A talented field of eight state-bred juvenile fillies will look to earn their first career stakes win in the 24th running of the $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma at seven furlongs on Belmont Park's main track Wednesday.
Half the field last raced in the Seeking the Ante on August 25 at Saratoga Race Course, including Treadway Racing Stable's Miss Mystique, who overcame a stumble at the start and used a ground-saving trip to finish third in the 6 ½-furlong sprint.
The Leah Gyarmati trainee will return to the site of her debut win on July 13, when she bested nine competitors to win by two lengths over six furlongs on Big Sandy. Miss Mystique drew post 6 with jockey Rajiv Maragh having the return call.
"She's training well and everything looks good," Gyarmati said. "Her last race, she fell leaving the gate, so there's a little bit of an excuse there, but it was impressive. Once that happened, she had every excuse to trail the field, but she pulled herself up. She's pretty game."
Newport Breeze, the Seeking the Ante runner-up, was forwardly placed last time out before falling back. The daughter of Majestic Warrior recovered with a midstretch surge, closing to within three-quarters of a length behind winner Cause We Are Loyal.
Trained by Peter Eurton, Newport Breeze is the field's leading earner with a career bankroll of $77,080. Jockey Joel Rosario will ride from post 7.
Chester and Mary Broman's Held Accountable will make her stakes debut - and her first appearance on dirt - after a 2 ¼-length win on turf in her first start on August 17 at the Spa. Trainer Phil Serpe said her works at Saratoga and Belmont, including a six-furlong breeze in 1:18.01 on September 9 on the main track, encouraged the connections to try her on dirt.
"She broke her maiden on turf, but her works on the dirt were very good, too," Serpe said. "She'd do for a half-mile work tomorrow, so as long as everything goes OK, we'll be good to go.
"I was standing with Mr. Broman one day when we were watching her get her gate card at Saratoga, and she worked super on the dirt and we said 'she works very good and let's [try] it.' It's a New York bred restricted race and it looks like the next stop to go in. She's shown some versatility."
Luis Saez will be in the irons from post 2.
Berning Rose will look to go 2-for-2 in her first stakes start. The daughter of Freud wired the field in her first start, earning a 75 Beyer Speed Figure for the five-length victory that is the highest of any of her fellow competitors.
Trained by Dominick Schettino, Berning Rose will depart from the rail with jockey Kendrick Carmouche.
Rounding out the field is Pauseforthecause, a Giant's Causeway filly who ran fourth in the Seeking the Ante, for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin from post 3; Beaux Arts, the runner-up in the Colleen on August 5 at Monmouth Park for trainer Russell Cash, out of post 8; and first-time stakes starters Aunt Babe (post 4) and Girl's Dance Party (post 5) for trainers Carlos Martin and Jeremiah Englehart, respectively.
Source: NYRA Communications