Runners from Brown and Clement face off in the Pebbles at Belmont Park
By New York Hot List Staff
The $200,000 Pebbles at Belmont Park on Saturday features a match-up between two pairs of runners from the barns of top turf trainers Chad Brown and Christophe Clement. Brown has the top two choices with Blowout [9-5] and Seek and Destroy [3-1] while Clement has the next two in East [7-2] and Feel Glorious [5-1].
The race is named for the champion grass mare Pebbles. The chestnut won the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Aqueduct as a 4-year-old and was voted the Champion Grass Mare in the United States along with Champion Older Mare and Champion Miler in England.
East was permanently transferred to the Clement barn after last being seen in America when she was second in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf behind Newspaperofrecord.
“East just came to us about five weeks ago and has been training forwardly,” Clement’s assistant Christophe Lorieul said. “She’s a small filly but she’s a very, very good mover. She has run in this country before and she has a very good turn-of-foot. She’s run here before and has been through that process, and now we’re looking forward to a good performance.”
Feel Glorious also raced in Europe before coming to the New York barn of Clement. Since then she won the Memories of Silver at Aqueduct in April and was second in the Soaring Softly (G2) at Belmont the following month.
“Feel Glorious was at Saratoga and ran there, and the plan this time is to be closer to the pace,” Lorieul said. “I don’t know if we’ve been too conservative and keeping her at the back of the pack and expecting her to give that great turn-of-foot. But this time she should be closer to the pace, so we’ll see what happens.”
The morning line favorite for Chad Brown is Blowout who was third in the Lake Placid (G2) and second in the Lake George (G3) at Saratoga. Seek and Destroy shipped to Woodbine to get a Grade 3 victory in the Ontario Cotillion.
Passing Out comes into the Pebbles off a Saratoga allowance victory that earned her an “A” rating from the New York Hot List team. The Shug McGaughey runner overcame at troubled trip filled with traffic problems to become a determined winner. This 15-1 live longshot must take a step forward as she tries stakes company for the first time.
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The Pebbles is slated as Race 10 on Saturday’s 11-race card. First post for the card is scheduled for 1:00 pm ET.