Smokey Glacken, winner of her last two starts, is the filly to beat in the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sunday. The 6 ½-furlong race drew a field of six older fillies and mares.
Smokey Glacken, 7-2-2 from 13 starts, has won a $100,000 optional claimer at Saratoga and the Floral Park (gr. III) on the front end Sept. 17. "I guess the Floral Park could be her best race, it certainly was from a numbers standpoint" trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "I think she beat a better field than she ever did. She didn't set dawdling fractions and she really took off again turning for home."She might be a little better going six furlongs," Jerkens said. "I thought she was getting a little late in the Floral Park, but she seems like she's happy and doing well."Sensibly Chic and Bank Audit are two horses that beat her a couple of times here in the summer's Genuine Risk (gr. II) and Vagrancy (gr. II) handicaps. Jerkens says Smokey Glacken wasn't doing quite as well in the spring and early summer, a statement worth taking at face value given her latest scores."We saw those races and we kind of rushed her," Jerkens said. "She's obviously better than that." Smokey Glacken loses jockey John Velazquez, who will be riding Isola Piu Bella in the Spinster (gr. I)at Keeneland on Sunday. She picked up jockey Javier Castellano.Sensibly Chic, a New York-bred mare by Distorted Humor , has had a strong year for Laurel-based trainer Tim Tullock Jr. She enters the Gallant Bloom with a 2005 record of two wins and four seconds from seven starts. One victory came in Laurel's What a Summer in January, the other in Belmont's Vagrancy on July 10. Sensibly Chic finished second in her comeback race to Gallant Bloom rival Umpateedle in Delaware's Endine (gr. III) Sept.10. Tullock says he feels his mare was best.
"She had a lot of trouble, got shuffled back going into the turn and still finished up," Tullock said. "I never take anything from a winner, but I think my horse would've won with any kind of trip. She came out of it good and she didn't have to overexert herself. We know she really likes Belmont."Bank Audit defeated Sensibly Chic by a nose winning the Genuine Risk May 14, then was second best to Sensibly Chic in the Vagrancy. Bank Audit, however, was disappointing in a pair of races at Saratoga over the summer, finishing third in the Honorable Miss (gr. II) and fourth in the Ballerina (gr. I). Bank Audit, a daughter of Wild Rush, starts for trainer Frank Laboccetta Jr. $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 4:43 p.m.), fillies & mares, 37 Up, 6 1/2 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Sensibly Chic (NY), 116, Eibar Coa
2. Travelator (NY), 115, Joe Bravo
3. Lilah (KY), 114, Shannon Uske
4. Bank Audit (VA), 119, Edgar S. Prado
5. Umpateedle (FL), 116, Aaron T. Gryder
6. Smokey Glacken (KY), 116, Javier Castellano