Trainers constantly monitor the weather to see if track conditions will suit their runners. That is especially true for Saturday at Belmont as some are wishing for rain while others hope the sun will shine.
On Saturday, the grade II, $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup will be run for fillies and mares at seven furlongs and the grade III, $100,000 six-furlong Bold Ruler features some of the best local sprinters.
Additionally, fans will be able to see Funny Cide, the winner of last Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the first New York-bred to win the "Run for the Roses," school in the paddock at the third race.
Sanford Goldfarb's Cyber Secret won the grade III Comely at Aqueduct on April 18. She defeated last year's 2-year-old filly champion Storm Flag Flying by an easy 5 1/2 lengths. It was the second consecutive stakes win for the daughter of Cyberspace, who is now 5-for-8.
One concern for Cyber Secret's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., is the track condition. Rain fell over Belmont Wednesday night and Thursday's card began with a muddy, sealed track.
"We're really hoping the track comes up fast," Dutrow said. "If it's wet, she is not going to run."
Cyber Secret's worst race came over the slop in last year's Astarita. She fell far back early and was eased in the stretch. "I haven't been tempted to give her another shot over a wet track," Dutrow said.
Dutrow's brother, Tony, is sending up Joseph Allen's Randaroo for the Nassau County. Tony is less concerned about a wet track than Rich is. Randaroo romped by nearly five lengths over a sloppy track in a second-level allowance March 5th.
Randaroo was impressive winning two starts as a juvenile, including the grade 3 Valley Stream. Dutrow gave her the winter off before she came back and won in the slop.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens would also not be concerned about a wet track. His trainee, Joseph Shields Jr.'s House Party, scored a powerful victory over a sloppy track in Delaware's Legal Light two weeks ago. This will be House Party's third attempt at seven furlongs. She broke her maiden at this distance last year.
The field for Saturday's Nassau County Breeders' Cup:
Uphill Skier, Mike Luzzi, 118
Cyber Secret, Shaun Bridgmohan, 122
City Sister, Eibar Coa, 116
House Party, Jose Santos, 122
Randaroo, John Velazquez , 122