Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational, formerly the Garden City Stakes is on tap for Belmont Park in Elmont, New York this Saturday, July 5. Three year old fillies will be featured as they go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's turf track looking for the winner's portion of the very nice $1 million purse.
11 three year old fillies will line up in the Belmont Oaks - race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:45 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this Grade 1 stakes - one that could see a strong overseas contingent steal the show. The winner earns an automatic bid into the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the fall.
Xcellence - French bred filly has seven career starts - all at home with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. She is coming off consecutive third place finishes in Grade 1 races after win in the Grade 3 Prix Imprudence in April and a second in the Grade 3 Prix Miesque in November. Xcellence has been competitive nearly every time out and is an interesting entry in the Belmont Oaks. Gerald Mosse gets the call from post 6 aboard the strongest of the impressive European contingent. She is the 3-1 co-morning line favorite for the Belmont Oaks.
Room Service - the most accomplished of all the entries is coming off three terrific wins - last time out by 2 and a quarter lengths in the Grade 1 American Oaks at this distance at Santa Anita followed a dead heat win with Rosalind in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland April 5 and a victory over Candy Kitty and Seeking Her Glory in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream March 2. Before that she finished an OK third in the minor Sweetest Chant Stakes for trainer Wayne Catalano and had a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 13. Room Service has placed in all seven career starts and has looked terrific in the lead-up to the Belmont Oaks. She has won three straight graded stakes starts ahead of this weekend and is one of the faves. Shaun Bridgmohan will get the call from post 2 aboard the 3-1 co-morning line favorite.
Flying Jib - British bred filly has four career starts - a fourth in her career debut and three straight wins in Ireland heading into her North American debut - all Weight For Age Stakes including the Canford Cliffs E.B.F. Athasi Stakes (Ire-III) . She has just one start this year - May 5 after nearly seven months away. Patrick Smullen has the mount on the 5-1 third choice from post 5 as Flying Jib gets Lasix for the first time in her first start beyond one mile.
Goldy Espony - French bred filly makes her North American debut Saturday off a seventh in the Grade 1 Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint Alary at Longchamp May 25 and a two race win streak including the Grade 3 Prix Penelope at Saint Cloud in April. She has seven career starts with three wins, a second and a third place finish - the off-the-board finishes coming in her last four starts. She also gets Lasix for the first time and will have Jose Lezcano aboard from the rail at 10-1 odds.
Sea Queen - improving Christophe Clement trained filly has looked very good as of late - last time out was a win in the minor Wonder Again Stakes on this track May 25 after an Allowance score at Keeneland in April. She makes her graded stakes debut having recorded three wins and a second in five career starts. Irad Ortiz rides from the outside post at 10-1 odds.
My Conquestadory - Mark Casse trained filly is coming off an OK second in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine May 18 - her only start of 2014. Before that was an OK fourth in the Breeders' Cup Fillies Turf. Her other two starts produced wins in impressive style - the Grade 2 Summer Stakes against the boys by over three lengths at Woodbine September 14 and the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades as favorite by two lengths in her only other career start. She will have Javier Castellano in the saddle from post 3 at 12-1 odds.
Wonderfully - Irish bred filly makes her North American debut Saturday having recorded just two wins in eight career starts. She enters having failed to place in her last five starts overall - a pair of ninths in her last two starts followed a pair of sixths and a fourth place finish at home. Hopes are that shipping to North America will do Wonderfully some good but not a whole lot is expected Saturday. Colm O'Donoghue gets the mount from post 7 at 12-1 odds.
Minorette - will make just her third North American start for trainer Chad Brown after four starts in Britain yielded a win and a third place finish. Last time out was a respectable second behind Sea Queen in the minor Wonder Again Stakes on this track May 25 after a third in her North American debut - an Allowance April 6. Joel Rosario guides Minorette from post 9 at 12-1 odds.
Rosalind - Kenneth McPeek trained filly has placed in six of nine career starts but has struggled lately - a DNF in Britain last time out June 20 followed a fourth behind the terrific Untapable in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 2. Good results include a third after rallying from 16 lengths back and almost getting in for second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, a second in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland October 4, a good third in the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes September 7 at Churchill Downs and a win in her debut in a MSW in August. She also had a terrific win in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland April 5 after a third behind In Tune in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 27. Rosalind will be out to prove that her win three back wasn't a fluke and that her recent form is the exception, not the rule. Julie Leparoux will be in the saddle from gate 5.
Recepta - won the listed Chelsea Flower Stakes at Belmont Park way back in October for trainer James Toner and has finished third in both of her 2014 starts - in the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April and the minor Wonder Again Stakes last time out on this track May 25. Her other career results were a seventh in her stakes debut - the Grade 1 Frizette in October and a maiden win in September at Saratoga. Junior Alvarado will be in the reins from post 10.
Summer Solo - another improving Christophe Clement trained filly has three career starts and three wins but she steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday. Her last two wins have come on this track - an Optional Claiming last time out June 11 followed an Allowance score May 18 and a maiden score at first asking in November at Aqueduct. Cornielio Velasquez will be in the reins from post 4 at an interesting 30-1 odds.
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
||Goldy Espony (FR)
||Flying Jib (GB)
||I. Ortiz, Jr.