By the Moon pulls away from Pretty N Cool to win the G3 Vagrancy Hdcp.
The 61st running of the Grade 3, $ 250,000 Bed O’ Roses Invitational for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at seven furlongs shapes up to be a wide-open affair among the 10 entered to run. The first of four graded races on opening day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival presented by NYRA Bets will be led by Jay Em Ess Stable’s By the Moon, who returns in search of a repeat performance after winning this race last year.
The Michelle Nevin trained 5 year-old mare by Indian Charlie returns off a 1 ¾ length victory in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap over a sloppy, sealed Belmont strip. This will be her third start in 2017 after debuting to fall short by a neck to High Ridge Road in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel.
“I’m really happy with her. She’s doing great,” Nevin said. “She’s training forwardly for the race, loves Belmont, and looks fantastic. If it rains, she can handle that too.”
The Kentucky-bred scored in her debut at Saratoga in 2014, and then ran second in the slop behind runaway winner Condo Commando in the Grade 1, seven furlong Spinaway. By the Moon found another sloppy track, and an added furlong, but denied the field of six to capture the Grade 1 Frizette before tiring to 12th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. A decent sophomore year highlighted by a miss by a neck to Curalina in the Grade 1 Acorn led to a third place finish in the Grade 1 Test.
Leading the race with earnings of more than $ 1.12 million from 16 starts where she won five, placed six times and added a third place effort, By the Moon owns three wins from four starts at Belmont. Jockey Rajiv Maragh will return to ride.
The Head of Plains Partners-owned Lightstream looks to get back to the winners’ circle after finishing fifth against tougher competition in both the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard respectively. The lackluster performances followed her four-wide rally to win the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland. The quick-footed closer should have a few speedy foes to aid her effort during the late stages for trainer Brian Lynch.
She will depart post 5 with Javier Castellano.
“I didn’t think she was 100 percent fitness wise going in to the Humana Distaff,” Lynch said. “She caught a track that was speed favoring, but she’s one-hundred percent going into this race so I’m hoping she brings one of her A-game performances. It would be nice. I don’t think it’s a deep field. It might be a big field, but I don’t think it’s as deep as the Humana Distaff. For two-hundred and fifty, it might not be a bad spot.”
The 4-year-old filly by Harlan’s Holiday is another entered here who broke her maiden at first asking. She then found a hole on the rail to win the Grade 3 Beaumont at Keeneland, and added a turf victory in the Soaring Softly. Perfect through three starts, she suffered her first defeat trying longer when she ran a five-wide third in the 1/16-mile Grade 1 Mother Goose.
Godolphin Racing’s Indulgent seeks a rebound to her winning form after the late-running filly found herself on the lead through the slop where she tired to last in the mile-long Grade 2 Ruffian. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin puts her back to her preferred distance which has to get the Bernardini filly back to her best. Previously Indulgent ran five top-two finishes in a row after tiring to fourth in her career debut.
“She won three in a row. A maiden, other than and two other than, and then we ran her in a stake last time,” McLaughlin said. “Chester Broman was 1-2, the Ruffian going a mile. It was a real bad day of rain and racetrack and she was on the lead and it seemed like she just didn’t like the track late and she fell apart. She only got beat about five or six lengths but she didn’t finish well so we’re going back to seven furlongs and hope the track is fast. She’s a very nice filly.”
Indulgent will be joined by Irad Ortiz Jr., who had been aboard for all seven starts, from post 3.
Trainer Jorge Navarro will ship his Monmouth Park based filly Mia Torri for owner Phillip Sagan with the hope of making an impact. The front-running 4 year-old by General Quarters will race at Belmont for the first time, but has had success shipping and running well. Only off the board once in nine starts her worst performance was a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Inside Info at Gulfstream Park. She returned to win at Charles Town, and now makes her first start since that April 22 effort. Usually it’s a negative when losing jockey Javier Castellano to another call, but Mia Torri’s connections found a suitable situation.
“Mia Torri came from Chicago with high expectations and she’s training up to it,” Navarro said. “We’re going to have Mike Smith on her. I like her chances.”
Along with the Hall of Fame rider, Mia Torri will break from post 7.
Others entered in the Bed O’ Roses are Tale for Ruby for owner Charles E. Fipke and trainer Barclay Tagg; High Ridge Road for owner Martin S. Schwartz and trainer Linda Rice; Discreet Senorita for owner Dun Roamin Farm and trainer Rick Violette Jr.; Flora Dora for owner Coffeepot Stables and trainer Marialice Coffey; Wheatfield for owner Tigertail Ranch and trainer Nick Zito; and Quezon for owner Marc Keller and trainer Robert Ribaudo.
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