The final week of racing for the 2008 Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet will conclude on Sunday, July 20.
Saturday, July 19, will feature the 92nd running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a quarter. Likely starters here are Acoma, Little Belle, Music Note, Never Retreat and possibly Ms. Margaret H, Seattle Smooth and Smooth Performer.
Godolphin Stable’s Music Note stumbled early then got a clean trip to win the Grade 1, nine-furlong Mother Goose here on June 28, defeating Proud Spell, who had a horrible trip and was finally disqualified from second and placed third.
Owned by Helen C. Alexander and Helen Groves, Acoma has won three straight since running third in her debut back in March, including her most recent victory in the Grade 3, one-mile Dogwood at Churchill Downs on May 31.
Jeff Singer’s Never Retreat finished third in the Mother Goose, but was placed second ahead of Proud Spell.
The Closing Day feature will be the 28th running of the $100,000-added Evan Shipman for New York-bred at a mile and a sixteenth.
Market Psychology, Naughty New Yorker, Prince of Peace, Stormin Normandy, Stud Muffin and Tommasi are probable, while Johnie By Night is questionable.
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At Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Stakes winner Da’Tara went an easy half-mile in 51.97, while stablemate Anak Nakal, who dead-heated for third in the Belmont with Ready’s Echo, went in 52, breezing this morning on the Oklahoma Training Track.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito has said that the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on Sunday, July 27 could be their next race.
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Bustin Stones appears to be getting stronger, as he worked five furlongs in 1:00.42 on Belmont’s training track this morning.
After winning the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct, Bustin Stones missed about three weeks of training. According to trainer Bruce Levine, he lost color and stopped eating. So, the decision was made to stop and give him a break.
The undefeated (6-0) son of City Zip appears ready to resume his racing career shortly, and Saratoga’s Grade 2, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at six furlongs on Whitney Handicap Day, Saturday, July 26 is the likely spot.