Alienation, who made an eye-catching return in her season debut last month, will shoot for her first stakes win in the $250,000 Prioress (gr. I) July 4 at Belmont Park.
The daughter of Rock Hard Ten will face five 3-year-old fillies in the six-furlong race that tops Belmont’s 10-race holiday card. Post time for the Prioress is set for 5:17 p.m. EDT.
Trained by Bob Baffert for his wife, Jill Baffert, and George Bolton, Alienation scored by 7 3/4 lengths in a six-furlong allowance race June 3 on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track. That was her first start since finishing sixth in the Oak Leaf (gr. I) eight months ago. Surgery to remove an ankle chip forced her to miss the rest of the season.
Last summer as a juvenile, the talented filly finished runner-up in the Spinaway (gr. I) and Adirondack (gr. II) stakes at Saratoga, and broke her maiden in her debut on the Hollywood turf. Baffert has assigned jockey John Velazquez to ride Alienation, who will break from post 5 and is expected to try for the lead.
“She’s doing great,” said Baffert’s assistant Tonja Terranova, who oversaw Alienation’s :47 half-mile work June 29. “She’s grown a lot since we’ve seen her last summer. And Bob never sends horses here if they’re not ready to run.”
Alienation, the 3-1 co-second choice, was bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm and is out of the Gone West mare Alienated.
Though Alienation will do her best to get the lead, she will have plenty of company. Daniel Ryan’s Quantum Miss, entering the race with three consecutive front-running wins, and Black Swan Stable’s Roman Treasure, wire-to-wire 4 1/4-length winner of the Miss Royal Stakes June 16 at Belmont, also will likely be part of the contested pace. Roman Treasure was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Quantum Miss, also at 3-1, has won five of seven starts overall and began her current win streak March 19 in the Cicada Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. She followed with easy victories in stakes at Parx Racing and Penn National, both as heavy favorites. Jeremy Rose will ride the daughter of Smoke Glacken.
“I can’t see her going into any race better than she went into her last at Penn National,” said trainer Tony Dutrow, who trains Quantum Miss. “I’m very happy with the way she is now. There’s a lot to gain in the Prioress if she’s able to run well. Of course, the quality of the horses she’ll meet here are better than those at Penn National.”
Roman Treasure has won three of five career starts for Michael Hushion, all this season. The Roman Ruler filly has also been sent off as the heavy favorite in her last two starts, including an allowance win in the mud May 15 at Parx. Ramon Dominguez retains the mount.
Also coming off a decisive stakes win is Hardacre Farm’s Pomeroys Pistol. The daughter of Pomeroy, who won the Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream in January, rolled by 4 1/2 lengths in the Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth last month.
Rounding out the field are Her Smile, third in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) last out for Todd Pletcher, and Our Year, who has win her last two starts comfortably but is making her stakes debut against a tough group.
$250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I, Race 9, 5:18 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Her Smile (VA), J Castellano, 116, T A Pletcher
2. Roman Treasure (KY), R A Dominguez, 120, M E Hushion
3. Our Year (KY), E Trujillo, 116, T A Hills
4. Quantum Miss (PA), J Rose, 118, A W Dutrow
5. Alienation (KY), J R Velazquez, 118, B Baffert
6. Pomeroys Pistol (FL), C H Velasquez, 120, A Tarrant