Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes comes our way from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday, September 13. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line for three year old fillies willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Belmont Park's inner turf track.
A group of 10 three year old fillies will take to the track in the Sands Point Stakes - race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:45 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all 10 entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Sands Point Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Daring Dancer - recorded a terrific win last time out in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes for trainer H. Graham Motion after a disappointing fifth as 4-5 favorite in the minor Wonder Again Stakes her in May in her only start on this track. Before that was another terrific graded stakes win - the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April. She started her career with yet two more wins making it four wins in five career starts for this impressive filly. John Velazquez will try to keep the roll going Saturday when she lines up from post 9 at 7-2 odds.
Xcellence - French bred filly has seven career starts at home with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. She is coming off a close third in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga August 16 after a fourth in her North American debut - the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational July 5. Before that was consecutive third place finishes in Group 1 races in France, a win in the Group 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 hopes to break through on North American soil Saturday. Irad Ortiz gets the call aboard at 3-1 from the rail Saturday.
Sands Point Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Sea Queen - Christophe Clement trained filly has looked good as of late - last time out was a slight hiccup - a fourth as 7-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks August 16 after a good second in the $1 million Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational which was her graded stakes debut July 5, a win in the minor Wonder Again Stakes at 18-1 odds May 25 and an Allowance score at Keeneland in April. She has three wins and two seconds in seven career starts and has won two of her last four with a second in there too. Joel Rosario rides from gate 5 at 4-1 odds.
Ball Dancing - listed stakes winner in France has five career starts for trainer Chad Brown with two wins and a second place finish - all overseas. She makes her North American debut Saturday off a fifth in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines June 15, a third in a Group 3 race in June and a stakes score in May. Joe Bravo has the mount from the outside post at 5-1 odds.
A Little Bit Sassy - Mike Matz trained filly won the minor Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs in May - a race that put her on the map but followed that with a somewhat disappointing fourth after getting disqualified from victory in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes also at Churchill Downs May 14. Last time out she bounced back with a good second behind Daring Dancer after pressing the pace in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga July 23. A Little Bit Sassy has two wins and three seconds in seven career starts and has been at or near the top in every start since her debut. Luis Saez will be in the saddle at 5-1 odds from post 6.
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Walk Close - Christophe Clement pupil makes just her fifth career start but does have three wins in her four races - all wins at Belmont. Last time out was her only blemish - a fourth in the minor Tenski Stakes at Saratoga August 11 after a nice win on this track in the minor Wild Applause Stakes. Cornelio Velasquez will be in charge of getting Walk Close back into the winner's circle - from gate 4 at an intriguing 15-1 odds.
Miss Besilu - legendary trainer Bill Mott sends out Miss Besilu off a pair of OK thirds - in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes last time out at Saratoga August 16 and in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks here July 20 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park June 19, a sixth in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes April 5 and a terrible eleventh in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs March 8. She has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in nine career starts and has certainly been trending upward ahead of this weekend. Jose Lezcano will be aboard from gate 3 as Miss Besilu looks for her first ever graded stakes score as she return to a preferred turf surface.
Duff One - Gary Contessa trained filly is coming off a good second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes August 16 after a sixth in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes here July 23, an ugly tenth in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks March 8 and a sixth in them minor Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream January 26. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream December 19. Duff One has two wins and a second place finish in nine career starts but hadn't looked great before a good effort last time out. Jose Ortiz has the mount from the outside post.
Aqua Regia - Thomas Albertini trained filly has nine starts with two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. She made her stakes debut and finished fifth in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park June 28 and was third in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks last time out August 9. She had a win in an Allowance June 5, a second in a similar race May 2 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in March before stepping up and certainly didn't look out of place last time out. Jose Lezcano will be in charge of getting Aqua Regia to the next level Saturday - from post 2.
Queenofzeenile - has just one win, a second and three third place finishes in 11 career starts and steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday. She has placed in her last three overall however - a second in a Claiming August 18 followed a third in a Claiming in July and another third in an Allowance in June. She makes an enormous step up in competition with Angel Arroyo guiding her from post 7.
2014 Sands Point Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:45 PM.
|1||Xcellence (FR)||I. Ortiz, Jr.||C. Brown|
|2||Aqua Regia||J. Lezcano||T. Albertrani|
|3||Miss Besilu||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|4||Walk Close||C. Velasquez||C. Clement|
|5||Sea Queen||J. Rosario||C. Clement|
|6||A Little Bit Sassy||L. Saez||M. Matz|
|7||Queenofzeenile||A. Arroyo||M. Gorham|
|8||Daring Dancer||J. Velazquez||H. Motion|
|9||Duff One||J. Ortiz||G. Contessa|
|10||Ball Dancing||J. Bravo||C. Brown|