Volponi Back on Turf in Belmont Handicap

(From NYRA report)

Saturday's Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) will feature last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi, who will be running on grass for the first time since running second in this race last year.

Volponi, owned by Amherst and Spruce Pond Stable, has run second in all five starts this year on dirt. He finished one spot behind Mineshaft in the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) and Medaglia d'Oro in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I). Most recently he was passed by Puzzlement in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).

Volponi is a multiple stakes winner on grass as well as the dirt.

"Last year, he was fine on the turf," Hall of Fame trainer P.G. Johnson said. "I need to run him, that's the main thing. I don't want to run him in the Jockey Club Gold Cup."

If Johnson is pleased with Volponi's run Saturday, that could open the door for an appearance in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) at Santa Anita October 25.

One of his Volponi's main rivals figures to be Erdenheim Farm's Political Attack. Making his first start in more than four months, partly because of a bruised foot suffered in the spring at Keeneland, Political Attack chased a strong pace in the Fourstardave at Saratoga before weakening to fourth. Earlier this year, he won the Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream.

The field for Saturday's $200,000 Belmont Breeders' Cup:

1 Della Francesca, Niall O'Callaghan, Jorge Chavez, 114
2 State Shinto, Kiaran McLaughlin, Richard Migliore, 115
3 Volponi, P.G. Johnson, John Velazquez, 119
4 Dawn of the Condor, Gary Sciacca, Javier Castellano, 111
5 Rouvres, Christophe Clement, Corey Nakatani, 114
6 Political Attack, Michael Matz, Mark Guidry, 114
7 Eltawaasul, Mark Hubley, Eddie Martin Jr., 114