Hall of Fame trainer Philip Johnson will saddle two fillies in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Belmont Park, including Storm Dream, the lone 3-year-old in the field. A field of eight will go postward for the one-mile turf event.
Storm Dream won the Boiling Springs Handicap by 5 1/2 lengths, and the daughter of Catrail also finished third in the Entenmanns Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) while still a maiden.
"I think the mile suits her perfectly," said Johnson. "She ran really big in the Boiling Springs. She's done everything we've wanted her to do."
Due to common ownership, Storm Dream will run as a coupled entry with stablemate La Ville Rouge. Lael Stables' La Ville Rouge is a 4-year-old daughter of Carson City who finished last of eight on soft turf in the New York Handicap (gr. IIT) in her most recent race. Prior to the New York Handicap, she finished third in the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) after winning a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance race at Belmont Park.
Fictitious is the 117-pound co-highweight. Owned by the Queen of England, Fictitious finished a close-up sixth in the Diana Handicap (gr. IIT) – beaten by 3 1/4 lengths -- while making her first start in four months. The Christophe Clement trainee will break from post six under Jose Santos.
"She ran well in the Diana off the layoff," said Clement. "I think she's improved since that race."
The field for the Noble Damsel – with jockeys, weights, and morning-line odds – will consist of:
1--Solar Bound, Jerry Bailey, 114, 4-1
2--Gino's Spirits, Edgar Prado, 114, 6-1
3--Babae, Robbie Davis, 114, 15-1
4--(E)Storm Dream, Jean-Luc Samyn, 115, 9-5
5--Spook Express, Mike Smith, 117, 6-1
6--Fictitious, Jose Santos, 117, 2-1
7--Luricon, Jorge Chavez, 113, 20-1
8--(E)La Ville Rouge, Mike Luzzi, 9-5