Multiple New York-bred champion Hessonite makes her 2013 debut
and tries for her first graded stakes win Saturday when she faces seven
other turf fillies
and mares in the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay at Belmont Park, one of two
graded turf stakes on the Kentucky Derby day card.
The 1 1/16-mile Beaugay is joined by the Grade 3, $150,000
Fort Marcy, also at 1 1/16 miles, on the 10-race live card at
Park. In addition, all the action from Churchill Downs will be simulcast at
Belmont and Aqueduct Racetrack, with first race post from
Louisville at 10:30 a.m. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. and both Aqueduct and
will offer staffed windows, voucher sellers and self-service machines.
Windows will remain open in all areas until the conclusion of the
Derby (approximate post 6:24 p.m.).
Hessonite, a 5-year-old daughter of Freud who has won seven
stakes, was voted 2012’s top New York-bred older female, and in 2011 –
the year she began racing on turf
full-time – was crowned champion turf female.
In three previous graded stakes appearances, she finished third in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at
in 2011, second in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at
Parx Racing in 2012 and most recently fifth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl
Invitational on September
29 at Belmont.
“I think we saw [her ability when she finished fifth] in the
Flower Bowl, and she didn’t get the cleanest trip,” said David Donk, who
trains Hessonite for Philip DiLeo
and William Punk, Jr. “She hasn’t won a graded stakes yet, so that’s
the first goal. Can we expand on that? I think it’s possible.”
Junior Alvarado will replace injured jockey Ramon Dominguez
aboard Hessonite, who drew the rail and was listed at 5-1 on the morning
“Ramon always says she’s the easiest to ride,” said Donk.
Trainer Chad Brown, who will be in
Louisville Saturday to saddle Grade 1 Wood Memorial runner-up Normandy Invasion in the
Derby, will send out a trio of fillies headed by 6-5 morning-line favorite Dream Peace.
Leaving from post position 7, directly between stablemates
Pianist (on her inside) and Dealbata (on her outside), Dream Peace made
three North American starts last year,
all in Grade 1’s, emerging with a pair of thirds and one second. A
Group 2 winner in
France, the 5-year-old Dansili mare also owns a third-place finish in 2011’s Grade 1 E. P. Taylor at Woodbine.
Jose Ortiz will be aboard.
Pianist, most recently fifth in the Grade 2 Honey Fox at
Gulfstream Park, was listed at 6-1 on the morning line under jockey
Chris DeCarlo, while Rajiv Maragh will be
in the irons for Dealbata (5-1), ninth in her 2013 debut in the Grade 3
Endeavor at Tampa Bay Downs.
Additionally, Brown will send out Italian import Real Solution in the
Marcy, in which he is the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line from post position 2. Cornelio Velasquez will ride.
Trainer Christophe Clement also will be well represented in both turf stakes, with
Naples Bay and Ruthenia going in the Beaugay and Lubash and favored Speaking of Which entered in the
Bay, who has a victory and a second in four appearances at
Belmont Park, including the Grade 3 Noble Damsel last September, and Ruthenia, 2-0-1 from five
Belmont starts, will be making their 5-year-old debuts Saturday.
“We are excited to see
Bay run back,” said Clement. “We know she likes the track. We were looking for an easier spot for
Ruthenia, but she is ready to run.”
Cornelio Velasquez will ride
Naples Bay from post position 4 while Eddie Castro has the call on
Ruthenia from post position 2. Both are 12-1 on the morning line.
Previously trained by Dermot Weld, Speaking of Which was a Group 3 winner in
before crossing the Atlantic last fall to run in two West coast stakes,
finishing second as the favorite in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa
Anita Park and then 14th
in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. Like the fillies, Speaking of Which spent the winter at
Park, most recently breezing five furlongs in 1:01 on April 24.
“We got him in late November, early December, and he’s
definitely an exciting horse,” said Clement of the Moyglare Stud Farm
color-bearer, who drew the rail at 2-1 on
the morning line with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons. “He might want
to go a bit further.”
Lubash, a 6-year-old New York-bred son of Freud, is 3-3-1 from 11 starts at
Belmont, and enters the Fort
Marcy off a solid
second-place finish to Street Game in the Dave overnight stakes on April
14 off a five-month layoff. He will leave from post position 3 under
Junior Alvarado, and is listed at 9-2 on the