Mrs McDougal looks for another graded stakes win in G2 Noble Damsel

December 10, 2019

ELMONT, N.Y. - Mrs McDougal will look to add a second graded stakes victory to her ledger as she headlines a field of eight fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park.

A 4-year-old, Mrs McDougal will gain class relief after back-to-back Grade 1 starts for trainer Chad Brown. The Medaglia d'Oro bay filly came in third in her last Belmont start, finishing 4 ¾-lengths behind winner Celestine and a length behind Recepta in the Longines Just a Game on June 11.

Mrs McDougal, who is the field's lone graded stakes winner with a victory in the 2015 Grade 2 Lake George, will look to bounce back from her only start of the Saratoga meet in a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Diana on July 23. She will leave from post 5 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

Her stablemate, Zindaya, has finished off the board just once in her last six races, including a win in her last Belmont start with a 3 ½-length score in the Intercontinental on June 9. The e Five Racing Thoroughbreds' 5-year-old is 5-3-3 in 13 career starts and will exit post 6 in tandem with jockey Jose Lezcano.

Brown, who captured the Saratoga training title in winning six of the 11 graded stakes run on the flat turf courses during the meet, will look to continue his success as the Noble Damsel is slated to run on the Widener turf.

Bureau de Change will be turning back in distance in taking on the mile course. The Brian Lynch-trained 5-year-old will make her sixth consecutive graded stakes start and has posted her two highest career Beyer Speed Figures in her last two races, including a 107 rating in a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Eatontown on June 25 at Monmouth Park and a 104 figure last out in a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker.

"She's a hard-knocking filly, so we're going to give her a try," Lynch said. "I feel like she's a Grade 3-type of filly and on a good day, you can win one with her."

Bureau de Change will depart post 2. Jockey Luis Saez has the call.

Christophe Clement also has two entries, led by Tango Uniform Racing's Stormy Victoria, who has finished first or second in three of her last four races. The French-bred gray filly is 2-0-1 in four career starts in North America, including an impressive second-place finish in the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose last out when she came off the pace to finish just one length back of Lady Lara on August 6 at Saratoga Race Course.

Stormy Victoria, a 4-year-old, will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from post 7.

Clement's other entry, the Irish-bred Akatea, will be facing a step up in class after defeating allowance-level company on July 1 at Belmont and coming in fourth last out in an optional claimer on August 17 at Saratoga.

Akatea, who raced at one mile four times in France, will be running at the Noble Damsel distance for the first time since arriving in the United States. She drew the rail with Joel Rosario aboard.

My Sweet Girl, trained by Barclay Tagg, will be making her first start since a fifth-place finish in the De La Rose. The Bernardini 4-year-old won her last stakes start at Belmont, capturing the Perfect Sting by a neck on July 2.

Owned by Joyce Young, My Sweet Girl has posted speed figures of 90-or-better in six of her last seven starts and will leave from the outside with Eric Cancel.

Rounding out the field is The Tea Cups, trained by Jeremiah Englehart, who exits from post 3; and Mah Jong Maddnes, the John Morrison-trained 7-year-old seeking her first win since 2014 out of post 4. Angel Arroyo is set to ride.