Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle a pair of strong contenders in Gal in a Rush and The Club for Saturday’s $100,000 Stewart Manor, a six-furlong inner-turf sprint for juvenile fillies at Belmont Park.
The Stewart Manor is one of four stakes on a lucrative Saturday card, including the Grade 3, $150,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at nine furlongs over Big Sandy for fillies and mares; the $200,000 Mohawk at 1 1/16-miles over turf for New York-breds 3-years-old and up; and the $100,000 Chelsey Flower a 1 1/16-mile turf test for juvenile fillies.
Both of the Clement-trained fillies are exiting the Grade 3 Matron, a six-furlong sprint over firm going at Belmont on October 9 which was won by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-bound Bubble Rock.
West Point Thoroughbreds, Chris Larsen and Titletown Racing Stables’ Gal in a Rush, by Ghostzapper, was elevated to victory at second asking traveling one-mile over firm Belmont turf on September 17. The disqualified winner of that event – Haughty – returned to break her maiden impressively on October 17 at Keeneland.
Gal in a Rush exited the outermost post 9 in the Matron and rallied five-wide to finish second, a half-length in arrears of Bubble Rock.
Wonder Stables, Madaket Stables and Golconda Stable’s The Club, by Union Rags, graduated at third asking in a key 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint at Saratoga Race Course that featured next-out winners Top Gun Girl and Mischievous Kiss completing the trifecta.
The Club exited the inside post in the Matron but failed to fire when fifth, defeated two lengths.
“Gal in a Rush ran very well last time to make up a considerable amount of ground,” Clement said. “They both have been training excellent and are very sound at the moment, so we’re ready to run.”
Dylan Davis will guide Gal in a Rush from post 7, while The Club will emerge from post 6 under Kendrick Carmouche.
MeB Racing Stables and Vincent D. Esopi’s Mystic Eyes, by Maclean’s Music, set a swift tempo in the Matron, staying on strong for third under returning rider Manny Franco.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Mystic Eyes was a maiden winner at first asking sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs over firm turf in a maiden auction allowance sprint at Saratoga. She followed with a prominent second in the 6 1/2-furlong Ainsworth over firm footing on September 12 at Kentucky Downs.
Mystic Eyes will leave from post 3.
Cash is King and LC Racing’s Stand Up Comic, by Practical Joke, is the lone two-time winner in the field. Trained by Butch Reid, Jr., Stand Up Comic sprinted gate-to-wire on debut traveling 4 1/2-furlongs over the Parx main track on June 23. She followed with a similar pacesetting score in a July 21 optional-claiming sprint over the Delaware Park main track.
Last out, Stand Up Comic made her turf debut with an even fourth in the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing contested over a yielding turf on August 18.
Frankie Pennington, aboard for the maiden score, has the call from post 5.
Rounding out a loaded field are Hot Fudge [post 1, Eric Cancel], Charlee O [post 2, Ruben Silvera], Rigby [post 4, Jorge Vargas, Jr.], Flip My Id [post 8, Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr.], Still My Babe [post 9, Raul Mena] and Benbang [post 10, Paco Lopez].
The Stewart Manor is slated as Race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post is 12 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
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Belmont Park Press Release
Photo: Christophe Clement (Francesca LeDonne Photo)