Evan Hammonds recaps the Firecracker Handicap, New York Stakes, and Iowa Oaks. watch video
Starformer rebounded off a dull effort in her last start to decisively capture the June 29 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) by 1 3/4 lengths over the inner turf at Belmont Park.
- By Frank Angst
Evan Hammonds and Frank Angst handicap the New York Stakes and Iowa Derby this weekend. watch video
A seasoned field of older females, highlighted by dual grade I winner Lady of Shamrock, are poised and ready for the June 29 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Mystical Star got sweet revenge in the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) June 30 at Belmont, experiencing no difficulties at the start to keep her from victory as she did in the May 26 Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) last time out.
Flaxman Holdings' top-class turf mare Aruna will face a new contender in the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park June 30, when trainer Chad Brown sends Banimpire to her U.S. debut.
Giants Play took advantage of an unpressured lead in the early going and had just enough to hold off Zagora to notch her first stakes victory in the $150,000 New York (gr. IIT) June 25 at Belmont Park.
Hibaayeb and Giants Play, the top two finishers in the Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT), will square off again in $150,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park June 25.
Last at the top of the stretch, Charles Fipke's homebred Lady Shakespeare rolled past all three rivals inside the sixteenth-pole en route to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) June 19 at Belmont.
Multiple graded stakes winner Gozzip Girl heads a contentious field of seven fillies and mares in the $150,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT), run at 1 1/4 miles on the Belmont Park turf.
Heavy rain forced the $245,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) off the turf and that was just fine with Star Crown Stable's Icon Project, who took over from tiring favorite Criticism at the top of the lane and sailed to a 13 1/4-length victory June 20 on the slop at Belmont Park.
Jon and Sarah Kelly's previously unbeaten Vacare, coming off a third-place finish in the May 28 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, will stretch out to 1-1/4 miles in her first start on Belmont Park turf when a field of eight fillies and mares goes postward in Saturday's running of the $250,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT).
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