ELMONT, N.Y. — Joseph Allen’s Doswell, fresh off a three-month respite, will look to parlay his freshening into additional stakes glory while simultaneously thwarting trainer Chad Brown’s quest for a fifth straight victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Fort Marcy for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
Brown, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, has won the Fort Marcy every year since 2018 and sends out three contenders in the seven-horse field in Rockemperor, L’Imperator and Sacred Life.
The 46th running of the Fort Marcy, slated as Race 8, is one of three graded stakes on Belmont’s 11-race docket, joining the Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester for 4-year-olds and up going one mile on Big Sandy and the Grade 2, $200,000 Sheepshead Bay for older fillies and mares contesting 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf course. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
Doswell made his 7-year-old debut against top-caliber competition in the Grade 1, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf on January 29 at Gulfstream Park, tracking in second behind pacesetter and eventual runner-up Never Surprised before being outkicked in the stretch and finishing seventh in the 12-horse test at the Fort Marcy distance.
The son of Giant’s Causeway wintered at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida before trainer Barclay Tagg moved him to Belmont late last month. Doswell has since recorded two five-furlong works over Belmont’s famed main track, including a breeze clocked in 1:02.28 on Sunday.
“You never know how they’ll run off the layoff, but he’s training well,” Tagg said. “He’s good and strong and healthy.”
The late-blooming Doswell did not make his stakes debut until his 5-year-old year. After transferring into Tagg’s care, Doswell ramped up with a win against allowance company in October 2020 at Belmont before running second in his first stakes appearance in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale that December at Gulfstream.
In his 6-year-old bow, Doswell finished third in the Grade 3 W.L. McKnight going 1 1/2 miles at Gulfstream before posting a pair of third-place finishes against allowance company at both Belmont and Aqueduct, respectively. That set up another appearance in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale, which Doswell won by 1 1/2 lengths on December 18, warranting a shot in the prestigious turf contest that marked his first Grade 1 attempt.
With 1 1/8 miles marking Doswell’s lone stakes win, Tagg said the distance shouldn’t be burdensome.
“I think the nine furlongs is fine. It’s not out of reach for him,” Tagg said. “It’s been a little time since we ran him, so we’ll see what happens.”
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche drew the assignment and will break from post 7.
Doswell will have to contend with Brown’s triumvirate, including the Irish-bred Rockemperor, who will look to duplicate his success in graded stakes at Belmont in making his first appearance there since winning the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic going 1 1/2 miles in October.
Brown used that win, in which Rockemperor netted a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure, as a springboard to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Del Mar, where he lost position out of the final turn and finished eighth in the 14-horse field.
Rockemperor, who ran third in last year’s edition of the Fort Marcy won by stablemate Tribhuvan, ended his 2021 campaign with a fifth-place effort in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup in November at Del Mar. The son of Holy Roman Empire will make his 6-year-old debut with Dylan Davis in the irons from post 6. He is owned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber and Michael Caruso.
Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Robert LaPenta’s L’Imperator has earned a placing in just one of five graded stakes appearances, finishing third in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch to close out the Saratoga meet on September 6. The French-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor started his year with a 10th-place effort in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay going 1 1/16 miles in February and will have Eric Cancel ride from post 8.
Brown, who won his first Fort Marcy in 2015 with Big Blue Kitten, has captured this event in consecutive years with Robert Bruce , Olympico , Instilled Regard  and Tribhuvan . He will send out another French-bred contender in 7-year-old Sacred Life, whose previous appearance at Belmont was a winning one in capturing the nine-furlong Grade 3 Knickerbocker in October.
After finishing as the runner up in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit in November at Del Mar, Sacred Life started 2022 with a sixth-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup Turf and followed by rallying from a sluggish start to gain fourth in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Classic in March at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Caruso’s Sacred Life, who adds blinkers, will have Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr. aboard from post 5.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Peter and Patty Searles’ City Man was a hard-charging runner-up in last year’s Fort Marcy, running 1 1/2 lengths back for trainer Christophe Clement.
Bred in the Empire State by Moonstar Farm, City Man garnered the only triple digit Beyer of his 19-race career in the Fort Marcy, earning an even 100, and next raced in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan on June 5, finishing ninth.
City Man will return to graded stakes company for the first time in seven races, racking up wins in the West Point against fellow state-breds in August at Saratoga Race Course and in his first appearance of 2022 with a 2 1/4-length win in the Danger’s Hour going one mile on April 9 over the Big A turf.
Clement said City Man has proven he can stretch out in the past and will try again this weekend.
“He’s doing well. He’s very versatile and we’ve been lucky in that race in the past, so let’s try to do it again,” Clement said.
City Man will pick up Trevor McCarthy’s services from post 3.
Trainer Mike Maker will send out a pair of contenders in King Cause and Glynn County.
Nice Guy Stables’ King Cause won for the second time in his last four starts with a last-out gate-to-wire victory by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic on April 2 over Turfway Park’s all-weather track.
King Cause, 10th in the Grade 3 W.L. McKnight in January in his last turf appearance, will have Hall of Famer Javier Castellano ride out of post 4.
Three Diamonds Farm’s Glynn County faced top-flight divisional talent last year, running fifth in the Grade 1 United Nations in July at Monmouth Park going 1 3/8 miles and following with black type in consecutive races when third in the Grade 1 Mr. D. in August at Arlington before another third in the Grade 2 Calumet Turf Cup in September at Kentucky Downs.
Glynn County started his 2022 with a fifth in the W.L McKnight and will rematch both his stablemate and Doswell following an eighth-place finish last out against allowance company on April 20 at Keeneland. Junior Alvarado will be in the irons from post 2.
Rounding out the field is Nice Guys Stables’ Starting Over [post 1, Jose Lezcano], who will make his first start on turf since a third-place finish in a Keeneland allowance three starts back last April. The 5-year-old Liam’s Map gelding finished third in the 10-furlong Grade 2 San Marcos last February at Santa Anita for trainer Robert Falcone, Jr.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
Belmont Park Press Release