Super Saturday at Belmont Park is upon us and bettors are offered six dynamite graded races, five of them G1's, including the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational. A stellar field of nine are set to square off in this 1 ¼-mile event which serves as a "Win & And Your In" for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Let's have a look at the field from the rail out.
1-Dream Peace/Leparoux/ Brown--Is definately use to the level of competition, as three of her previous four starts have come in G1 stakes. In her first start in the United States, this four-year old Irish-bred filly, finished second in the G1 Diana Handicap at Saratoga. She also finished third in the G1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in Canada to end her three-year-old campaign. Has finished third or better in ten of her fourteen starts, which includes a win in the G2 Prix de la Nonette in France.
2-Hessonite/Lezcano/Donk--This race marks the seventh start at Belmont Park for this New Yorker. She has won her last three and finished second in two consecutive prior races, including the Irish Linnet. As a three-year-old, this filly won the New York Stallion Cupecoy’s Joy and also the Ticonderoga later in 2011.
3-Hit It Rich/Castellano/McGaughey--Is coming off a win in the G3 Glens Falls Handicap at Saratoga, and this five-year-old mare has a very good resume entering this race. In five races in 2012, this five-year old mare hasn’t finished lower than third, including two wins and a pair of runner-up results. She actually has four wins in her last seven starts dating back to last October. Jockey Javier Castellano has been aboard for the previous six starts, and the horse/rider combo has it off nicely with successful results.
4-I'm A Dreamer/Turner/Simcock--Made quite a North American debut last time out with a win in the G1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park. Before that, she had a somewhat decent career in Europe - four wins and three third place finishes in a dozen starts. She should be a factor.
5-Starformer/Smith/Mott-- Four-year old filly has three wins in 11 career starts. Started her career in Europe with okay results before coming to the States mid-summer of 2011. This year, she has been off the board just once in five races. Her only graded success came two starts back in the G3 Robert Dick Memorial at Delaware Park, and that was followed by a runner-up spot last out in the Waya Stakes at Saratoga.
6-Bizzy Caroline/Cohen/McPeek--Filly is a multiple G3 stakes winner whose last victory came in June in the G3 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs, Since that score, this filly has raced three additonal times, catching the board in her last two, including a second last time out in the Grade 3 Glens Falls Stakes.
7-Zagora/Dominquez/Brown--It's been a great 2012 so far for the five-year-old mare. In six starts this year, she has won four times, all in graded-stakes races, although she is still looking for her first win in a G1 race in 2012. Won in her last start, the G2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga. Zagora has been racing in North America consistently since coming over from France in 2010, and she did finish second in the G2 New York Stakes here at Belmont Park in 2011.
8-Nahrain/Velazquez/Varian--Reeled off four consecutive wins to start off her racing career in 2011, including a thrilling nose victory in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera, which earned her a berth in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, a race where she was a superb runner-up. She resurfaced at Ascot in June, disappointing in the 1 mile Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes. A better performance was expected next outing when she appeared in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes, but even with a step up to a more favorable distance (1 1/4), she again faltered. However, she ran a much better race in her last start, the 10F G2 Blandford Stakes, which gave encouragement to her camp. She finished third after staying on stoutly in the closing stages, and that could be a positive indication that she is rounding back into form as she returns Stateside.
9-Halo Dolly/Rosario/Hollendorfer--Well raced filly has managed 13 wins in 23 career starts, including four of her last five - the most impressive win coming last time out in the G2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar. Other wins include minor California state-bred stakes. So the break through last time out in highly competitive graded competiton has this filly looking good heading into this event.
This is a solid all-around field from top to bottom and it wouldn’t be a major surprise if any horse stepped up and took the victory. For me, it looks like a trio of 5-year olds, Zagora, I'm A Dreamer and Hit It Rich should battle for the victory, with Hit it Rich the call to hold off the other two.