graded stakes winner Za Approval tries to regain the winning touch on
Friday at Belmont Park as he heads a field of eight entered for the
$150,000 Forbidden Apple, the first of two turf stakes on an
Independence Day Card with a special first-race post time of 3 p.m.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
the Forbidden Apple, which will be run as race 7, is the $100,000
Perfect Sting for fillies and mares, also at one mile on the Widener
Turf Course. Post time for the Perfect Sting is approximately 7:08 p.m.
or second in all but one of eight starts last year, including victories
in the Grade 3 Appleton, the Grade 3 Knickerbocker and the Grade 3 Red
Bank along with a rousing second to Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the
Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, Za Approval kicked off this 6-year-old
campaign with a fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1Kilroe
Mile at Santa Anita. Fourth again in the Grade 1 Makers 46 Mile in
April at Keeneland Race Course, he was given a class break in the Grade 3
Poker on May 26 at Belmont, but flattened out at the end to finish
third, beaten 4 ¾ lengths as the 4-5 favorite.
connections, however, are encouraged by his subsequent training as he
heads into his first ungraded stakes appearance since January 2013.
has worked a touch better [since the Poker]," said Christophe Lorieul,
assistant to trainer Christophe Clement. "Physically, I think he has
improved a little bit. He doesn't seem to have exactly the same form as
last year, but we are just trying to get him back to the winning stage."
Rosario will be aboard the Live Oak Plantation color-bearer as he
leaves from post position 4 as the 7-5 morning-line favorite.
York-bred Kharafa goes in search of his second straight stakes win in
the Forbidden Apple, having taken the Kingston on May 31 at Belmont.
While most of his victories have come in restricted company, the
5-year-old Kitalfa gelding also owns two wins in open company, including
a victory in the Three Coins Up at Aqueduct Racetrack to close out his
by Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch, Kharafa, 2-1 on the morning line,
will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post position 6.
Stable's Sayaad makes his first start of 2014 in the Forbidden Apple,
having closed out his sophomore season a pair of front-running wins, an
allowance score against older horses in October at Belmont Park preceded
by a 4 ½-length victory in the Dance Life at Saratoga.
been working well," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin of Sayaad, who
turned in a bullet four-furlong breeze in 47.69 seconds on Friday, the
fastest of 47 at the distance over Belmont's training track. "He had
some issues with his feet in Florida [over the winter], but now he's
doing great. It's time to get him start5ed, and this was the only spot
to get him started. He's a nice horse, doing well, in tough."
Jose Ortiz rides Sayaad, 8-1, from post position 8.
Rounding out the field, from the rail out, are Plainview, Bio Pro, General Logan, Dawly (MTO) and Hamp.
to vie for favoritism in the Perfect Sting are Grade 3 Beaugay winner
Waterway Run and runner-up Orion Moon, who was beaten just a beck in the
1 1/16-mile race.
by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old Waterway Run made an eye-catching North
American debut in February at Gulfstream Park, rallying widest of all
from 10 to finish second by a neck in an optional claimer. Subsequently
second in the Grade 3 Hillsborough at Tampa bay Downs, the Arch filly
was a game winner of the Beaugay in May before finishing sixth, beaten 2
¾ lengths in the Grade 1 Just a Game in June at Belmont.
got a good trip last time out but was was outfinished the last eighth
of a mile," said Brown of Waterway Run, 5-2 on the morning line. "We'll
regroup in this listed stakes and go on from there."
Jose Lezcano rides from post position 6.
Moon, who also began her career in Europe, is 2-2-0 in five American
starts, taking an allowance at Belmont and an optional claimer at
Saratoga in her first two stateside appearances.
been progressing the whole time," said Lorieul of the French-bred mare.
"She has done nothing wrong so far. She won two races last summer, and
she is graded stakes-placed. She ran really well the other day [in the
Beaugay] and only got beat by a head. She deserves every chance."
Listed at 3-1 on the morning line, Orion Moon leaves from post position 7 with Junior Alvarado in the irons.
expected to attract support are the Todd Pletcher-trained Alaura
Michelle, most recently third in the Intercontinental Stakes on June 8,
and Baffle Me, who closed out 2013 with a victory in the South Beach at
Gulfstream but who is winless in two starts this year.
Completing the field are Angel's South, Joy, Belle Gallantey (MTO), Lady Ten, Mah Jong Maddnes, and Embarr.