A closely matched field
of 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point launches the
Memorial Day stakes action at Belmont Park, with Discreet Marq
favored in the 1 1/16-mile
The Sands Point will be
run as race 7 on Monday’s 11-race holiday card, followed by a trio of
Grade 1’s: the $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap for fillies and mares, the
$300,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, and
the afternoon’s marquee event, the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap. The
Ogden Phipps, Acorn, and Met Mile will serve as the first three legs of
the $500,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4.
Also on Monday, fans will receive a
Park cooler bag, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
A stakes winner at age 2, Discreet Marq was transferred to trainer Christophe Clement late last year at
Park. After setting the pace, the gray
daughter of Discreet Cat finished third and second in a pair of ungraded
turf stakes, most recently on January 27.
“It’s a bit ambitious
first time back, but she trains well and I think she’s a nice horse,”
said Clement. “She’s training like a nice horse and breezing like a nice
horse. The bottom line is, I’m very lucky to
Jose Lezcano will ride the 5-2 morning-line favorite from post position 2.
Trainer Barclay Tagg
has entered both Unbelievable Dream, who will be trying for her third
straight victory, and Caroline Thomas, unraced since being soundly
bumped in the stretch and finishing fifth in the Grade
3 Herecomesthebride on March 2 at Gulfstream.
“I gave her a little
break after that, and she’s come back very well,” said Tagg of Caroline
Thomas, who carries the colors of Joyce Young. “She’s a very
Unbelievable Dream, a
daughter of Kitalpha, broke her maiden facing New York-breds last year
at Aqueduct Racetrack but has competed exclusively in open company this
year. Fifth in her 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream
going 1 1/8 miles, she returned to post a late-running victory in a
one-mile optional claimer and then rallied from last, 15 lengths back,
to win the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland Race Course on April 18.
“She’s a very nice
filly who never stops surprising us,” said Tagg of Unbelievable Dream, a
Sure Thing Stables homebred. “She came flying down the stretch in her
last race. I shipped her out there because they
have a long stretch. She likes a mile, but I hope she isn’t stuck on a
mile, even though she’s usually a mile out of it. She does everything
you ask her and she seems happy to do it, and she’s a beautiful mover.”
Caroline Thomas, who
drew post position 3, was tabbed at 5-1 on the morning line under Luis
Saez, while Unbelievable Dream, the 7-2 third choice, will be ridden by
Joel Rosario from post position 5.
Multiple stakes winner
Watsdachances, fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Appalachian in her
2013 debut, and Wave Theory, who lost her rider in the
Edgewood at Churchill Downs last time out, represent a strong hand for trainer Chad Brown.
The Irish-bred Watsdachances won the P. G. Johnson at Saratoga Race Course and the Grade 3 Miss Grillo over a yielding course at
last fall in her first two starts for Brown, and ended her 2-year-old
campaign with a second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
Turf. Overall, the Diamond Green filly is 3-1-1
from six starts for owners Michael Kisber and Bradley Thoroughbreds,
while Wave Theory, who carries the colors of Martin Schwartz, was
second, third and fourth in three stakes appearances prior to the
The 3-1 second choice
on the morning line, Watsdachances will leave from post position 4 under
Javier Castellano, while Wave Theory, 4-1, drew the rail and will be
ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
Rounding out the field is Kitten’s Queen, a supplemental entry who most recently was third in an allowance at Keeneland.
Fusaichiswonderful was entered main track only.