Lukewarm morning line favorite Lady Lara, a 4-year-old daughter of Excellent Art—Shanty, by Selkirk, has not seen the winner's circle since March 28 when she won the Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIT) by a neck over Sandiva at Gulfstream Park. Her two on-the-board finishes this year in five starts is a sharp contrast to 2014 when she finished in the money six times out of nine starts.
Owned by Ben Sangster, the Irish-bred filly's best finish since the Honey Fox came Sept. 19 at Belmont where she finished second in the Noble Damsel Stakes (gr. IIIT). Lady Lara is trained by Bill Mott.
Coffee Clique is struggling with similar challenges. John and Jerry Amerman's homebred daughter of Medaglia d'Oro —Miss Chapin, by Royal Academy, had six wins and two places from 11 starts from 2 through 4 and now has only one win in six starts this year. She did win the Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Parx Racing at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, same conditions at the Athenia Stakes, but followed that with two flat off-the-board finishes. Brian Lynch trains Coffee Clique.
Lady Lara's and Coffee Clique's experience knocking heads in graded stakes company could help them in the 13-horse Athenia field that is otherwise light in stakes winners.
Granny's Kitten (Kitten's Joy —Granny Franny, by Grand Slam) has won twice and finished third twice in her last four starts. The 4-year-old's last start came in the Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) in which she finished three lengths behind the winner Photo Call, who won the grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes in her next start. Granny's Kitten is trained by Chad Brown, who is leading the Belmont fall meet trainer's standings with 19 wins.
A Little Bit Sassy (More Than Ready —Miss A. Bomb, by Lemon Drop Kid) has one win and been in the money three times in her last four starts. The 4-year-old finished second in her last start in the Glen Hill Farm One Dreamer Stakes at Kentucky Downs, a head behind Rusty Slipper, who is the only horse in the Athenia field to have won a stakes race in her previous start. A Little Bit Sassy is trained by Michael Matz.
Belmont Park, Saturday, October 17, 2015, Race 9
- 1 1/16m
- Inner turf
- 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
- 5:19 PM (local)
|1||1Stellar Path (FR)||Joel Rosario||120||Christophe Clement||8/1|
|2||2Speed Seeker (FL)||Elvis Trujillo||120||Joan Scott||20/1|
|3||3A Little Bit Sassy (KY)||Joe Bravo||118||Michael R. Matz||12/1|
|4||4Wiener Valkyrie (GB)||Cornelio H. Velasquez||113||Ed Walker||15/1|
|5||5Keri Belle (KY)||Manuel Franco||116||John A. Shirreffs||30/1|
|6||6Granny Mc's Kitten (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||118||Chad C. Brown||10/1|
|7||7Rusty Slipper (KY)||John R. Velazquez||120||H. Graham Motion||12/1|
|8||8Joy (MD)||Christopher P. DeCarlo||120||H. Graham Motion||50/1|
|9||9Tango Time (IRE)||Javier Castellano||116||Todd A. Pletcher||10/1|
|10||10Coffee Clique (KY)||Luis Saez||123||Brian A. Lynch||7/2|
|11||11Baffle Me (KY)||Paco Lopez||120||Mark A. Hennig||20/1|
|12||12Faufiler (IRE)||Stephane Pasquier||120||Pascal F. Bary||4/1|
|13||13Lady Lara (IRE)||Junior Alvarado||123||William I. Mott||3/1|