Twelve horses have been entered for Saturday's $100,000 Noble Damsel (gr. III) for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf at Belmont Park, but that many are not likely to run. One horse, Tap Dance, is entered for the main track only and four others are entered in the $150,000 Violet Handicap (gr. III) at The Meadowlands Friday night.
Juddmonte Farms' Tates Creek should be a perfect 2-for-2 over Belmont's turf courses, but she caught a tough trip earlier this year in the Just A Game Breeders' Cup. Breaking second, she was taken back farther behind than she has ever been. Tates Creek rallied stoutly outside, but could not get by Babae before the wire.
"That race she should have won," trainer Bobby Frankel said. "She broke good on the outside and instead of letting her get position, he took a hold of her and she was last, out of position behind slow horses."
Tates Creek was stretched to 1-3/16 mile for her sixth-place finish in the Beverly D (gr. I) in her most recent race. She should relish the cutback to a mile. Cynthia Knight's Dat You Miz Blue was tenacious on the lead of a Saratoga allowance. Headed in the stretch, she fought back gamely to earn the win in her second turf race. The 5-year-old mare is a stakes winner on dirt, but her dirt form was starting to fade.
"It's a lot tougher this time, but I'm hoping she can make the step up," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "It looked like she was losing a little bit of her fight and speed. She became more and more complacent. The turf seems to have livened her up."
Also entered for the Noble Damsel are Amonita, Cozzy Corner, Quick Blue, Silver Rail, Watch and main track only Tap Dance. Entered in both the Noble Damsel and Violet are Babae, Coney Kitty, Shooting Party and Wander Mom. Coney Kitty is listed as an also eligible in the Violet.Familiar Faces in Ashley T. ColeIf the $75,000 Ashley T. Cole at 1 1/8 mile on the turf for New York breds is anything like the two other state-bred turf races this year, it should be an ice-cold exacta of Celtic Sky over Reluctant Groom. At least, that is how they finished in the Kingston and West Point earlier this year.Waterville Lake Stable's Celtic Sky was masterfully ridden to a 3/4-length victory by Jose Santos in the Kingston. The 4-year-old Sky Classic colt just got by Reluctant Groom at the wire of the West Point at Saratoga.Reluctant Groom was on the lead in both races against Celtic Sky and has run gamely in defeat both times. Saturday he gets a jockey change to Edgar Prado.I'm All Yours was third in the Kingston and a disappointing fourth in the West Point. Sent off the favorite in both those races, he figures to attract money again as Jerry Bailey stays aboard.
Others slated to compete in the Ashley T. Cole are Chasin' Wimmin, Cold Blow Lane, Haggs Castle, No White Flags, Quiet Ruler, Shagwong and World of Wonder.$100,000 Noble Damsel (gr. III), Mile on Turf, Fillies & Mares
PP. HORSE (JOCKEY), WGT.
1 Babae (Mike Luzzi), 117
2 Wander Mom (Aaron Gryder), 113
3 Watch (Edgar Prado), 114
4 Dat You Miz Blue (John Velazquez), 114
5 Silver Rail (Javier Castellano), 112
6 Shooting Party (Jean-Luc Samyn), 113
7 Coney Kitty (Norberto Arroyo Jr.), 113
8 Tates Creek (Jerry Bailey), 119
9 Quick Blue (Jose Espinoza), 114
10 Cozzy Corner (Shaun Bridgmohan), 113
11 Amonita (Jose Santos), 117
Main Track Only
12 Tap Dance (No Rider),120 $75,000 Ashley T. Cole (1 1/8 Mile on Turf, NY Breds)
PP. HORSE (JOCKEY), WGT.
1 Shagwong (Aaron Gryder), 112
2 World of Wonder (Jose Espinoza), 112
3 Celtic Sky (Jose Santos), 120
4 Haggs Castle (Mike Luzzi), 113
5 Reluctant Groom (Edgar Prado), 117
6 I'm All Yours (Jerry Bailey), 122
7 Quiet Ruler (John Velazquez), 113
8 Chasin' Wimmin (Jean-Luc Samyn), 115
9 Cold Blow Lane (Victor Carrero), 115
10 No White Flags (Javier Castellano), 114