 31, also entered. North Freeway and The Underling complete the field.