ELMONT, N.Y. – Frank Fletcher Racing Operation’s sophomore filly Frank’s Rockette will face elders after winning three straight races in Saturday’s 26th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom for fillies and mares going 6 ½ furlongs over the main track at Belmont Park.
The Gallant Bloom, named in honor of the 1968 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and 1969 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly, is one of five graded stakes races carded for Saturday’s action packed program which also features the Grade 2, $150,000 Kelso going a one-turn mile for older horses; the Grade 2, $150,000 Pilgrim for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf; the Grade 1, $250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds going 1 ¼ miles over the Widener turf and the Grade 1, $250,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic – a 1 ½ mile test for older horses over the Widener turf.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Frank’s Rockette has gone off as the favorite in all nine of her lifetime starts and has never finished worse than second. She is 3-2-0 this year with each start at a different track.
Following a seven-length runaway win in the February 22 Any Limit at Gulfstream Park, the Into Mischief bay filly was second to Kimari in the Purple Martin on April 4 over a sloppy main track at Oaklawn Park. Frank’s Rockette won her following three starts which took place in a Churchill Downs optional claiming tilt on May 25 followed by graded stakes triumphs in the Grade 3 Victory Ride on July 4 at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Prioress on September 5 at Saratoga.
During her juvenile campaign, Frank’s Rockette picked up Grade 1-black type with runner up efforts in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga and Grade 1 Frizette over Big Sandy.
Frank’s Rockette has trained forwardly for Mott since her last victory, recently working a half-mile in 48.80 seconds over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track on September 25.
“She’s been doing really well,” said Mott who won the 2000 Gallant Bloom with Dream Supreme. “She had a couple of nice works; very workmanlike breezes. They’ve all been on point.”
Jockey Junior Alvarado will pilot Frank’s Rockette from post 4.
Trainer Chad Brown will send out Royal Charlotte in attempt of her first victory this year. Owned by First Row Partners and Parkland Thoroughbreds, the 4-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince kicked off her career undefeated in her first four starts, including the Grade 3 Victory Ride last July at Belmont Park.
After a distant sixth in the 2019 Grade 1 Test at Saratoga, she made amends with a win in the 2019 Grade 2 Prioress at the Spa, which was her last victory. A last out second as the favorite in Monmouth Park’s Regret on September 13, Royal Charlotte began her season when second in the Harmony Lodge at Belmont Park on June 5, which was contested over a muddy and sealed main track.
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will ride from post 2.
Following a victory over Royal Charlotte in the Regret, 2W Stables’ Bronx Beauty will attempt to best the dual graded stakes winner once more for trainer Anthony Margotta, Jr.
The Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Liaison was a 4 ¼-length winner of the six-furlong Regret, which she also won last year. A ten-time winner of 22 lifetime starts, Bronx Bomber is an eight-time stakes winner over four different tracks.
Jockey Eric Cancel picks up the mount from post 1.
Trainer John Kimmel will saddle Tobey L. Morton’s Pacific Gale in attempt of her first graded stakes victory.
The Flat Out bay has not found the winner’s circle since October 2018, where she defeated allowance optional claiming company going six furlongs at Belmont Park, but has acquired graded stakes black type five times since that effort.
Last spring, Pacific Gale was runner-up in the Grade 3 Distaff in April 2019 at Aqueduct behind Come Dancing and was subsequently a late-closing second beaten a neck to Heavenhasmynikki in the Grade 3 Vagrancy at Belmont Park. Three starts back, she was third beaten six lengths in this year’s running of the Vagrancy, which was won by Victim of Love.
Jockey Jose Lezcano will ride Pacific Gale from post 6.
Completing the field are Bertranda [post 3, Manny Franco] and Honor Way [post 5, Jose Ortiz]
The Gallant Bloom is slated as Race 5 on Saturday’s 10-race program, which offers a first post of 12:40 p.m. Eastern. America’s Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the 27-day fall meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete America’s Day at the Races broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
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Photo: Frank’s Rockette wins the Prioress. Credit: NYRA/Coglianese