2017 Gallant Bloom Handicap Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Gallant Bloom Handicap is on tap for this Sunday, September 24 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A purse of $300,000 will be up for grabs when fillies and mares three years old and upward take to Belmont Park's dirt track and race 6 1/2 furlongs.

A field of six distaffers will take to the track in the Gallant Bloom Handicap - race 5 on Belmont Park's Sunday card. Post time is 3:36 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all six entries for this competitive G2 stakes.

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2017 Gallant Bloom Handicap Entries at Belmont Park

Highway Star

Lightly raced Rodrigo Ubillo trained filly has seven wins, a second and two third-place finishes in her 12 career starts. She enters off a good second in the G1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga August 26 after an OK third in the G1 Ogden Phipps Stake at Belmont Park June 10 and a nice two race win streak - the G2 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park May 13 and the G3 Distaff Stakes at Aqueduct April 9. Before that was a fourth in the minor Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct in January and another two-race win streak - the G3 Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct December 3 and in the minor New York Stallion Series Stakes on that track November 13. She posted an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park September 28 with an 83 Beyer Speed Figure as well. Highway Star has won four of her last seven starts overall (all stakes) and has placed in four straight graded stakes races ahead of this weekend. She has been a factor every time out and hopes to be at the top again Sunday. Angel Arroyo gets the call on the 121-pound highweight from the rail.

Carina Mia

Chad Brown trained filly has five wins, three seconds and three third-place finishes in 14 career starts. She enters off an OK third, right behind Highway Star in the G1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga August 26 which followed a win in the restricted Shine Again Stakes on that track August 2, a fourth in the G1 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park June 10, an OK third place finish in the G1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 6 and a disappointing ninth as second choice in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Before that was a decent second in the G1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx last September 24, an OK third in the 2016 G1 Ballerina Stakes, a second behind Songbird in the 2016 G1 Coaching Club American Oaks July 24 and a two-race win streak - the G1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park June 11, 2016 and by six lengths in the G2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs last May 6. She also had another impressive two race win streak in 2015 - by 4 1/2 lengths in the G2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs and a maiden score by 9 3/4 lengths in record time at Keeneland. Carina Mia has been good so far in her career, has 90 or better Beyer Speed Figures in her last four starts and will be after her first graded stakes win in 15 months with Javier Castellano aboard from post 3.

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Quezon

Defending runner-up in this race - Robert Ribaudo trained mare has placed in 11 of 14 career starts - five wins, five seconds and a third-place finish. She enters on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes - the minor Union Avenue Stakes last time out at Saratoga August 17 and an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track July 3. Before that was a sixth in the G3 Bed o' Roses Handicap here June 3, an OK third in the G3 Vagrancy Handicap on this track May 5 and a nice win in the minor Iroquois Stakes here in October. She has quietly placed in seven of her last eight starts with a win, five seconds and a third-place finish over that span but has yet to post a graded stakes score in four tries. Jockey Joel Rosario will try to change all of that from gate 4.

Lucy N Ethel

Lightly raced Todd Pletcher trained filly has five career starts and four wins. She races for the first time since October 22 Sunday - she finished a disappointing twelfth in the G2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes before being sent to the sidelines. She started her career with four nice wins - in the G2 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga with a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure last September 4 followed nine months away and victories in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park January 2, an Allowance score at Parx in December, 2016 and a maiden score at first asking at Parx in November of 2015. Lucy N Ethel had been untouchable before last time out - hopes are that she is over her injuries and that she bounces back from the outside gate 6. John Velazquez rides.

Absalootly

Has 15 career starts for trainer Charlton Barker - five wins, four seconds and three third-place finishes. She makes her graded stakes debut Sunday off an OK third directly behind Quezon in the minor Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga August 17, a seventh in the minor Shine Again Stakes on that track August 2, a decent second in the minor Dancin Renee Stakes on this track June 17 and a good win in the minor Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park April 22. Absalootly has been competitive in her career so far and steps up having placed in six of her last seven starts overall. Joe Bravo has been tabbed with keeping a respectable run going from post 5.

Friend of Liberty

Has four wins, four seconds and two third-place finishes in 14 career starts for trainer Michelle Nevin. She makes her graded stakes debut Sunday on the heels of two straight runner-up finishes - both Claiming races at Saratoga in August. Before that was a fifth in a Claiming at Churchill Downs June 25, a fourth in the minor Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows June 8 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs in May. Friend of Liberty has been OK against lesser company but hopes for a breakthrough performance against stakes foes from gate 2 Sunday. Irad Ortiz has been tabbed to ride.


2017 Gallant Bloom Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 5 on Belmont Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 3:36 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Highway Star 2-1 Angel Arroyo Rodrigo Ubillo
2 Friend of Liberty 20-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Michelle Nevin
3 Carina Mia 8-5 Javier Castellano Chad Brown
4 Quezon 8-1 Joel Rosario Robert Ribaudo
5 Absatootly 15-1 Joe Bravo Charlton Baker
6 Lucy N Ethel 3-1 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher

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