John Terranova trains Heavenly Score

John Terranova trains Heavenly Score

Anne M. Eberhardt

Heavenly Score Set for Intercontinental Graded Debut

Terranova has Arkansas-bred sharp for June 7 test at Belmont Park.

Curragh Stable's Heavenly Score will make her graded stakes debut at Belmont Park as part of a field of 10 set to go postward June 7 in the $200,000 Intercontinental Stakes (G3T).

The Intercontinental, for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the Widener turf course, is one of three stakes on Thursday's program, bookended by the $150,000 Astoria and the $200,000 Wonder Again (G3).

An Arkansas-bred daughter of Even the Score , Heavenly Score got a freshening earlier this year following her 4-year-old debut in the Interborough at Aqueduct Racetrack in January, where she tired in the turn to finish a lackluster seventh. 

As a 2-year-old, she debuted late in the season with only one start to her credit. Heavenly Score made a respectable showing as a sophomore, however, winning four of 10 starts, including a seventh-length optional claiming victory to close out her 2018 campaign en route to being named Arkansas-bred Horse of the Year this March.

"In that race, she didn't get off well and didn't fire," trainer John Terranova said of the Interborough. "The time before, she got away comfortably. But, after the Interborough, we decided to back up and freshen her for the spring and summer, and she's been training lights out.

"I know it's a quality group but she's on top of her game," he added.

Heavenly Prize will be ridden by David Cohen from post 5.

Switching gears in the Intercontinental is Baoma Corporation's Faypien, who will try turf for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. A three-time stakes winner on dirt, the 4-year-old Ghostzapper  filly exits a fourth-place effort in the May 6 Ruffian Stakes (G2) at Belmont. Since then, Faypien has recorded three local turf works, including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00.01 May 22.

Faypien will break from post 8 with Luis Saez in the irons.

Australian Bloodstock's Delectation will rejoin her gender group in the Intercontinental for trainer Wesley Ward. A British-bred filly by Delegator, Delectation faced males last time out off of a six-month layoff, finishing a close fourth in the May 4 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com (G3T) under Hall of Famer John Velazquez at Churchill Downs

"I took her over last fall and she had a lot of really minor issues that kept her from running down there at Gulfstream all winter, but she had a really big race with Johnny Velazquez against the colts," said Ward. "I've really liked her and I think she's going to run a really good race."

Velazquez has the return call. The pair will break from post 7.

The Intercontinental will also feature a reprise of the April 29 License Fee, featuring three of the top five runners of the six-furlong contest over a turf course listed "good" on Belmont's opening weekend.

Heider Family Stable's Lady Alexandra earned a field-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure for her 3 1/2-length victory in her first start for trainer Graham Motion. With a lifetime record of four wins and a third from eight starts, the 4-year-old More Than Ready  filly will be partnered again with Jose Ortiz, breaking from post 6.

License Fee beaten favorite and Christophe Clement trainee Stormy Victoria will look to improve on her most recent effort, where she turned for home seven wide to finish second in her third start of the year. In six starts on the grass at Belmont, she hasn't finished worse than third with a 3-2-1 local turf record.

"Her last race was a good race, she was second best that day," said Clement. "I think she's been training well since that race and I think seven-eighths is perfect for her, so let's go. With the softer turf that day, she gave me hope that she can improve off that race. She looked very well, and if her bad race is a second, then it's not that bad of a race."

The 6-year-old French-bred mare by Stormy River will have Joel Rosario in the irons, leaving from post 10.

Godolphin Racing's Always Thinking, fifth in the License Fee, will try to turn the tables on her rivals this time around. Winner of the 2017 Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Laurel Park in September, the 5-year-old Street Sense  mare has failed to hit the board in five subsequent starts, but hasn't been beaten more than four lengths each time.

"She just needs a good trip," said trainer Tom Albertrani. "Last time, she didn't appreciate the softer ground, so I'm hoping that on firmer ground we could make up a couple of lengths. She always seems like she's right there. They're the same horses as the last time, we're just hoping to change the order of finish a little bit in this one."

Always Thinking has drawn post 3 and will be ridden by Manny Franco.

Also on tap for the Intercontinental are the French-bred La Sardane, making her third 2018 start since transferring to Neil Drysdale's barn; Mike Maker-conditioned I'm Betty G, exiting a 1 1/2-length optional-claiming victory April 28 at Belmont; and a pair of George Weaver trainees in multiple graded stakes-placed Thundering Sky and Malibu Stacy, who deadheated for second in a May 10 optional-claimer at Belmont.

Entries: Intercontinental S. (G3T)

Belmont Park, Thursday, June 07, 2018, Race 7

  • Grade IIIT
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:14 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Malibu Stacy (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.115George Weaver15/1
22La Sardane (FR)Flavien Prat123Neil D. Drysdale20/1
33Always Thinking (KY)Manuel Franco121Thomas Albertrani12/1
44Thundering Sky (KY)Rajiv Maragh121George Weaver8/1
55Heavenly Score (AR)David Cohen119John P. Terranova, II20/1
66Lady Alexandra (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz121H. Graham Motion2/1
77Delectation (GB)John R. Velazquez123Wesley A. Ward9/2
88Faypien (FL)Luis Saez123Bob Baffert10/1
99I'm Betty G (MD)Javier Castellano119Michael J. Maker10/1
1010Stormy Victoria (FR)Joel Rosario121Christophe Clement3/1