On Sunday, Harford Ghost makes her second start and stakes debut in the Astarita. Seven juvenile fillies were entered.
"I knew she could run, but I thought she was a work or two short of being fit for a six-furlong race," said trainer Deborah Bodner of Harford Ghost. "It was a pleasant surprise watching her run like that."
After Harford Ghost's win, Bodner and owner John Stuart nominated the filly to last weekend's Grade 1 Frizette. Harford Ghost, however, missed a week of training due to a virus and her connections opted to pass
"She got sick two weeks after that race," Bodner said. "We missed a few days of training. She's over it now."
Harford Ghost, who went gate-to-wire in her maiden win, stretches out to six and a half furlongs in the Astarita.
"She'll go six and a half easily," Bodner said. "I don't think it's much different from a six furlong race. The only reason we skipped the Frizette is because we missed training time with her. She wouldn't have been fit to go a mile and a sixteenth."
Trainer Todd Pletcher has a serious racehorse in Chimichurri, a stakes winner at the Meadowlands last time out. A daughter of Elusive Quality, Chimichurri is looking to notch her third consecutive victory in
the Astarita and figures near the lead early on.
The Field for Sunday's Grade 2 Astarita:
1 Harford Ghost Deborah Bodner Edgar Prado
2 Chimichurri Todd Pletcher Jose Santos
3 Fast Cookie Bill Mott Richard Migliore
4 Southern Smoke Kelly Breen Abdiel Toribio
5 Cyber Secret Richard Dutrow Jr. Shaun Bridgmohan
6 Big Score Steve Asmussen John Velazquez
7 Humorous Lady Michael Smith Jerry Bailey
All Starters Carry 117 Pounds.