By Brian Bohl
Graded stakes-winner Mitchell Road will get her first career test at Belmont Park when she competes as part of a full 13-horse field in Saturday’s $80,000 Floral Park for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up contesting six furlongs on the Widener turf course. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Mitchell Road enters off a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Ladies on September 12, earning a personal-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure after finishing a neck behind Regal Glory on September 12.
Owned by Mrs. J.V. Shields, Jr. and E. J. M. McFadden, Mitchell Road won the 2019 Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico Race Course as a 4-year-old and also has compiled a stakes win in the current campaign in the Ellis Park Turf on July 5 going 1 1/16 miles.
Jockey Junior Alvarado will pick up the mount from post 6.
Athlone Racing’s Rose Flower will look for class relief after running sixth in the Grade 3 Intercontinental on June 6 over a yielding Belmont turf. Trainer Christophe Clement said he’s been looking forward to getting the German-bred daughter of Dabirsim back on the track.
“Everything is good and she’s training forwardly,” Clement said. “I’ve been waiting to race her for quite a while. There’s been no problems going forward.”
Rose Flower has gone 1-0-2 in four starts since arriving from Europe last year, showing a propensity to sit near the rear of the field before employing a late kick, which resulted in her first North American win in October 2019 at Belmont.
“She’s fine on soft turf but she can run on anything, firm or soft,” Clement said. “She’s mostly a come-from-behind-type filly, but the main thing is that she hasn’t run for a while, so we want to get her going.”
Joel Rosario has the call from post 9.
Owned by VinLaur Racing Stables, Dark Horse Racing Stables and Taste of Victory Stables, I’llhandalthecash won her first career stakes in her last appearance on the Belmont grass, digging in after a three-wide move in the upper stretch before outkicking Dalika by a half-length to capture the License Fee, held at the Floral Park distance, on July 3. Trainer Ray Handal, for who the horse is named after, ran the 4-year-old Point of Entry filly back in the 5 ½-furlong Caress on August 1 at Saratoga, where she ran sixth. Following a 12th-place effort last out in her graded stakes debut over a soft turf course at Kentucky Downs in the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs on September 12, Handal said he is excited to return to a venue where she has already achieved success, earning a career-best 90 Beyer in her last win.
“She’s doing good; she didn’t do a whole lot of running last time,” Handal said. “I think we got shuffled back a bit early and we weren’t in the spot we wanted to be in and couldn’t do much about it. She got stuck on the inside and the track that day wasn’t good anywhere, but it was at its absolute worst at the rail. It was like a bog. So I just treaded lightly and I penciled this spot in and she came out of it really well and she’s given me all the signs that she’s ready to get back at it.”
Jockey Dylan Davis will pick up the mount for the first time, drawing post 3.
With the forecast calling for a chance of rain Saturday, Handal also entered Overheated for the main track only. The 5-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor, out of the multiple graded-stakes winning Malibu Moon mare Hot Summer, ran second on August 6 at Saratoga and mostly recently was fourth in a starter allowance on September 27 at Belmont.
“She always shows up and runs her race and it’s all dependent on where she lands,” Handal said. “She’s worth a lot of money as a broodmare, so we’re picking our spots and placing her properly. She’s always been in a little above her head because we don’t want to put her in for a tag. But she’s improved since she’s been here and she doesn’t mind a sloppy track.”
Barry Ostrager’s Sunny Dale has run second in back-to-back races, starting with the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial in September at Parx before another runner-up effort against allowance company on the same track on September 30. Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Sunny Dale has finished second or third in her last five starts.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be in the irons from post 11.
VinLaur Racing Stables’ Xanthique has one win and two second-place efforts in four starts of her 4-year-old year. The Tom Morley trainee bested allowance company in her previous Belmont start, winning at one mile on the turf on June 28.
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano drew the assignment and will break from post 5.
Getmotherarose, winner of the Grade 3 Honey Fox in February at Gulfstream Park, will make her eighth consecutive stakes start and is looking to atone for an eight-place finish in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel going one mile on the Belmont grass on September 26.
Conditioned by Tom Bush, Getmotherarose has registered three of her five career wins at Belmont. Eric Cancel will ride from post 4.
Rounding out the field is Bohemian Bourbon, third in the Grade 2 Royal North on July 18 at Woodbine, for trainer Ian Wilkes [post 1, Jose Lezcano]; Saratoga Treasure, who ran third in both the Hessonite and Smart N Fancy in two of her last three starts [post 10, Jose Ortiz]; for conditioner David Donk; Lead Guitar, winner of two straight optional claimers, including on September 20 at Belmont, for George Weaver [post 8, Luis Saez]; My Sassy Sarah, an allowance winner on July 19 over Saratoga’s turf before running seventh in the Grade 3 Lake George last out on August 28, for Jorge Abreu [post 2, Hall of Famer John Velazquez]; and Elle’s Town, an allowance winner in her previous start for trainer Karl Broberg [post 7, Kendrick Carmouche].
The David Cannizzo-trained Slimey is also entered for the main track only.
Saturday’s 10-race card will feature a 12:20 p.m. Eastern first post. 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.