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Edited NYRA Release Andrew Rosen’s British homebred Skims earned a breakthrough victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point at Belmont at the Big A, turning the tables on Vergara to capture the nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies by one length.

Skims received a forwardly-placed ride by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who piloted the Frankel filly for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. Third and in between horses into the first turn, Skims tracked one length off a leisurely pace set by Hail To with Lady Baffled just to her outside in second. As the frontrunners gave way around the far turn, Skims all alone on the lead and she maintained her position through the stretch drive to register her first graded stakes triumph. The victory garnered a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

Skims reversed the exacta from the Dueling Grounds Oaks on September 5 at Kentucky Downs, where she battled down the stretch with Vergara to her inside and gained command for a few strides but finished second only a head shy of victory. Prior to that she was twice unplaced at Saratoga stakes level.

“She had been improving. She didn’t run well at Saratoga, maybe she didn’t like the smaller track,” McGaughey said. “Yesterday, she ran great. She had trained well from her race at Kentucky Downs and Johnny gave her a tremendous ride. We were pleased to win it.

“It was a tough loss, but I don’t look at it as redemption by any means,” added McGaughey, referencing her race at Kentucky Downs. “I just thought Johnny did a good job of keeping her at a switch. When it was time to go, she was there and when she was there, it was over.”

Following the Sands Point, McGaughey mentioned the Grade 1, $300,000 American Oaks on December 26 at Santa Anita as a “distinct possibility” for his newly crowned graded stakes winner, citing the 10-furlong distance as an appealing factor.

“It’s something we’ll think about,” McGaughey said. “She wants a distance of ground and I think it would be something I wouldn’t be opposed to if she’s doing well. We’ll have to wait and see.”

McGaughey also had multiple horses breeze over the Belmont Park inner turf course on Sunday, including Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf aspirant Pleasant Passage. The Emory A. Hamilton homebred daughter of More Than Ready went a half-mile in 49.32 seconds in her first breeze since a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo on October 1 over yielding Aqueduct inner turf. 

McGaughey said he also plans on pre-entering Battle of Normandy for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, also run on November 4 at Keeneland.

The son of freshman stallion City of Light, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, was a last out seventh in the Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 2 at Belmont at the Big A following a runner-up effort in Saratoga’s Grade 3 With Anticipation one month earlier.

Battle of Normandy worked a half-mile in 49.80 Sunday over the inner turf.

“Not sure if he’ll get in or not, but he had a good work this morning,” McGaughey said.

*** 

City Man breezes in prep for $200K Mohawk

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searles’ graded stakes-winner City Man worked a half-mile in 50.85 seconds Sunday over Belmont Park’s inner turf course in preparation for the $200,000 Mohawk, a 1 1/16-mile turf route for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up, on October 30 during the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

“He worked well,” said trainer Christophe Clement. “We’re getting him ready for the Mohawk and I’m very happy with him. He’s doing very well.”

The Mohawk is one of eight New York-bred stakes races slated for the October 30 Empire Showcase Day, offering $1.6 million in total purses to close out the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

City Man, a 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man, was last seen setting a track record over the Big A outer turf in the nine-furlong Ashley T. Cole against fellow state-breds on September 24. There, he rallied from two lengths off the pace to gamely fend off Sanctuary City in the stretch and score the three-quarter-length victory in a final time of 1:49.95.

City Man has won at least one stakes in each of his seasons of racing, dating to his juvenile campaign when he scored his first stakes win in the 2019 Funny Cide at Saratoga Race Course. Since then, he has won the Gio Ponti at the Big A as a sophomore, last year’s West Point as a 4-year-old, and three stakes this year in Aqueduct’s Danger’s Hour, the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at the Spa for his first graded score, and the Ashely T. Cole.

“He’s won stakes at 2, 3, 4, and 5 years old. It’s been fun,” said Clement. “He’s been a nice horse since he was a 2-year-old. He’s won three stakes this year and not many other horses have.”

Another popular horse in the Clement barn is Otter Bend Stables’ multiple Grade 1-winner Gufo, who recently finished last-of-7 in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on October 8 at Belmont at the Big A. The son of Declaration of War tracked in fifth throughout the first mile of the 1 1/2-mile test, but faltered in the final half-mile and faded to last by the stretch call.

“It was disappointing because I love the horse, but he’s doing very well and we plan on working him back on Saturday and go from there,” said Clement.

Gufo has put together a productive campaign this year, led by a repeat score in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational on August 27 at the Spa. Just two weeks later, Gufo showed heart in the Grade 2 Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs when defeated a nose by veteran gelding Red Knight after rallying from six lengths off the pace. He also picked up Grade 1 placings when second in the Man o’ War and third in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan, both at Belmont.

Clement said a next start for Gufo will be evaluated after his breeze on Saturday.

Yesterday at Belmont at the Big A, Clement saddled last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Pizza Bianca to a fourth-place finish in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Sands Point over good footing in her first start off a four-month layoff.

Ridden from post 8 by Jose Ortiz, Pizza Bianca was last-of-8 at the three-quarters call and began to rally at the top of the stretch. She swung five-wide to make her run at the victorious Skims and runner-up Vergara, but could only manage to improve to fifth to be defeated 2 3/4 lengths.

Clement said he was pleased with the effort from the Bobby Flay homebred, whose last race was an even eighth-place finish in the Group 1 Coronation in June at Royal Ascot.

“She came back in good shape,” said Clement. “She looks good this morning. I thought she ran well with the condition of the grass and the draw. Unfortunately, she was a bit further back than I wanted, but the filly ran a good race. I’m not sure where she’ll go next. I’ll [give her] a few days and then go from there.”

Pizza Bianca is listed as Hip No. 225 in the Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale, where she is consigned by ELiTE Sales Agency. 

Pizza Bianca was one of two runners for Clement in the Sands Points, finishing 2 1/2 lengths better than Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Canisy in sixth. The dark bay Point of Entry filly stalked in fifth under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano and made a brief run at the top of the stretch, but weakened.

“She came out OK,” said Clement. “I thought the trip was pretty good, and she just didn’t finish as well as expected.”

A debut winner at Belmont in May, Canisy followed with an optional claiming score two starts later at the Spa before finishing a close sixth in her stakes debut in the Riskaverse 2 1/4 lengths behind Gina Romantica, who went on to capture the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland yesterday.

Clement added that he has not decided on Canisy’s next start.

*** 

Blue-blooded invader Lady Day makes North American debut in Thursday allowance

French-bred Lady Day, a close relative to dual Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, will make her first start on this side of the pond in Thursday’s third race at Belmont at the Big A – a nine-furlong allowance optional claimer on the outer turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Trained by Chad Brown, the daughter of Motivator is out of the Fuisse mare Toride – a half-sister to Treve, who is also by Motivator. Lady Day, who captured the Prix la Sorellina last year at La Teste De Buch, has not raced since finishing fourth last September at Chantilly in the Group 3 Prix Bertrand de Tarragon.

The two-time winner was listed in the Arqana Horses of Racing Age Sale, where she was consigned by her former trainer Frederic Head but did not meet the nearly $580,000 reserve.

Peter Bradley, whose Bradley Thoroughbreds co-owns Lady Day with Gainesway Stable, Cambron Equine and Kurz Equine Investments, acquired the filly following the sale.

“We bought her just about a year ago at the Arqana Sale. She RNA’d and we made a deal with Freddie Head to purchase her,” Bradley said. “She acted like she’s got an awful lot of talent. She was a stakes winner over there, so we knew it was there. She’s been working with some of Chad’s nicer fillies and keeping pace with them. It’ll be interesting. They were running her at a mile over there and I feel like she could use more distance.”

Lady Day came up with several “minor issues” according to Bradley, which pushed back her North American debut. She worked at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida earlier this year before being sidelined, and resumed serious business at Belmont Park in late August.

“It was just one thing after another, nothing but minor setbacks. When you put three minor setbacks together, it becomes one major thing,” Bradley said. “It was nothing worth retiring, but it just kept her on the shelf. She’s been acting like a nice filly in the mornings, and we’ll see if she’s as good as we hope she is.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the call from post 2 aboard Lady Day in the compact field of six.

*** 

Kept Waiting scratches from Floral Park in favor of G3 Noble Damsel

Trainer Robert Falcone, Jr. opted to scratch graded stakes-placed Kept Waiting from Sunday’s $150,000 Floral Park and will instead point the 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow to Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel at Belmont at the Big A.

Kept Waiting was made the 2-1 morning-line second choice for the six-furlong Floral Park, but will instead attempt a graded stakes going one mile on the grass in the Noble Damsel. She last saw action when securing an optional-claiming score on September 29 at the Floral Park distance. A dual surface winner, Kept Waiting won the Broadway in February at Aqueduct over the main track en route to a runner-up finish behind multiple graded stakes winner Glass Ceiling in the Grade 3 Distaff over the same surface in April.

Kept Waiting has not seen the one mile distance since finishing third in a starter optional claimer in January 2021 at Santa Anita, which came following a fifth-out maiden victory.

Falcone, Jr. expressed optimism in her distance capabilities.

“She seems like she would be [able to get the distance],” Falcone, Jr. said. “A lot of it will shape up on who else enters the race and how it plays it out. If there’s speed in the race, she can sit comfortably and be fine. She should be OK with the same closing kick, hopefully. We just have to hope for a little pace and hope she can get the mile.”

Owned by Sandford Goldfarb, Irwin Goldfarb and Nice Guys Stables, Kept Waiting is a six-time winner and boasts earnings of $382,350. She is entered in the Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale as Hip. 193 and is consigned by ELiTE Sales.

Falcone, Jr. reported that stakes-winner Spirit And Glory emerged from a troubled journey in Saturday’s Grade 2 Sands Point in good order with no set plans for her next start. The Irish-bred Cotai Glory filly won the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs in her previous start.

“She came out of it really well. It was just an unfortunate trip,” Falcone, Jr. said.

*** 

HOF trainer Drysdale lining up Big A stakes starters

Alice Bamford’s Kentucky homebred St Anthony worked a half-mile in 48.75 seconds over the Belmont Park inner turf Sunday in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Hill Prince, a nine-furlong turf test for sophomores at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

Trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, the Noble Mission gelding captured the one-mile Alcatraz in May at Golden Gate and the 1 1/16-mile Robert Dupret Derby in August at Santa Rosa.

“All reports are he went well this morning,” said Drysdale over the phone from California. “I like him. He’s an overachiever and I think he’s going to improve. I don’t know about the soft ground. We’ll see.”

A three-time winner from 10 starts, St Anthony was off-the-board two starts back on September 3 in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Del Mar Derby and enters from a rallying fourth just two weeks later in the one-mile Gun Runner on September 14 at Kentucky Downs.

St Anthony is out of the stakes-winning Invincible Spirit mare Amnesia, who was also conditioned by Drysdale.

Team Valor International’s Brazilian-bred Homer Screen worked a half-mile in 51.06 Sunday over the Belmont inner turf.

The 6-year-old Adriano chestnut, a multiple group-stakes winner in his native Brazil, has made five North American starts for Drysdale with his best result coming in a runner-up effort in the one-mile Grade 3 American in June at Santa Anita. He was last-of-11 last out on September 17 in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

Drysdale said that Homer Screen “boiled over” in the build up to the Woodbine Mile and will draw a line through that race. While initially under consideration for the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap at one-mile over the Aqueduct main track on October 29, Drysdale said he will instead point Homer Screen to the $135,000 Artie Schiller on November 12 going one mile on turf.

“He’s improved a lot since he got to New York,” Drysdale said. “He’s got talent that horse. He’s another one I’ll be interested to see how he’ll go over ground with a bit of give in it.”

Al Shira’aa Farms’ stakes-placed Miss Dracarys worked a half-mile in 52.52 Sunday over Big Sandy. She is entered in Race 3 on Thursday, a nine-furlong optional-claiming tilt that drew a field of six fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, but could also come under consideration for Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont at the Big A.

“I’ll look at the race and go from there, but I would think she’s in a good spot,” Drysdale said.

The 4-year-old Malibu Moon mare boasts a record of 10-2-2-1 for purse earnings of $147,520. She has made two previous starts over the Big A turf, posting a winning debut sprinting six furlongs in December 2020 and a close third to returning rival Plum Ali in November over good going in the 1 1/16-mile Winter Memories.

Miss Dracarys has made her most recent two outings in optional-claimers over the Belmont turf, finishing a good second to eventual graded-stakes winner Love And Thunder going one-mile in May and an even fourth last out on June 10 traveling seven furlongs.

Drysdale said he gave Miss Dracarys a break in order to wait for fall turf racing which often features courses with a bit of give in the ground.

“She ran well when she got to New York this spring on soft ground and then she came back on hard ground and I don’t think she cared for it that much,” Drysdale said.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Andrew Rosen’s British homebred Skims earned a breakthrough victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point at Belmont at the Big A, turning the tables on Vergara to capture the nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies by one length.

Skims received a forwardly-placed ride by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who piloted the Frankel filly for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. Third and in between horses into the first turn, Skims tracked one length off a leisurely pace set by Hail To with Lady Baffled just to her outside in second. As the frontrunners gave way around the far turn, Skims all alone on the lead and she maintained her position through the stretch drive to register her first graded stakes triumph. The victory garnered a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

Skims reversed the exacta from the Dueling Grounds Oaks on September 5 at Kentucky Downs, where she battled down the stretch with Vergara to her inside and gained command for a few strides but finished second only a head shy of victory. Prior to that she was twice unplaced at Saratoga stakes level.

“She had been improving. She didn’t run well at Saratoga, maybe she didn’t like the smaller track,” McGaughey said. “Yesterday, she ran great. She had trained well from her race at Kentucky Downs and Johnny gave her a tremendous ride. We were pleased to win it.

“It was a tough loss, but I don’t look at it as redemption by any means,” added McGaughey, referencing her race at Kentucky Downs. “I just thought Johnny did a good job of keeping her at a switch. When it was time to go, she was there and when she was there, it was over.”

Following the Sands Point, McGaughey mentioned the Grade 1, $300,000 American Oaks on December 26 at Santa Anita as a “distinct possibility” for his newly crowned graded stakes winner, citing the 10-furlong distance as an appealing factor.

“It’s something we’ll think about,” McGaughey said. “She wants a distance of ground and I think it would be something I wouldn’t be opposed to if she’s doing well. We’ll have to wait and see.”

McGaughey also had multiple horses breeze over the Belmont Park inner turf course on Sunday, including Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf aspirant Pleasant Passage. The Emory A. Hamilton homebred daughter of More Than Ready went a half-mile in 49.32 seconds in her first breeze since a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo on October 1 over yielding Aqueduct inner turf. 

McGaughey said he also plans on pre-entering Battle of Normandy for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, also run on November 4 at Keeneland.

The son of freshman stallion City of Light, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, was a last out seventh in the Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 2 at Belmont at the Big A following a runner-up effort in Saratoga’s Grade 3 With Anticipation one month earlier.

Battle of Normandy worked a half-mile in 49.80 Sunday over the inner turf.

“Not sure if he’ll get in or not, but he had a good work this morning,” McGaughey said.

*** 

City Man breezes in prep for $200K Mohawk

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searles’ graded stakes-winner City Man worked a half-mile in 50.85 seconds Sunday over Belmont Park’s inner turf course in preparation for the $200,000 Mohawk, a 1 1/16-mile turf route for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up, on October 30 during the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

“He worked well,” said trainer Christophe Clement. “We’re getting him ready for the Mohawk and I’m very happy with him. He’s doing very well.”

The Mohawk is one of eight New York-bred stakes races slated for the October 30 Empire Showcase Day, offering $1.6 million in total purses to close out the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

City Man, a 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man, was last seen setting a track record over the Big A outer turf in the nine-furlong Ashley T. Cole against fellow state-breds on September 24. There, he rallied from two lengths off the pace to gamely fend off Sanctuary City in the stretch and score the three-quarter-length victory in a final time of 1:49.95.

City Man has won at least one stakes in each of his seasons of racing, dating to his juvenile campaign when he scored his first stakes win in the 2019 Funny Cide at Saratoga Race Course. Since then, he has won the Gio Ponti at the Big A as a sophomore, last year’s West Point as a 4-year-old, and three stakes this year in Aqueduct’s Danger’s Hour, the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at the Spa for his first graded score, and the Ashely T. Cole.

“He’s won stakes at 2, 3, 4, and 5 years old. It’s been fun,” said Clement. “He’s been a nice horse since he was a 2-year-old. He’s won three stakes this year and not many other horses have.”

Another popular horse in the Clement barn is Otter Bend Stables’ multiple Grade 1-winner Gufo, who recently finished last-of-7 in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on October 8 at Belmont at the Big A. The son of Declaration of War tracked in fifth throughout the first mile of the 1 1/2-mile test, but faltered in the final half-mile and faded to last by the stretch call.

“It was disappointing because I love the horse, but he’s doing very well and we plan on working him back on Saturday and go from there,” said Clement.

Gufo has put together a productive campaign this year, led by a repeat score in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational on August 27 at the Spa. Just two weeks later, Gufo showed heart in the Grade 2 Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs when defeated a nose by veteran gelding Red Knight after rallying from six lengths off the pace. He also picked up Grade 1 placings when second in the Man o’ War and third in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan, both at Belmont.

Clement said a next start for Gufo will be evaluated after his breeze on Saturday.

Yesterday at Belmont at the Big A, Clement saddled last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Pizza Bianca to a fourth-place finish in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Sands Point over good footing in her first start off a four-month layoff.

Ridden from post 8 by Jose Ortiz, Pizza Bianca was last-of-8 at the three-quarters call and began to rally at the top of the stretch. She swung five-wide to make her run at the victorious Skims and runner-up Vergara, but could only manage to improve to fifth to be defeated 2 3/4 lengths.

Clement said he was pleased with the effort from the Bobby Flay homebred, whose last race was an even eighth-place finish in the Group 1 Coronation in June at Royal Ascot.

“She came back in good shape,” said Clement. “She looks good this morning. I thought she ran well with the condition of the grass and the draw. Unfortunately, she was a bit further back than I wanted, but the filly ran a good race. I’m not sure where she’ll go next. I’ll [give her] a few days and then go from there.”

Pizza Bianca is listed as Hip No. 225 in the Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale, where she is consigned by ELiTE Sales Agency. 

Pizza Bianca was one of two runners for Clement in the Sands Points, finishing 2 1/2 lengths better than Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Canisy in sixth. The dark bay Point of Entry filly stalked in fifth under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano and made a brief run at the top of the stretch, but weakened.

“She came out OK,” said Clement. “I thought the trip was pretty good, and she just didn’t finish as well as expected.”

A debut winner at Belmont in May, Canisy followed with an optional claiming score two starts later at the Spa before finishing a close sixth in her stakes debut in the Riskaverse 2 1/4 lengths behind Gina Romantica, who went on to capture the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland yesterday.

Clement added that he has not decided on Canisy’s next start.

*** 

Blue-blooded invader Lady Day makes North American debut in Thursday allowance

French-bred Lady Day, a close relative to dual Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, will make her first start on this side of the pond in Thursday’s third race at Belmont at the Big A – a nine-furlong allowance optional claimer on the outer turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Trained by Chad Brown, the daughter of Motivator is out of the Fuisse mare Toride – a half-sister to Treve, who is also by Motivator. Lady Day, who captured the Prix la Sorellina last year at La Teste De Buch, has not raced since finishing fourth last September at Chantilly in the Group 3 Prix Bertrand de Tarragon.

The two-time winner was listed in the Arqana Horses of Racing Age Sale, where she was consigned by her former trainer Frederic Head but did not meet the nearly $580,000 reserve.

Peter Bradley, whose Bradley Thoroughbreds co-owns Lady Day with Gainesway Stable, Cambron Equine and Kurz Equine Investments, acquired the filly following the sale.

“We bought her just about a year ago at the Arqana Sale. She RNA’d and we made a deal with Freddie Head to purchase her,” Bradley said. “She acted like she’s got an awful lot of talent. She was a stakes winner over there, so we knew it was there. She’s been working with some of Chad’s nicer fillies and keeping pace with them. It’ll be interesting. They were running her at a mile over there and I feel like she could use more distance.”

Lady Day came up with several “minor issues” according to Bradley, which pushed back her North American debut. She worked at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida earlier this year before being sidelined, and resumed serious business at Belmont Park in late August.

“It was just one thing after another, nothing but minor setbacks. When you put three minor setbacks together, it becomes one major thing,” Bradley said. “It was nothing worth retiring, but it just kept her on the shelf. She’s been acting like a nice filly in the mornings, and we’ll see if she’s as good as we hope she is.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the call from post 2 aboard Lady Day in the compact field of six.

*** 

Kept Waiting scratches from Floral Park in favor of G3 Noble Damsel

Trainer Robert Falcone, Jr. opted to scratch graded stakes-placed Kept Waiting from Sunday’s $150,000 Floral Park and will instead point the 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow to Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel at Belmont at the Big A.

Kept Waiting was made the 2-1 morning-line second choice for the six-furlong Floral Park, but will instead attempt a graded stakes going one mile on the grass in the Noble Damsel. She last saw action when securing an optional-claiming score on September 29 at the Floral Park distance. A dual surface winner, Kept Waiting won the Broadway in February at Aqueduct over the main track en route to a runner-up finish behind multiple graded stakes winner Glass Ceiling in the Grade 3 Distaff over the same surface in April.

Kept Waiting has not seen the one mile distance since finishing third in a starter optional claimer in January 2021 at Santa Anita, which came following a fifth-out maiden victory.

Falcone, Jr. expressed optimism in her distance capabilities.

“She seems like she would be [able to get the distance],” Falcone, Jr. said. “A lot of it will shape up on who else enters the race and how it plays it out. If there’s speed in the race, she can sit comfortably and be fine. She should be OK with the same closing kick, hopefully. We just have to hope for a little pace and hope she can get the mile.”

Owned by Sandford Goldfarb, Irwin Goldfarb and Nice Guys Stables, Kept Waiting is a six-time winner and boasts earnings of $382,350. She is entered in the Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale as Hip. 193 and is consigned by ELiTE Sales.

Falcone, Jr. reported that stakes-winner Spirit And Glory emerged from a troubled journey in Saturday’s Grade 2 Sands Point in good order with no set plans for her next start. The Irish-bred Cotai Glory filly won the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs in her previous start.

“She came out of it really well. It was just an unfortunate trip,” Falcone, Jr. said.

*** 

HOF trainer Drysdale lining up Big A stakes starters

Alice Bamford’s Kentucky homebred St Anthony worked a half-mile in 48.75 seconds over the Belmont Park inner turf Sunday in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Hill Prince, a nine-furlong turf test for sophomores at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

Trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, the Noble Mission gelding captured the one-mile Alcatraz in May at Golden Gate and the 1 1/16-mile Robert Dupret Derby in August at Santa Rosa.

“All reports are he went well this morning,” said Drysdale over the phone from California. “I like him. He’s an overachiever and I think he’s going to improve. I don’t know about the soft ground. We’ll see.”

A three-time winner from 10 starts, St Anthony was off-the-board two starts back on September 3 in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Del Mar Derby and enters from a rallying fourth just two weeks later in the one-mile Gun Runner on September 14 at Kentucky Downs.

St Anthony is out of the stakes-winning Invincible Spirit mare Amnesia, who was also conditioned by Drysdale.

Team Valor International’s Brazilian-bred Homer Screen worked a half-mile in 51.06 Sunday over the Belmont inner turf.

The 6-year-old Adriano chestnut, a multiple group-stakes winner in his native Brazil, has made five North American starts for Drysdale with his best result coming in a runner-up effort in the one-mile Grade 3 American in June at Santa Anita. He was last-of-11 last out on September 17 in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

Drysdale said that Homer Screen “boiled over” in the build up to the Woodbine Mile and will draw a line through that race. While initially under consideration for the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap at one-mile over the Aqueduct main track on October 29, Drysdale said he will instead point Homer Screen to the $135,000 Artie Schiller on November 12 going one mile on turf.

“He’s improved a lot since he got to New York,” Drysdale said. “He’s got talent that horse. He’s another one I’ll be interested to see how he’ll go over ground with a bit of give in it.”

Al Shira’aa Farms’ stakes-placed Miss Dracarys worked a half-mile in 52.52 Sunday over Big Sandy. She is entered in Race 3 on Thursday, a nine-furlong optional-claiming tilt that drew a field of six fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, but could also come under consideration for Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont at the Big A.

“I’ll look at the race and go from there, but I would think she’s in a good spot,” Drysdale said.

The 4-year-old Malibu Moon mare boasts a record of 10-2-2-1 for purse earnings of $147,520. She has made two previous starts over the Big A turf, posting a winning debut sprinting six furlongs in December 2020 and a close third to returning rival Plum Ali in November over good going in the 1 1/16-mile Winter Memories.

Miss Dracarys has made her most recent two outings in optional-claimers over the Belmont turf, finishing a good second to eventual graded-stakes winner Love And Thunder going one-mile in May and an even fourth last out on June 10 traveling seven furlongs.

Drysdale said he gave Miss Dracarys a break in order to wait for fall turf racing which often features courses with a bit of give in the ground.

“She ran well when she got to New York this spring on soft ground and then she came back on hard ground and I don’t think she cared for it that much,” Drysdale said.

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⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

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