A full field of 13 fillies, including five Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contenders, are set to go postward in the June 5 Betfair TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I) on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park.
The $300,000 Acorn, which is the ninth race on the card, is slated for 4:46 p.m. All fillies will carry 121 pounds. While Crisp, Amen Hallelujah, Quiet Temper, and Champagne d'Oro finished unplaced in the April 30 Oaks won by Blind Luck, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tidal Pool had a solid third-place effort in the race.
Bred in Kentucky by David Garvin, Tidal Pool was a $220,000 purchase at the 2009 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s 2-year-olds in training sale. Owned by Scott Ford’s Westrock Stables, she owns a record of 3-2-3 from 12 starts and has earnings of $246,070. Tidal Pool’s was a runner-up in the April 2 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, which stamped her ticket to the Oaks.
Tidal Pool will break from post 10 in the Acorn with jockey Rajiv Maragh aboard.
All the other Oaks fillies are graded stakes winners, with the exception of Champagne d’Oro, who is graded stakes-placed. Crisp, who is trained by John Sadler for owner Michael Talla, is the only grade I-winning filly in the group, with a victory in the March 6 Santa Anita Oaks under her belt. Jockey Calvin Borel will be aboard the daughter of El Corredor for the first time in the Acorn. The pair will break from the wide outside post 13.
While the Dan Hendricks-trained Tanda did not compete in the Oaks, she still boasts an impressive resume with two grade III victories to her credit. The daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint, who will enter the Acorn off a half-length triumph in the May 9 Railbird Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park, also captured the March 28 Santa Paula Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Owned by Tommy Hutton’s Dream Stable, Tanda has only finished off the board once in six starts. Like all the other aforementioned Oaks fillies, the Acorn will be Tanda’s first race at the Belmont Park oval.
A four-length winner in her most recent outing, the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on April 3, Dances With Ashley has faltered only in a sloppy edition of the Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream Jan. 9, finishing ninth.
“She hated the slop and the temperature dropped to 29 degrees that day in Miami,” said trainer Marty Wolfson. “I’ve never had a young horse do what she’s done though, winning four starts at four different tracks over different surfaces. Nothing fazes her. Tampa is not an easy track to win on if you don’t train on it and she was seven or eight lengths back that day.”
Though she has never run farther than seven furlongs, Wolfson expects Dances With Ashley will get the mile distance of the Acorn.
Streaker was an easy winner in a one-mile optional claiming event at Belmont May 6 on the heels of maiden and allowance victories at Gulfstream Park earlier this year.
“She’s drawn the rail in all three of her races,” said her Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. “Drawing a little further out, maybe she can stalk a little bit.”
Javier Castellano, aboard for Streaker’s most recent win, has the call from post 5.
The Betfair TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I), $300,000, one mile, 3-year-old fillies, race 9, post time 4:46 p.m. ET
Post Position. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Hot Trip, Coa, E., Giglio, Jr., Dominic
2. Tanda, Solis, A., Hendricks, Dan
3. Dances With Ashley, Velazquez, J., Wolfson, Martin
4. Seeking the Title, Desormeaux, K., Stewart, Dallas
5. Streaker, Castellano, J., McGaughey, Claude
6. Amen Hallelujah, Dominguez, R., Dutrow, Jr., Richard
7. Quiet Temper, Gomez, G. Romans, Dale
8. Much Rejoicing, Garcia, A., Toner, James
9. Buckleupbuttercup, Lezcano, J. Kenneally, Eddie
10. Tidal Pool, Maragh, R., Lukas, D. Wayne
11. Indian Burn, Velasquez, C., Hertler, John
12. Champagne d'Oro, Garcia, M., Guillot, Eric
13. Crisp, Borel, C., Sadler, John