With opening day of Belmont
spring/summer meet one week away, the backstretch at the historic racetrack is
filling up with familiar faces. Among those returning from a winter hiatus in Florida was Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, who had a
successful run at Gulfstream
Park with a record of
5-3-6 from 36 starts and earnings of $159,107.
Jerkens, who celebrates his 83rd birthday on Saturday, will
have 19 horses stabled at Belmont including Emma’s
Encore, who broke her maiden on February 24 and won an optional
claimer on March 14. The 3-year-old daughter of Congrats, out of the Wild Again
mare French Opera, was never a factor when finishing last behind Grace Hall in
the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, but Jerkens has not ruled out bringing her back in
a stakes during the 56-day meet.
“In her race before the stakes, she came from last to win
it,” he said. “I don’t know why she didn’t run well in
the Oaks. Now that we’re back here, I’ll see how she trains.”