Violon Sacre, a two-time stakes winner in four United States turf starts this season, tries Belmont Park for the first time against some tough customers in the $100,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT) Oct. 17.
All eyes will be on Churchill Downs May 1 for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and its supporting stakes card, but Belmont Park offers an attractive program as well with a pair of grade III turf events.
Favored Operation Red Dawn collared pacesetter Lemon Cream Pie in deep stretch on his way to his first stakes win in the $106,500 Knickerbocker (gr. IIIT) on Belmont Park's inner turf course Oct. 22.
After disappointing his connections with an uncharacteristically poor showing in the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I), Kip Deville returns to Belmont Park in hopes of reprising one of his most authoritative victories in the $100,000 Poker Stakes (gr. IIIT) on June 14.
The veteran Cosmonaut proved he has rebounded from an ankle fracture that had kept him out of action since last July by overcoming Tam Lin to win the (gr. IIIT) $106,500 Fort Marcy Stakes over Belmont Park's Widener Turf Course on May 2.
Already a graded stakes winner overseas, Godolphin Stable's Tam Lin became a grade II winner on American soil when he wore down Forefathers in upper stretch and sped away to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory Sept. 28 in the $250,000 Kelso Handicap on the Belmont turf.
The soft turf course at Belmont Park could give Barry Schwartz's gelding an edge in the one-mile event Sept. 28.
Three-time grade I winner Kip Deville returned from a three-month layoff to handily defeat a small field in the $106,300 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) over a firm course at Belmont Park July 13.
Peter Vegso's resilient 8-year-old homebred Silver Tree returned to the winner's circle for the first time since last August, stalking the pace and then pulling away in the stretch to win the $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 1 1/2 lengths April 27 on the Aqueduct turf.
Although he failed to win his most recent start at Gulfstream Park, Peter Vegso's homebred Silver Tree turned in a solid effort in that April 5 race and has been assigned the high weight in the $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct April 27, closing day at the New York track.
Adept at running on soft turf, Fishy Advice proved a handy winner of the $112,900 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT) when he collared Thorn Song near the wire for a one-length victory at Aqueduct Oct. 28.
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