Bank Audit Targets Belmont's Vagrancy

(from Belmont Park report)
Bank Audit shoots for her third grade II victory of the season in the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap on Sunday, the day after the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Ten older fillies and mares were entered, four of which finished behind Bank Audit in the Genuine Risk (gr. II) May 14. Bank Audit went off at odds of 8-1 in the Genuine Risk, the highest price she had been in 19 months.

Bank Audit, a daughter of Wild Rush, is 9-5-3 from 22 starts. She has earned more than $444,000. Her owner, Robert Amendola, claimed her last July for $65,000 and has since won six of 10 starts with her.

Frank Laboccetta Jr. trains Bank Audit, who won three of four on the Aqueduct inner track before running fifth in the Bed o' Roses Handicap April 23. That preceded her winning effort in the Genuine Risk.

"It's hard to believe you could claim a filly like her," Laboccetta said. "It's horses like her that make you keep going back to the claim box. She's received a lot of interest over the last couple of months by people wanting to buy her as a potential broodmare. Bob (Amendola) is in the game to run so he's just rolling the dice.

"She's ready," he said. "She's an iron filly and I think she's at the top of her game. What else can you say? She's the real deal."

Despite her gaudy '05 record of four wins from six starts, it's worth noting Bank Audit received a great set-up in the Genuine Risk. Forest Music flew through the first four furlongs, running fractions of :21 2/5 and :43 4/5 while Bank Audit raced in mid pack. Bank Audit turned it on through the last quarter mile and was able to collar and pass Sensibly Chic at the last second.

"You've got to get lucky and we were lucky that day," Laboccetta said. "Hopefully we'll get the same kind of set-up on Sunday."

Bank Audit drew post 2 under her regular rider Norberto Arroyo Jr. She carries high weight of 120 pounds, spotting her foes three to eight pounds.

Emerald Earrings ships in from Monmouth Park for trainer Bruce Alexander. A 4-year-old daughter of Helmsman, Emerald Earrings owns six wins and five seconds from 11 starts.

Although Emerald Earrings has never raced in a graded stake, she's versatile.

"She's tough from five eighths to a mile and a sixteenth," Alexander said. "I think she's good enough to win a graded stakes and now's the time to try. I'm confident."

After a nine-race campaign in 2004, Emerald Earrings, who Alexander purchased as a yearling for $11,500, has raced just once this year, losing a high-priced optional claimer at Monmouth by a neck.

Jockey Chris DeCarlo has the mount.

Friendly Michelle finished third in the Acorn (gr. I) and won the Prioress (gr. I) over the Belmont strip last summer. She's been a non-factor in three races since the Prioress, however, losing the Test, Raven Run and Genuine Risk as the favorite. She runs for trainer Bob Baffert.

Smokey Glacken is a daughter of Forestry and a half sister to sprint champion Smoke Glacken. She ran seventh in the Genuine Risk after chasing the pace from an outside post. Smokey Glacken goes out for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and jockey Jose Santos.

Sensibly Chic won Laurel's What a Summer in January and has since finished second in the Barbara Fritchie (gr. II), Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and Genuine Risk. Laurel-based Tim Tullock Jr. trains her.

150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II), fillies & mares 3 & up, 6 1/2 furlongs
1. Ender's Sister, Rusty Arnold, Richard Migliore, 116
2. Bank Audit, Frank Laboccetta Jr., Norberto Arroyo Jr., 120
3. Forty Moves, Mark Hennig, Eibar Coa, 114
4. Pleasant Home, Shug McGaughey, Cornelio Velasquez, 115
5. Friendly Michelle, Bob Baffert, Jerry Bailey, 117
6. Traci Girl, Bruce Levine, Mike Luzzi, 112
7. Smokey Glacken, Jimmy Jerkens, Jose Santos, 115
8. Sensibly Chic, Tim Tullock Jr., John Velazquez, 117
9. Baldomera, Guadalupe Preciado, Edgar Prado, 113
10. Emerald Earrings, Bruce Alexander Chris DeCarlo, 115