Bold Ruler winner, Lucky Island, goes into the Tom Fool having won 3 straight.

Bold Ruler winner, Lucky Island, goes into the Tom Fool having won 3 straight.

Coglianese Photos

Strong Field To Do Battle in Tom Fool

Six will go to post in the July 4 contest at Belmont

Shadwell Stable’s Lucky Island, an Argentine-bred colt who has won three straight, including the May 10 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III), will face the stiffest competition of his short career July 4 in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Among Lucky Island’s challengers will be Winning Move Stable’s Starforaday, who enters off a victory in the Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico; front-running speedster Tasteyville; and Premium Wine, who nearly won the grade I Carter Handicap at Aqueduct this spring. In all, six are scheduled to go to post in the Tom Fool, which is run at seven furlongs on the main track.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Lucky Island is 4-for-5 since breaking his maiden last June in Argentina. The 4-year-old son of Lucky Roberto made his American debut last December, running off the board at Calder Race Course. But it has been nothing but triumph since then, as the dark bay colt has recorded victories in first and second level allowance company, and then the Bold Ruler, in which he pressed the pace before drawing away in the stretch to score by 2 1/4 lengths at Belmont.

Seemingly still in fine form, Lucky Island turned in a bullet work at Belmont June 28, getting four furlongs in :48.04, the best of 44 works that day.

Lucky Island is out of the Equalize mare Ebrolize. Alan Garcia gets the return call.

Gary Contessa trainee Starforaday is in fine form as well, winning two in a row and three of four overall. In the six-furlong Maryland Sprint the son of Five Star Daycame from off the pace under Edgar Prado, swung four-wide into the stretch, and got up by a neck. The 5-year-old horse won an allowance-optional claiming two weeks prior by nearly two lengths. As a 3-year-old, Starforaday won the OBS Sprint Stakes by five lengths in Florida. Eibar Coa will be in the irons.

If his recent efforts are any indication, Fox Ridge Farm’s homebred Tasteyville should be near the front end in the Tom Fool. The 5-year-old With Approval gelding led from start to finish in his only race this year, a 1 1/16-mile allowance contest May 31 at Belmont. It was Tasteyville’s first start since romping to a 9 1/4-length front-running victory in the seven-furlong Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) last October at Aqueduct. In the nine-furlong Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) last September at Belmont, he tried to take it the distance but tired in the stretch to finish second behind Any Given Saturday.

Zayat Stables’ Premium Wine is seeking his first graded win, but the 4-year-old Prime Timber colt is still a nice fit at this level. Bred in New York, Premium Wine was never a factor in the May 26 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont while racing wide. But prior to that he was third in both the General George Handicap (gr. II) and the April 5 Carter at Aqueduct, where he came flying down the stretch and missed by three-quarters of a length. John Velazquez will ride for trainer Tony Dutrow.

Also to consider is Jay Em Ess Stable's Not For Money. The Rick Dutrow Jr. trainee was fifth in the Carter, but lost a shoe during that start. He came back to win an allowance test by three lengths May 23 at Belmont.

$200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 6:36 p.m.), 3 & Up, Seven Furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Not for Money (PA), 115, Edgar S. Prado
2. Lucky Island (ARG), 118, Alan Garcia
3. Starforaday (KY), 116, Eibar Coa
4. Council Member (KY), 113, Jorge F. Chavez
5. Tasteyville (KY), 117, Michael J. Luzzi
6. Premium Wine (NY), 115, John R. Velazquez