Wait a While Back On Lawn for Sands Point

(from Belmont Park report)
After facing the best 3-year-old fillies in the country in races like the Kentucky Oaks and Ashland (both gr. I), Wait a While moves back to the turf in Saturday's $100,000 Sands Point (gr. IIIT) at nine furlongs at Belmont Park.

Wait a While left a big impression in her first turf try, drawing off to break her maiden by five lengths. When her next start, the Miss Grillo, was rained off the turf, the Maria's Mon filly still posted a strong victory, winning by 6 ½ lengths after setting the pace.

"It's kind of been a matter of circumstances that we haven't been able to run her back on the grass," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "Hollywood Park didn't have a turf course last fall, so instead of going in the Miesque (gr. IIIT), we decided to give her a shot in the Demoiselle (gr. II)."

After finishing third in the Demoiselle at Aqueduct, Pletcher figured he would definitely get the filly back on the turf in Florida over the winter, but that did not happen.

"We entered her in a turf race that didn't go, so we decided to take a shot in the Davona Dale (gr. II)," the trainer said. "She won that race by 14 lengths, then ran well enough in the Bonnie Miss (gr. II) and Ashland to go onto the Kentucky Oaks. The turf stakes schedule at Gulfstream isn't that great and the purses aren't that lucrative, so we felt like it was the right time to keep her going on the dirt."

Pletcher will be keeping his fingers crossed as far as the weather goes the next couple of days with rain in the forecast.

"I've always felt that she's a little better filly on the turf, so we'll see if that turns out to be true," said Pletcher. "If she were to run well here, it would put us in a good position for the American Oaks (gr. IT)."

The American Oaks is at Hollywood Park July 2.

John Manganaro Jr.'s Perilous Pursuit has a chance to pull off a minor upset in the Sands Point. Away from the races for six months, the Lemon Drop Kid  filly returned in style, getting up from far back to win a first-level allowance in late April.

"She's got a pretty good turn of foot and she can carry it for a while," trainer Sal Russo said. "She does things pretty easily, but this will be a big step up for her."

Martin Schwartz's Stadore has never been worse than second in seven starts and will try for her first graded stakes win Saturday. After racing in France last year, the filly joined Patrick Biancone's barn over the winter. She made her stateside debut a winning one, taking an allowance at Churchill Downs last month beneath jockey Julien Leparoux, who has the mount in the Sands Point.

Zaynab's form looks almost identical to Stadore's. After running all last year in France, she won her first race in the U.S. on April 30 at Aqueduct for trainer Christophe Clement.

$100,000-added Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:45 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Kin to the Wind (KY), 115, Eibar Coa
2. Diamond Spirit (VA), 115, Jean-Luc Samyn
3. Zaynab (FR), 117, Edgar S. Prado
4. Crystal Current (KY), 115, Javier Castellano
5. Perilous Pursuit (KY), 117, Jose A. Santos
6. Swap Fliparoo (FL), 115, Shannon Uske
7. Stadore (FR), 119, Julien R. Leparoux
8. Wait a While (KY), 115, Garrett K. Gomez
9. Hostess (KY), 115, Michael J. Luzzi