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Fog of War will make his 3-year-old debut for Peter M. Brant when he takes on a field of eight assembled for the $100,000 Paradise Creek Stakes, a seven-furlong test for sophomores on the Belmont Park Widener turf on Saturday, May 25.
Trained by Chad Brown, the well-bred son of War Front won the Grade 1 Summer at Woodbine last time out, where he defeated eventual Grade 1 Preakness winner War of Will by three-quarters of a length. Fog of War graduated at first asking over a good turf course at Saratoga in a race that featured eventual graded stakes winner Current.
Race 9 at Belmont Park on Saturday, May 25 - Post 5:51 PM
|1||Strike Silver||6-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|2||Fog of War||8-5||Javier Castellano
|4||Pole Setter||9-2||Luis Saez
|6||Ian Glass||15-1||Joel Rosario
Fog of War is out of the Group 3 winning Galileo broodmare Say whose dam Riskaverse was a graded stakes winner for five straight years and won back-to-back editions of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park in 2004-05.
He will be guided by jockey Javier Castellano from post two.
Stretching out in distance for trainer Mark Casse is Strike Silver, who won the Indian Summer at Keeneland as a 2-year-old. Owned by John Oxley, the son of Violence has never raced past six furlongs and was 11th beaten six lengths in the last out Palisades Turf Sprint on April 4 at Keeneland.
Strike Silver is a winner on both dirt and turf. In his career debut, he broke his maiden over the main track at Churchill Downs in a race that featured eventual stakes winning stable mate Sir Winston. He went on to run second in the Grade 2 Sanford over the dirt at Saratoga before switching surfaces.
"I thought that he was a nice horse on the dirt but thought that the turf would move him up," Casse said. "I didn't feel that he was as good as some of our other horses so we gave him a shot on the turf. Last time at Keeneland, it seemed like he didn't really have running on his mind but since then he's trained well. When you have a 3-year-old that's already won a stake there aren't a whole lot of options and sometimes you end up running in races that aren't exactly what you're looking for. I prefer to stay with straight three-year-olds this time of year."
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Strike Silver who will emerge from the rail.
Also stretching out in distance following a close second in the William Walker at Churchill Downs is Lee and Cheryl Mauberret's Uncapped.
Trained by Brendan Walsh, the chestnut homebred son of First Samurai is in search of his first victory on grass but ran his three highest Beyer Speed Figures in his trio of starts on turf. He broke his maiden second time out over the main track at Churchill Downs last November.
His last two starts took place against stakes company going five furlongs over the turf, including a last-out second in the William Walker at Churchill Downs that earned an 80 Beyer number.
"It won't be a problem for him," Walsh said of the added distance. "Five to five-and-a-half [furlongs] is a bit on the sharp side. In his last race, he missed the break and if he broke better he would have been right there. The extra distance should suit him fine."
Breaking from post eight, Uncapped will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
Completing the field are Dunph (post three, Kendrick Carmouche), Pole Setter (post four, Luis Saez), Pulsate (post five, Manny Franco), Ian Glass (post six, Joel Rosario) and Mucho (post seven, Jose Ortiz).
The Paradise Creek is slated as Race 9 on Saturday's 10-race card. First post is 1:30 p.m.
The Paradise Creek is named in honor of the 1994 Champion Turf Horse who was a four-time Grade 1 winner. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Paradise Creek captured prestigious events like the Arlington Million and Washington D.C. International in his memorable career and retired with career earnings of $3,401,416.
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