Sunday, October 5, 2014

Belmont Park Notes 10/5

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Contact: NYRA Press Office

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Belmont Park Notes


  • G1 Frizette third-place finisher Feathered in fine fettle, heading to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies; plans for G1 Champagne victor Daredevil not yet finalized
  • Frizette winner By the Moon gives Nevin first G1 victory, on track for Juvenile Fillies
  • Fields taking shape for next weekend's stakes


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Pletcher reported this morning that both Grade 1 Champagne winner Daredevil and Feathered, third in the Grade 1 Frizette, exited their efforts in Saturday's Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races in good order.


Plans for Daredevil, who was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 107 for the Champagne, and earned an all-fees-paid trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, have yet to be made, said Pletcher.


"We'll be discussing that later in the week," he said of the More Than Ready colt, who carries the colors of Let's Go Stable.


Daredevil's Champagne victory, the sixth overall for Pletcher, came off a maiden victory, as did Havana's win in the 2013 edition and Uncle Mo's in 2010. Havana went on to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile while Uncle Mo closed out his 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Juvenile and was voted that year's juvenile champion.


The trainer added that Feathered, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by longshot By the Moon, would likely be making the journey to California for the Breeders' Cup, to be run on October 31 and November 1.


"We feel she ran well enough to warrant the trip," he said.


*           *           *


Grade 1 Frizette winner By the Moon came back in good order, according to her trainer Michelle Nevin, and in all likelihood will make her next start in the Grade 1, 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park.


Run over a water-logged main track at Belmont Park, the Frizette boasted a field of very promising 2-year-old fillies, which relegated By the Moon to the role of outsider at 24-1. As soon as the gates opened, however, it was apparent that the daughter of Indian Charlie was a live long shot.


By the Moon shot to the front, but was content to let Grade 2 Adirondack winner Cavorting grab the early lead, with Grade 1 Spinaway winner Condo Commando off her flank in third. Turning for home, By the Moon briskly shed the two more accomplished fillies and splashed home in front to give Nevin her first career Grade 1 victory.


"I think it's everyone's goal to win a race like [the Frizette]," said Nevin. "I was overwhelmed."


The decision reversed the outcome of the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course, in which Condo Commando defeated By the Moon by 13 ¼ lengths over a sloppy track. By the Moon prevailed by 2 ¼ lengths in the Frizette and earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.


"It was a different scenario between the two sloppy tracks," said Nevin. "She was a little sharper, got good position, and [jockey] Jose [Ortiz] was able to give her a perfect ride."


Two big question marks hang over By the Moon's head going into the Juvenile Fillies - how she will handle shipping to California and how she will fare on a fast track - but Nevin doesn't foresee either being a problem.


"So far she's done everything we've asked her to do," said the trainer. "She's always been very professional and doesn't get too revved up. If it was a dry, fast track [for the Breeders' Cup], it wouldn't be a big issue for us. She's always worked over dry track leading up to her races and has performed well over it."


*           *           *


A trio of turf races highlights next week's three-day Columbus Day holiday weekend, with the Grade 3, $200,000 Knickerbocker on Saturday, the Grade 3, $200,000 Athenia for fillies and mares on Sunday and the $200,000 Pebbles for 3-year-old fillies on Monday. Also on Monday will be the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie for fillies and mare sprinters on the main track.


Pointing to the 1 1/8-mile Knickerbocker are Up With the Birds, last year's Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap winner who was most recently fourth in the Grade 1 Arlington Million; Za Approval, winner of the Real Courage overnight stakes on September 7; John's Call winner Tricky Hat; Plainview, third last time out in the Grade 3 Cliffhanger at Monmouth Park; Mshawish, making his third North American start; British import Legendary, 3-1-1 from five stateside starts this year, and Bombaguia, unraced since a second-place finish in an optional claimer in January.


Among those expected for the Athenia are Discreet Marq, beaten favorite in the Yaddo last time out; Julie's Love, who came off a five-month layoff to finish third in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel on September 13; Tokyo Time, fifth as the favorite in the Noble Damsel, and Overheard, most recently third in the Grade 3 Violet at Monmouth.


Under consideration for the one-mile Pebbles are Sea Queen, third in the Grade 2 Sands Point; the Irish filly Lady Lara, winner of the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury on September 19; Munirah, who took the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth in her third career start, and Testa Rossi, who won the Grade 3 Miss Grillo last year in her American debut and most recently was fourth in the Grade 1 Ashland in April at Keeneland.



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