Disco Partner headlines field in the Forbidden Apple at Belmont Park
Multiple graded stakes winner Disco Partner, making his first start since winning the Grade 2 Jaipur on June 9, will headline a field of seven in the $150,000 Forbidden Apple at one mile on the turf Saturday at Belmont Park.
A 6-year-old homebred son of Disco Rico for owner Patricia A. Generazio, Disco Partner made his 2018 debut in the Grade 2 Shakertown on April 7 at Keeneland, where he finished third. Returning in the Garde 2 Jaipur, he came from off the pace, traveling six-wide to win by one length and register a field-high 105 Beyer Speed Figure.
"We gave him a few easy weeks after the Jaipur and he had a very good work last Sunday on the turf," said Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement. "We were very happy with that and he came out of it in good order. Going back to a mile we'll see what happens. As long as the turf is firm he should appreciate the going. The distance I'm not sure is a question mark for any reason. From five and half [furlongs] to a mile he's been good. As long as the ground is firm we should be okay."
Winner of the 2017 edition of the Forbidden Apple, Disco Partner will be reunited with regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. as the pair leave from post 2.
||Catherine Day Phillips
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Meet-leading trainer Chad Brown entered Projected for Juddmonte Farms and Offering Plan for owners Michael Dubb and Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners.
Set to make his third start of the year in the Forbidden Apple, Projected kicked off his season with a second-place finish in the Danger's Hour on April 8 at Belmont and returned to finish a respectable third in the Grade 2 Monmouth on May 26 at Monmouth Park.
Entering off back-to-back wins in an allowance race on April 8 at Keeneland and most recently capturing the Kingston on May 28, the 6-year-old Spring At Last horse has an impressive four wins from nine starts at Belmont with a pair of second place finishes and two third-place finishes.
Projected will depart from post 7 with Joel Rosario aboard, Offering Plan will leave from post 3 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
Gainesway Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher will enter Blind Ambition. Looking to rebound from a seventh-place finish in the Jaipur, the 4-year-old son of Tapit has two wins from three starts at Belmont including an impressive victory in the Elusive Quality on April 28.
"His last breeze, his energy levels were good," said Byron Hughes, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "He seems to like the Belmont turf course so we're looking to give him one last shot on it before Saratoga. He ran well getting to the lead in the Elusive Quality. Johnny did a great job with him there so we're hoping for a similar result."
Drawing post 5, Blind Ambition will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
Rounding out the field are Voodoo Song for trainer Linda Rice and owner Barry Schwartz entering off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Poker on June 17 at Belmont; Mr Havercamp for owners Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry and trainer Catherine Phillips and Pocket Change for trainer Jason Servis and owners Gary and Mary West.