As the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison rained down on the New York-area Sunday, Belmont Park was forced to switch the $107,800 Sands Point Stakes off the turf and to the muddy main track. In the race, Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old filly Tweedside drew off to a six-length win over Owsley, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.43.
A 10-horse field was reduced to four after six horses were scratched, leaving Platinum Tiara as the 11-10 favorite. Platinum Tiara opened a two-length lead over Tweedside while racing well off the rail. After a :46.79 half-mile, Platinum Tiara still led by two over Tweedside, as Owsley moved up into third place, another half-length back. As Platinum Tiara began to tire, Tweedside rallied from the outside as Owsley launched an inside bid, with Owsley gaining a narrow lead after six furlongs run in 1:11.86. Tweedside took over from there as she splashed home easily clear of Owsley. Platinum Tiara finished third, just ahead of Cozzy Corner.
"She was real comfortable with the surface and I knew I had a ton of horse coming into the stretch," said winning jockey Richard Migliore. "She's really come to hand over the last few months and I'm glad I picked up the mount."
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Tweedside returned $8.40 and $4.20 for the win. Owsley paid $4.40 to place and completed the $23.80 exacta. There was no show wagering due to the short field.
As a result of the surface switch, the race was automatically downgraded from grade III to listed status. The original grade may be reinstated at a later date after review by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
In her lone prior race in stakes company, Tweedside finished second in the Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico in May. The win marks her first on dirt after four previous unsuccessful attempts, all on fast tracks. She earned $66,674 for the win, her third in nine starts. Dr. and Mrs. R.S. West and Mr. and Mrs. Mackenzie Miller bred Tweedside (Thunder Gulch--Twitchet, by Roberto) in Kentucky. (Chart, Equibase