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Quiet Meadow Choice in Noble Damsel

If Quiet Meadow can pull off a win in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park, it would do much to ease the sting her connections felt after the mare’s nose defeat to Rutherienne in the one-mile turf race last year.


“That was a tough beat,” recalled Chad Brown, who trains Quiet Meadow for Hidden Brook Farm. “I’ve never been in a photo that close in my life where there wasn’t a dead heat.”


Following that near-miss, the daughter of El Prado was sent to the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita on November, where she finished fourth behind Grade 1 winner Tuscan Evening.


Freshened over the winter, Quiet Meadow will make her fourth start of the year in the Noble Damsel, following a trio of strong efforts this spring and summer, including a pair of narrow losses in graded stakes company.


“This year I think her races have been pretty good,” Brown said. “She’s run with some pretty nice horses and she seems to show up for us every time. She’s a pleasure to have around.”


In her most recent start, Quiet Meadow finished a half-length behind Unbridled Essence in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park on August 1. Prior to that she was third in the Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Parx Racing on July 5, and missed by a half-length in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico on May 15, her first start of 2010. Brown said he hoped to see her stalk the pace in Sunday’s race, where she will shorten up to a mile for the first time since the Las Palmas.


“Her owners are also breeders, and the difference between a graded stakes placing and a graded win means a lot to this filly residually,” Brown said. “If we could some how win this race on Sunday, the loss last year wouldn’t be so bad.”


Jose Lezcano has the call aboard the 3-1 morning-line favorite, who will break from post position 4.


Seven other fillies and mares stand between Quiet Meadow and graded stakes glory, including Strike the Bell, who will attempt to bounce back from a sixth-place finish behind Dynaslew in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Handicap at Saratoga on August 28.


Trainer David Donk believes the filly – who has made her last four starts at 1 1/16 miles – will relish the reduction in distance.


This is a good spot; it shortens her back up to one turn,” Donk said. “She was a lot farther back off the pace than I thought she’d be in the Ballston Spa. She made up a lot of ground, but it was just too much to do on that course. I think she’s a seven-eighths-to-a-mile specialist anyway.”

Owned by Rising Star Stables, the daughter of Mizzen Mast finished second by a head to Maram in the Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth on July 4, and won a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance over the same oval on May 30.


Ramon Dominguez will ride the 4-1 morning-line third choice from the rail.


Also exiting the Ballston Spa is fifth-place finisher Scolara, who earlier in the year finished second to Dynaslew in the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 1 at Belmont. The Ballston Spa was the mare’s first race off a brief layoff following her fourth-place effort in the Dr. James Penny Memorial.


John Velazquez has the call aboard the 7-2 morning-line second choice from post 6.


The 6-year-old New York-bred veteran Chestoria will venture into open company for the third time this year, having finished third in the Beaugay, and second in the Dr. James Penny Memorial. Winner of the Mount Vernon at Belmont May 30, Chestoria was most recently third in the Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga. She will run at a mile for the first time since an eighth-place finish over yielding turf in the Shopping For Love stakes at Belmont in November 2008.


“She’ll retire at the end of the year and we’d like to get some more black type on her before she goes to the breeding shed,” said trainer Bill Badgett. “I think she’ll be fine cutting back to a mile. She’s moving well and we hope she’ll run as well as she has been all year.”


Tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line, David Cohen will ride from post 3.


Yaddo victress Meriwether Jessica will step up into graded stakes company as she tries for her fourth consecutive win in as many starts for trainer Rick Violette. A two-time optional claimer winner in June and July at Belmont, her gutsy win in the Yaddo persuaded Violette the 5-year-old daughter of Freud against open company.


Completing the field are C. S. Silk, a supplemental entry to the race who exits a win in the Addison Mallery at Saratoga on September 4; Kristi With a K, most recently fourth in a turf optional claimer at Monmouth on August 20; and the Irish-bred Sweeter Still, winner of the 7 ½-furlong Light Hearted Stakes at Monmouth on August 7.


The field for the Grade 3 Noble Damsel:








Strike the Bell (KY)

R A Dominguez


D G Donk



C. S. Silk (KY)

M J Luzzi


D L Romans



Chestoria (NY)

D Cohen


W Badgett, Jr.



Quiet Meadow (FL)

J Lezcano


C C Brown



Kristi With a K (KY)

J L Espinoza


B Tagg



Scolara (FL)

J R Velazquez


W I Mott



Sweeter Still (IRE)

C H Velasquez


M J Trombetta



Meriwether Jessica (NY)

A Garcia


R A Violette, Jr.




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