September 13, 2018
The Summer rain continues in New York
By Matt Shifman
It seems like it has rained every day this week in the New York Metropolitan area, which is great for my lawn in New Jersey, but not conducive to turf racing at Belmont Park. Saturday’s card at the NYRA track has six races meant for the grass including the featured Sands Point (G2), so let’s hope for the best.
The Sands Point has drawn a very interesting field of eight and should be run even if the turf course is less than FIRM. Of course, Chad Brown tops the entries with three runners vying for the $400,000 purse and two of them are making their first starts in North America.
Brown will be looking to win this race for 3-year-old fillies for the third time having won last year with Uni and in 2014 with Ball Dancing.
The trio of Brown runners includes two French-bred horses who come to Belmont Park from races in France. Both of them will run with first-time Lasix as is often the case with European runners who have switched to an American barn.
Barkaa made her two most recent starts in Group 1 company and before that she was the winner of a Group 3 at Longchamp, one of France’s premier tracks. Shadan has been off since April on the heels of two victories, one of them against males. These two fillies have identical work patterns at Belmont Park that began on July 31.
Brown’s other entry is Reversethedecision, a winner of a Saratoga allowance last time out after a second-place performance in the Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park behind a filly that came back to record another victory in her next start.
Two horses come to this race after competing in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) in California on August 18. Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale sends Californiagoldrush east after running third in that Del Mar stake at odds of 16-1. The Graham Motion-trainee Colonia closed from very far behind to finish fifth after a previous win at Arlington Park.
Motion also sends out Secret Message who was last seen winning the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington Park at the mile and an eighth distance of the Sands Point.
Bill Mott has Capla Temptress entered on Saturday. Previously trained by European Marco Botti, she finished second in the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga behind the very talented Rushing Fall.
Here is the field of eight for the Sands Point: (1) Barkaa 3-1 – Chad Brown/Gaffalione (2) Shadan 12-1 – Brown/Franco (3) Capla Temptress 7-2 – Mott/McCarthy (4) Reversethedecision 5-1 – Brown/Irad Ortiz (5) Victorine 8-1 – Pantall/Cheminaud (6) Colonia 6-1 – Motion/Bravo (7) Californiagoldrush 6-1 – Drysdale/Prat (8) Secret Message 5-1 – Motion/J. Velazquez.
Carded as Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:53 p.m. ET, the 24th running of the Sands Point highlights coverage of Saturday’s edition of Belmont Park Live from 4-6, airing on MSG+, as well as FOX Sports Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego.