OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will play host to the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap on Saturday, September 20. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will take to Belmont Park's main track and dash 6 1/2 furlongs searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A small field of six have been confirmed for the Gallant Bloom - race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:45 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Artemis Agrotera - Michael Hushion trainee is coming off consecutive wins at Saratoga - the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes by an eye-opening 6 1/2 lengths last time out August 23 and by an impressive 10 1/4 lengths in Allowance Optional Claiming score July 23. This after a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes in June, an equally disappointing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and a win in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes over Sweet Reason at Belmont Park October 6. She has four wins in six career starts and has looked unstoppable the last two races. Regular rider Rajiv Maragh rides as Artemis Agrotera cuts back in distance from the rail Saturday.
Merry Meadow - Mark Hennig trained filly has placed in four of five starts this year - a third last time out in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga July 28 followed a second in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap on this track in June and a terrific win here - in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths at 6-1 odds May 17. Before that was a fourth in her graded stakes debt - the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park February 22 and two wins and a second in her previous three starts. She has 22 career starts with five wins, 10 seconds and five third place finishes and will be looking to build on a good few months. Merry Meadow has placed in 20 of 22 career starts and all nine starts on this track (two wins). John Velazquez will be in the saddle from gate 2 Saturday.
Willet - James Iselin trainee has 18 career starts with eight wins, six seconds and two third place finishes but has won two of her last four starts with a third behind Artemis Agrotera last time out in the Grade 3 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga August 23. Two back was one of those wins - a six furlong Allowance July 30 by four lengths after a second in the minor Dancin Renee Stakes July 3 and a win in the minor Touch of Love Stakes in December. She has three other career graded stakes starts - a second in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap in November, 2012 being her best result. Willet looks for her first ever graded stakes score from post 5 with Dylan Davis in the irons.
Gallant Bloom Handicap betting online at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Bridgehampton - has seven career starts for trainer Michael Hushion with three wins and a second place finish. Last time out was a fourth behind Better Lucky, Grace Hall, and My Miss Aurelia in the minor Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga in July which followed a nice win in the minor My Juliet Stakes at Belmont Park in May and a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in April. Before that was an Allowance score March 23 after nine months away and a good stakes debut - a second in the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park in June, 2013. Bridgehampton has been a tad inconsistent as of late and will line up in post 3 with Manuel Franco aboard.
La Verdad - Linda Rice trained filly has nine wins and a second place finish in 13 career starts but finds herself in the midst of a mini-slump. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes August 23 after a fifth in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap July 28 - both results at Saratoga. Before that was a four race win streak - the minor Dancin Renee Stakes ahead of Willet July 3, the minor Critical Eye Stakes May 31, the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap in April and the minor Broadway Stakes in March. She entered her graded stakes debut - the Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park February 22 on a five race win streak as well. Jose Ortiz will try to get La Verdad back on track from gate 6.
Classic Point - Allen Jerkins pupil hasn't been great lately - an eighth last time out in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap June 21 followed a last of sixth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes June 7. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream on April 26 and three off-the-board finishes - a seventh the minor Hollywood Beach Stakes April 12, a fifth in the minor Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint in January and a fourth in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream December 14. She has 27 career starts with five wins, four seconds and a third place finish and will have Junior Alvarado aboard from post 4 having hit the board in just one of her last six starts.
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:45 PM.
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