(edited press release)
For trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, the timing of the $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Belmont Park is just right for Carolyn’s Cat, who has won three of six career starts.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren’s daughter of Forestry will be making her first start beyond six furlongs in the seven-furlong Nassau County, which is for 3-year-old fillies. She comes into the battle having won three of her last four starts, including the Cicada (gr. III) on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track on March 15.
Jockey Alan Garcia, who has ridden Carolyn’s Cat in all of her starts, has opted to use her speed. In the Cicada, that strategy resulted in a 3 3/4-length victory.
Trainer Gary Contessa has two entered in the Nassau Count: Dennis Narlinger’s Ready for Fortune and Winning Move Stable’s Paint Me Red.
Ready for Fortune won the Dearly Precious at Aqueduct in her first start after Contessa took over training duties. The More Than Ready filly has since run second in the Cicada and the Comely (gr. II) at a mile.
Paint Me Red, previously trained by Bill White in Florida, came north to Contessa and promptly won Aqueduct’s Busanda in January. The Red Bullet filly, like Ready for Fortune, figures to benefit from a strong pace.
Dagger, owned by former Duke University and National Basketball Association star Bobby Hurley and trained by James Ryerson, figures to be a pace factor here. Not only is the Tactical Cat filly coming off a strong five-length victory at Aqueduct, she is making her first start in just under a month.
Although lightly raced, Susan Moore’s Zaftig could provide value. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the Gone West filly won in her second career start, covering seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park in 1:22. She came back in April and jumped right into the Comely, where she ran fourth as the favorite in the one-mile event. She will also carry 116 pounds, getting a six-pound break from top-weighted Carolyn’s Cat.
Irish Smoke, winner of Saratoga’s Spinaway (gr. I) as a 2-year-old last summer, has dropped a pair since her big win. She will be making her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. in the Nassau County.
$200,000-added Nassau County Stakes (gr. III, race 8, approximate post 4:56 p.m.), seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies, dirt
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Ready for Fortune, Rajiv Maragh, 120
2. Irish Smoke, Stewart Elliott, 120
3. Dagger, C.C. Lopez, 116
4. Paint Me Red, Channing Hill, 120
5. Zaftig, Jorge Chavez, 116
6. J Z Warrior, Joe Bravo, 116
7. Carolyn’s Cat, Alan Garcia, 122