ELMONT, N.Y. - A pair of juvenile stakes for New York-breds are on tap Sunday at Belmont Park with $150,000 Bertram Bongard and $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma for fillies, at seven furlongs on the dirt.
Entering the Bongard from the barn of trainer Chad Brown is impressive maiden winner Mirai. Owned by Robert LaPenta and Madaket Stables, the Trappe Shot colt won his won his debut by 3 ½ lengths going six furlongs on August 18 at Saratoga Race Course.
"He's doing really well," said Brown. "He had been breezing exceptionally well before his debut and ran real professionally. I loved the way he drew away at the end. I don't think the added distance will be any problem for him. He's an exciting horse for the future."
The even money morning-line favorite, Mirai will leave from post 5 with Jose Ortiz aboard.
Fresh off a maiden victory in his third career start on September 1 at Saratoga Race Course, Haul Anchor will look to earn his first stakes win for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and owners Chester and Mary Broman.
A son of Bernardini, Haul Anchor began his career with a second-place in his July 10 debut at Belmont and followed with a runner-up effort at Saratoga on August 8. Receiving a field-high 75 Beyer Speed Figure in his victory last out, Haul Anchor will be ridden by Junior Alvarado, who has aboard for all three of the colt's starts. The pair will leave from post 4 as the 9-5 morning-line second-choice.
Pat On the Back has won back-to-back races, including a victory on September 10 at Finger Lakes in the Aspirant for trainer Kenny McPeek and owners Harold Lerner, AWC Stables and Nehoc Stables. Maiden runners Calculated Risk, for trainer Gary Contessa and owners Leonard Green, Sunshine Hill Farm and Patrick MacWilliams, and View Stables' Horoscope for trainer David Cannizzo, comprise the rest of the field.
The Joseph A. Gimma looks to be hotly contested with a field of 13 topped by a formidable pair in About That Base for Three Diamonds Farm and Iron Mizz for owner Barry K. Schwartz, both trained by Todd Pletcher.
A daughter of Bellamy Rose, About That Base is coming off a 5 ½ -length maiden win in her second start on August 26 at over a muddy track. The 7-2 morning line favorite, About That Base will depart from post 7 with Florent Geroux aboard.
Iron Mizz, a daughter of Mizzen Mast, has shown ability on both the dirt and the turf having collected a victory over each surface. After breaking her maiden on the turf July 3 at Belmont, she went on against stakes company in the Colleen on August 6 at Monmouth Park before being moving to the dirt where she captured the Seeking the Ante on August 26 at Saratoga.
"She's run consistently well," said Pletcher. "I thought her last race was a good effort and we're hoping for something like that again. I think at the end of the day she might end up being a little better on the turf but for right now we're happy to keep her on the dirt against New York-breds."
At odds of 6-1 on the morning line, Iron Mizz will leave from post 5 with Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the irons.
Looking to turn the tables on Iron Mizz is Seeking the Ante runner-up Code Red for trainer Mike Hushion. The homebred daughter of Friend Or Foe for owner Chester and Mary Broman won her debut on July 8 at Belmont.
At odds of 8-1 on the morning line, Code Red will leave from post 9 with Junior Alvarado aboard.
Rounding out the field are Tiznow's Smile for trainer Charlton Baker and owner Francis Paolangeli, who will look to move forward off a third-place finish in the Seeking the Ante; Twist'n Shout for trainer George Weaver and Smart Choice Stable; Paz the Bourbon for trainer Mark Hennig and Bourbon Lane Stable, who is entering off a maiden win on the turf; Ribbonite for trainer and co-owner Robbie Davis and Proud Paddock, Ransom Drop, Bree's Got Heart, Christening, Strawberry Tequila, Filibustin and Bliss to You.
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