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Lovestruck (Godolphin) headlines a loaded 11-horse field in the eighth running of the $80,000 Chelsey Flower Stakes going 1 1/16 miles over the Widener turf on Sunday, November 1 (Closing Day) at Belmont Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the gray or roan daughter of prolific sire Tapit is out of the unraced Mr. Prospector broodmare Love Style, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and champion producer Scat Daddy as well as graded stakes winner Antipathy.
Race 8 at Belmont Park on Sunday, November 01 - Post 4:55 PM
|1||Psychic Ability||20-1||Jose Lezcano
|2||Oyster Box||8-1||John Velazquez
|6||Mischievous Dream||10-1||Joel Rosario
|8||Fluffy Socks||6-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|9||Golden Voice||20-1||Manuel Franco
|11||Tic Tic Tic Boom||20-1||Dylan Davis
|12||American West||8-5||Jose Ortiz
Lovestruck did not get the cleanest of trips in her September 7 debut breaking a step slow out of the gate, getting shuffled to the back of the pack and bumping with rivals in the stretch. Nevertheless, when a hole opened up Lovestruck surged through and powered home to a one length triumph [surviving an inquiry for interference] under Junior Alvarado, registering a 75 Beyer Speed Figure.
Despite having a pedigree that might suggest dirt over turf, Lovestruck debuted on grass upon Mott's suggestion.
"The proof was in the pudding, she took to it like a duck to water," said Godolphin USA president Jimmy Bell. "She had very good action and, more importantly, very good acceleration through the lane. She got a good experience in that first race. Given her pedigree, she might be one of the most exciting fillies we have in training. It's a super female family and she looks like she has some talent to go along with it."
Lovestruck was initially pointing toward the Grade 2 Miss Grillo on October 4 but was scratched after spiking a temperature. She arrives at her stakes debut off two breezes over the Belmont training track, most recently working a half-mile in 48.75 seconds.
"We wanted to be conservative and we got her back into a good routine," Bell said.
Alvarado seeks to add to his meet-leading six stakes wins when piloting Lovestruck from post 10.
The last six editions of the Chelsey Flower have been won by either Chad Brown or Christophe Clement, the respective leading and second leading conditioners at the fall meet with three Chesley Flower triumphs a piece and both trainers will be represented in this year's race.
Brown, who saddled Ava's Kitten (2015), Create a Dream (2016) and Seek and Destroy (2018), will send out Head of Plains Partners' Fluffy Socks and Don Alberto Stable's graded stakes-placed Ingrassia.
Fluffy Socks, a bay daughter of Grade 1 winner Slumber, is one of two stakes winners in the field having taken the Selima on October 3 over a yielding Pimlico turf after besting a field of maidens going one mile over a firm turf at Kentucky Downs. On debut over the summer at Saratoga, Fluffy Socks finished a close fifth in a key race to subsequent Grade 1-placed Seasons and next-out winners Classic Colors and Misspell.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Fluffy Socks from post 8.
Ingrassia was a narrow debut winner over a Mellon turf course at Saratoga rated "good", where she was the heavy favorite and followed with a third-place finish to Aunt Pearl in the Grade 2 Jessamine at Keeneland.
Ingrassia will receive the riding services of jockey Jose Ortiz from post 4.
Clement will saddle Mischevious Dream for owner Patricia Generazio vying for a fourth Chelsey Flower triumph after winning with Miss Chatelaine (2014), Raucous (2017) and Speaktomeofsummer (2019).
The daughter of Into Mischief won the Sorority going one mile over the Monmouth Park turf two starts back, and followed with a runner-up effort against colts in the October 4 Nownownow over the Jersey Shore oval.
Joel Rosario will pilot Mischevious Dream for the first time from post 6.
Trainer Gregg Sacco sends out Red Oak Stable's Psychic Ability following a wire-to-wire maiden victory over the Monmouth Park lawn.
The dark bay daughter of Adios Charlie displayed different tactics in her last start, which also was her first start sporting blinkers. After coming from behind in her first three starts, Sacco made the equipment change which appeared to make all the difference.
Sacco said the addition of blinkers, as well as the added distance, was highly instrumental in getting her to the winner's circle. Prior to her maiden victory, all three of her starts were contested at five furlongs.
"Stretching out was key and the blinkers kept her focused," Sacco said. "She's a big, powerful filly. She came out of her maiden race great. We always thought she would run well on turf and we hope she can build on that race. I'm looking forward to seeing her against winners."
Psychic Ability made her debut over a sloppy and sealed main track on July 24 at Monmouth Park finishing a distant third before switching surfaces and finishing a much closer third over turf.
"The first time we ran her, it was sloppy and she was acting up in the gate," Sacco recalled. "The next time we ran her, she got bumped really hard, so she's had some excuses."
Psychic Ability will break from the inside post under jockey Jose Lezcano.
Shortleaf Stable's Caldee will attempt to parlay aggressive morning training into a stakes victory when making her fourth career start for trainer Brad Cox.
The bay daughter of multiple champion producing sire More Than Ready arrives off two bullet works over Belmont's inner turf, most recently working a half-mile in 48.47 on Sunday.
Caldee displayed frontrunning tactics in her turf debut on August 23 at Saratoga which she won by 6 ¼ lengths. She followed with a runner-up finish to undefeated Plum Ali in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo.
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will ride from post 7.
Completing the field are Oyster Box [post 2, John Velazquez], Zeyaraat [post 3, Kendrick Carmouche], Joqular [post 5, Luis Saez], Golden Voice [post 9, Manny Franco] and Tic Tic Tic Boom [post 11, Dylan Davis]. American West [post 12] has been entered for main track only.
The Chelsey Flower is slated as Race 8 on Closing Day's 9-race program, which offers a first post of 12:15 p.m. Eastern. The Closing Day program will also feature a mandatory payout of the Empire 6, which kicks off in Race 4 at 1:45 p.m.
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