A small but select group of six fillies are entered for Friday's Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. All but one of the contestants, Willa On the Move, have won in graded stakes competition.
The leader of the group, at least by earnings, is You, winner of last year's Frizette (gr. I) and the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks this year, both grade I. The Bobby Frankel trainee ran fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) in her last start and has $868,545 to her credit. She and the rest of the field will carry 121 pounds in this one mile race on Friday.
The grade II winners in the group are Dust Me Off, winner of this year's Bonnie Miss Stakes, Nonsuch Bay, who won the May 11 Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes, Bella Bellucci, and Proper Gamble. The last two named come into this race fresh--neither has raced since April, when Proper Gamble won the seven-furlong Stonerside Belmont Stakes (gr. II), and Bella Bellucci won the April 14 Comely Stakes (gr. III) at a mile.
Bella Bellucci was scheduled to contest the Kentucky Oaks, but was scratched by her connections two days before the race after they were unhappy with the way she was acting.
Willa On the Move's biggest race to date was the Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. II), where she finished second to Vesta. That was only the third lifetime start for Willa On the Move, whose granddam produced grade I winner Will's Way and two other stakes winners.
The $250,000 acorn is expected to go off at 5:40 p.m. (EST). The field, from the rail out, with jockeys.
1. Dust Me Off, Jean-Luc Samyn
2. You, Jerry Bailey
3. Willa On the Move, Ramon Dominguez
4. Proper Gamble, Javier Castellano
5. Bella Bellucci, Gary Stevens
6. Nonsuch Bay, John Velazquez