A grade I winner on Polytrack as a juvenile, Negligee tries to proves her talent on turf against seven 3-year-old fillies, including a pair of recent grade III winners in the $150,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) on Memorial Day at Belmont Park.
Sovereign Stable’s Negligee made her turf debut April 29 in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs after making the first five starts of her career on synthetics. The daughter of Northern Afleet finished a solid second, missing by a half-length under Javier Castellano. John Velazquez will be in the irons this time in his first start aboard the bay filly.
“She’s doing really well,” said Terranova of Negligee, the 3-1 favorite. “We’re looking forward to running her on Monday. She’s handled the turf with no problem. She was a little rank early on in her race (at Churchill) but came running at the end. We are getting her back into top form."
In her 3-year-old debut, Negligee finished a disappointing seventh in the grade I Ashland on the Keeneland Polytrack. That was the site of her biggest win, which came in the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) last October as a juvenile. John Terranova trains Negligee, who was bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm and is out of the Relaunch mare Naughty Notions.
Brereton Jones’ Check the Label will carry top weight of 121 pounds. The Stormin Fever filly enters off a victory in the Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, her first graded stakes score. All three of Check the Label’s career wins have come on firm turf, which is the likely footing for the Sands Point since there is little rain in the forecast for the holiday weekend. Ramon Dominguez will ride the bay filly for the first time for Graham Motion.
Mary and Chester Broman’s Khancord Kid exits off a tiring fifth-place effort in the May 14 Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) on the Pimlico dirt, but goes back to her preferred surface in the Sands Point. Two starts ago in the grade III Herecomesthebride Stakes on the Gulfstream Park turf, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid pulled off an 8-1 front-running upset win in her graded stakes debut. Regular rider Rajiv Maragh will keep the mount for John Kimmel.
$150,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:16 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Ultimate Class (KY), J Castellano, 117, G Weaver
2. More Is Better (FL), C H Velasquez, 117, B Tagg
3. Hit It Rich (KY), K J Desormeaux, 117, C R McGaughey III
4. Check the Label (KY), R A Dominguez, 121, H G Motion
5. Khancord Kid (NY), R Maragh, 120, J C Kimmel
6. Strike It Rich (KY), C Hill, 117, C Clement
7. Crescenda (FL), E Coa, 117, M K McDonald
8. Negligee (KY), J R Velazquez, 117, J P Terranova, II