Dogtag will look to notch her second consecutive stakes win when she steps up in class in the 39th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Dogtag, one of two entrants for trainer Chad Brown along with Newspaperofrecord, has already earned stakes blacktype, overcoming a yielding Saratoga turf course to win the P.G. Johnson on August 30.
2018 Miss Grillo Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:50 PM
|1||Takecharge Mirella||5-2||Joe Bravo
|2||Stellar Agent||8-1||Manuel Franco
|3||No More Fast Women||30-1||Jose Lezcano
|Louis Linder, Jr.|
|4||Kitty's Legacy||15-1||Luis Saez
|6||Newspaperofrecord (IRE)||6-5||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|7||Miss Technicality||3-1||Joel Rosario
|8||Virginia Eloise||12-1||Joe Bravo
|10||Decorated Ace||20-1||Hector Diaz, Jr.
A gray or roan filly with a distinctive white face, Dogtag finished third but was disqualified to fourth on the dirt in her debut on August 5 at Saratoga in a maiden race that was moved off the turf. Returning to turf, the daughter of War Front won at the Miss Grillo distance and now will look to make her first appearance at Belmont.
"She handled the ground well and so does Newspaper, so I think those two horses are good enough to run on any kind of ground," Brown said.
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, aboard for the P.G. Johnson, will have the return call from post 9.
Newspaperofrecord won her debut on August 19 at Saratoga as she heads into her first stakes appearance. The Irish-bred, owned by Klaravich Stables, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.75 on the Belmont inner turf Sunday in company with Dogtag.
"She's doing great and really moving forward and so has Dogtag," Brown said. "Both horses ran well at Saratoga, so I'm not going to say they need the [Belmont turf] course. They did great as it was. I felt good about letting them breeze over the course they are going to run on."
Irad Ortiz, Jr., who piloted Newspaperofrecord to her victory, will be aboard again from post 6.
Miss Technicality will look to stay undefeated after starting her career 2-for-2. The Christophe Clement trainee won the Juvenile Fillies at one mile on September 1 at Kentucky Downs and will now return to the Belmont track where she broke her maiden on July 6 at six furlongs.
"She's been training well," Clement said. "This races comes up a little bit quick to ship there and back, I would have loved a little more time between races, but I like the way she's training. She had two nice works. If she can relax in the race, there will be no problems, as long as she relaxes.
"She's a good mover. Every time we've run her, it's been in a better race, so she has a chance to compete."
Joel Rosario will be in the irons from post 7.
Virginia Eloise will make her third straight graded stakes appearance. After finishing second to Sue's Fortune by a half-length in the Grade 2 Adirondack on August 11 at the Spa, she struggled in finishing eighth of 11 in the Grade 1 Spinaway at seven furlongs on September 1. She will now make her first start on turf for trainer Todd Pletcher, drawing post 8 in tandem with jockey Joe Bravo.
Varenka, second to Dogtag in the P.G. Johnson, will be looking to break her maiden in a graded stakes for trainer Graham Motion. After starting her career third in a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint on July 20 at Laurel Park, the Ghostzapper filly will exit from post 5 with Hall of Famer John Velazquez aboard.
Rounding out the field is Decorated Ace; No More Fast Women; Stellar Agent and Kitty's Legacy. Takecharge Mirella is entered for the main-track only.