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Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes this Saturday, May 25. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 3/8 miles on Belmont Park's turf track for a $200,000 purse.
The Sheepshead Bay has attracted a strong international field of eight females for race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:45 PM. Let's take a look at the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Hessonite - is a multiple stakes winner and 2012's top New York-bred older female. She enters the Sheepshead Bay having won five of her last six starts - the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes last time out was her only graded stakes score. Before that were wins at the Ticonderoga Stakes (two years in a row), the Irish Linnet Stakes, the Yaddo Stakes both at Saratoga and the John Hettinger Stakes at Belmont Park in September. Her only bad result the last 10 months was a fifth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational in September on this track. She was out of action 6 1/2 months before her Beaugay score so we know that the layoff did nothing to slow her down. She is the morning line favorite and the most accomplished entry in the field.
Starformer - Bill Mott trained filly is a graded stakes winner that that enters having won two of three starts - the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct in November and the Grade 3 The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream in February. Last time out was a bit of a stumble however - a fifth in the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes at Gulfstream March 30. She has five wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 15 career starts.
Stranthnaver - H. Graham Motion pupil makes her third start on North American soil after two wins and a second place finish in nine starts in Britain. Her American debut was a good one - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream March 16 in record time for 1 3/16 miles on turf and she followed that with another impressive score last time out in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at 18-1 odds at Keeneland April 25.
Mystical Star - finished eighth after a DQ in this race last year and then won the Grade 2 New York Stakes June 30 over Hit It Rich but hasn't tasted victory since. She had a good second in the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster in October and was second in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct November 10 and then went on to a third in the Grade 3 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs March 9. Last time out was a fourth as favorite in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland April 19. She has certainly been competitive but is the morning line fourth choice for a reason - she's a tad difficult to figure out.
Sheepshead Bay Stakes betting at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Julie's Love - another H. Graham Motion trainee is coming off a win - in the minor Owsley Stakes on this track May 1 after a fourth in the Dahlia Stakes April 6. She showed good form toward the end of 2012 with a second in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs and another second in the minor Indian Maid Handicap at Hawthorne in October. She has five wins in her 21 career starts - four of which have come in her last nine starts.
Tannery - made her North American debut in the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park September 15 and finished a very respectable third. She followed that with a distant eighth in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13 and ended 2012 with a fourth in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap in November. She has raced just once in 2013 - a fourth in the minor Owsley Stakes here May 1.
Minakshi - had a win and a second place finish in her native France before shipping to North America. In here only start in the States Minakshi was second in the minor Owsley Stakes on this track May 1.
Anjaz - had seven starts in Britain with three wins and a third place finish before making her North American debut last time out - a fourth in the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes at Gulfstream March 30.