New York Showcase Day June 1 at Belmont Park will be highlighted by a faceoff between Saginaw and Willy Beamin in the $100,000 Affirmed Success Handicap, but six other stakes on the 10-race card restricted to New York-breds feature a variety of familiar contenders running for $850,000 in total purses.
The program's richest race, the $150,000 Commentator Handicap, attracted a field of six older runners headed by West Point Thoroughbreds' Awesome Vision. The 4-year-old son of Awesome Again assumes a 120-pound highweight under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 2 for trainer Tom Albertrani in the 1 1/16-mile event. He was fourth last time out in a May 1 open allowance going a mile at Belmont after dead-heating with Saginaw in the March 21 Compelling Word Stakes at a mile on the inner track at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Also of interest is Klaravich Stables and William H Lawrence's Readtheprospectus, a 4-year-old son of Read the Footnotes who has won five straight races for trainer Chad Brown. Coming off an April 12 victory by two lengths going 1 1/8 miles, Readtheprospectus will be ridden by Junior Alvarado under a 118-pound impost from the 4 hole. Completing the lineup are Icabad Crane, So Scott, Spa City Fever, and Fox Rules. The Commentator is Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:45 p.m. EDT.
In the $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes, Race 5 with an approximate post time of 3:09 p.m. EDT, Sequel Racing's Belief System takes on eight other sophomores sprinting seven furlongs. Coming off a victory in a May 5 division of the New York Stallion Stakes, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee carries 122 pounds, including Junior Alvarado, from post 4.
John Terranova II trainee West Hills Giant, 12th in the April 13 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack for Long Island Racing Stables, Sunrise Stables and Gina Bentivegna, could rebound to show class—the son of Frost Giant was second in the Gotham Stakes (gr. II) earlier in the season. He leaves the rail under Jose Espinoza. Amberjack, Bond Vigilante, Smooth Bert, Soul House, Hay Shares, Run Run Forrest, and Weekend Hideaway round out the field in the first leg of this year's Big Apple Triple, which also includes the New York Derby July 20 at Finger Lakes and the Albany Stakes Aug. 21 at Saratoga Race Course.
Nine males going a mile on the turf make up the $125,000 Kingston Stakes, with Aliyu Ben J Stables' Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Lubash and Flying Zee Racing Stables' grade III winner Street Game assigned respective top weights of 123 and 120.
The $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes is the Kingston equivalent for females, fillies and mares going a mile on the turf. Thirteen are entered, with Yes It's Pink making her first stakes outing for owner Susan T. Harris and trainer Christophe Clement off three straight victories. The daughter of Yes It's True raced for the first time off the layoff May 16 and won a Belmont allowance event with a strong five-wide surge. Stakes winner Lady Candidate and stakes-placed Kibosh, Shakeira, Inimitable Romanee, Manero, Elusive Rumour, and Erin Enchanted (main track only) are among those entered.
Two seven furlong sprints for females are also on the card—the $125,000 Bouwerie for sophomore fillies, and the $100,000 Dancing Renee for older fillies and mares. In the Bouwerie, Joemar Racing Stables' Lovely Syn looks to keep her 3-for-3 record intact against five others; she last won a May 5 division of the New York Stallion Stakes by a widening 9 1/2 lengths. In the Dancing Renee, Saul J. and Mark Kupferberg's Sunny Desert is one of seven. The John Parisella trainee has won eight of her past nine starts, including back-to-back efforts in overnight stakes at Aqueduct.