Can Saltamontes Stroll Down Park Avenue?

Saltamontes, a stakes winner who never finished outside the trifecta in five starts as a juvenile, will face six other 3-year-old fillies when she makes her seasonal bow at Belmont Park in Sunday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Series Park Avenue Division.


A four-length winner on debut at Saratoga Race Course in August, Saltamontes captured the Friendly Beauty overnight stakes at Belmont in September and followed that triumph by finishing second in the Maid of the Mist on New York Showcase Day in October. She closed her 2-year-old season with a pair of efforts at Aqueduct Racetrack, missing by a neck when second in the Swirlaway overnight stakes on the main track in November and finishing a well-beaten third in the East View on the inner track in December.


“We wanted to give her time to mature a little,” said Rudy Rodriguez, who trains the homebred daughter of Wheelaway for Gabrielle Farm. “After she began at Saratoga, she had pretty much no break. It looks like she’s grown over the winter.”


Saltamontes, who opened her career with three starts in sprints, will cut back in distance for the 6 ½-furlong Park Avenue, having competed over one mile in the Swirlaway and one mile, 70 yards in the East View.


“I wish the race was six furlongs, but we’ll take them as they come,” said Rodriguez. “The distance should be fine. She’s fresh and she ran well in her first race at Saratoga.”


Ramon Dominguez will ride Saltamontes, the 8-5 morning-line favorite, from post position six.


Margaret N. Carrothers’ Good Habits will her second stakes start, having finished fourth after contesting the pace in the Luv Is Eternal overnight stakes at Aqueduct on April 3. Previously, she broke her maiden by three lengths on February 26 after finishing second in her January 30 debut, all at the Big A.


“We hope she’ll relax in the first part of the race,” said trainer John Hertler. “She wants to go fast. If you want her to go slow, you really have to work at it.”


David Cohen has the call aboard Good Habits, the 5-2 morning-line second choice, from post 2.


Freuds On Holidays, who opened her career racing for owner/trainer Michael LeCesse, has won three of six starts for trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. after being acquired privately by owner Stephen Yarbrough. She enters Sunday’s race off four straight starts over the inner track against New York-breds in entry-level allowances, having cleared that condition by 3 ¼ lengths on March 26 in her most recent start.


Named the 3-1 third choice on the morning line, Freuds On Holidays will leave from post 5 under Cornelio Velasquez.


The Park Avenue field also includes Kocher Girl and Silky Me, who both invade from Finger Lakes Race Track for Michael LeCesse, the maiden Lady on the Run, and Sounds Freudian, who steps up in class off a fifth in a conditioned claiming turf sprint at Belmont last Saturday.


The field for the $100,000 Park Avenue:








Lady On the Run (NY)

M J Luzzi


J Morrison



Good Habits (NY)

D Cohen


J O Hertler



Sounds Freudian (NY)

E Castro


S M Schwartz



Silky Me (NY)

J R Velazquez


M A LeCesse



Freuds On Holidays (NY)

C H Velasquez


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Saltamontes (NY)

R A Dominguez


R R Rodriguez



Kocher Girl (NY)

P A Rodriguez


M A LeCesse




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