Gilded Gold Has Winning Recipe in Floral Park

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay hopes he has the recipe to become a graded stakes winner when his filly Gilded Gold takes on six rivals in Saturday's $100,000-added Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at six furlongs at Belmont Park.

The 4-year-old Gilded Time filly has won five of 12 career starts. She's in tough, with Areek, a winner of five of her last six starts, heading the field.

"We bought Gilded Gold off (trainer) Tom Amoss last summer," said Flay, whose filly is now trained by Alan Goldberg. "We ran her in a grade III (Safely Kept) at Pimlico. She didn't run at all that day, and it turned out that she developed a real bad respiratory infection. She got over that, and we ran her at Aqueduct and she stumbled and came up with a foot infection. It was like we went from one thing right into another, so we decided to give her a lot of time off."

The seven months off proved to be helpful. Gilded Gold made her 2005 debut in Monmouth's Candy Éclair in June, where she ran fourth to another Floral Park entry, Travelator. She then won two of the next three starts, with her only loss coming by three-quarters of a length.

"That was a race where we tried her on the turf," Flay said. "We were very happy with that race. It looks like she might even have a future on the turf."

Thanks to several cookbooks, his successful flagship New York restaurants Bolo and Mesa Grill and his "FoodNation," "BBQ with Bobby Flay" and "Boy Meets Grill" shows for cable television's Food Network, Flay is one of the nation's more recognizable celebrity chefs. He is also a racing fan since childhood.

"My first trip to the racetrack was with my grandfather, Willie Flay, and it was at Belmont Park," Flay said. "It was a summer day, but it was rainy, so instead of taking me to the beach, he took me to the track. He was a big racing fan and he knew people there.

"I was not such a great student," Flay said. "So, when I graduated high school, I went to work cooking. I cooked a little at home, but back then, cooking wasn't really a profession that you aspired to, unless your family was in the business. I looked at it as a job. My first job was at Joe Allen's, and I remember there was a photo over the bar of the Triple Dead Heat from the 1944 Carter Handicap."

$100,000-added Floral Park Handicap (gr. III), fillies & mares 3 &up, 6 furlongs
1. Baldomera, Guadalupe Preciado, Jorge Chavez, 113
2. Travelator, Stanley Hough, Edgar Prado, 115
3. Lilah, H. Allen Jerkens, Shannon Uske, 114
4. Areek, Mark Hennig, Javier Castellano, 116
5. Molto Vita, Dallas Stewart, Jerry Bailey, 116
6. Gilded Gold, Edward Kelly Jr., Eibar Coa, 114
7. Smokey Glacken, James Jerkens, John Velazquez, 114