Alex Campbell Jr.’s Mean Mary will try to defend her title in the $750,000 New York Stakes (G2T) June 4 at Belmont Park, where she’ll face a strong field of 11 other fillies and mares in the 1 1/4 race on the inner turf.
In last year’s New York, Mean Mary commanded the race throughout en route to a 5 1/4-length victory, topping a four-race win streak. The Scat Daddy mare opened her 5-year-old season May 15 at Pimlico Race Course, leading the way to win the Gallorette Stakes (G3T).
“I nominated her to both the New York and the Manhattan (G1T),” trainer Graham Motion said. “It’s coming back a little quick, but I felt she had an easy go of it last week and we can use that as more of a prep to get us to this race. Her win was impressive, although we sort of had it handed to us. For me, it was perfect for her to have an easy go of it in her first race back. It worked out really well.”
Mean Mary will have to tackle grade 1 winners Magic Attitude , Harvey’s Lil Goil , and Civil Union . She missed her own grade 1 victory by only a neck when second in last summer’s Diana Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course.
Lael Stables’ Magic Attitude also comes into the New York off a win. The 4-year-old Galileo filly rallied from last of six in the May 1 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (G2T) at Belmont to win by three lengths. She won at the New York distance last year when trainer Arnaud Delcaour sent her out to win the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1T) in her first stateside start after racing in France.
Harvey’s Lil Goil, campaigned by the Estate of Harvey A. Clarke and Paul Braverman, opened her 4-year-old season with success. The American Pharoah daughter trained by Bill Mott sat just off the pace and dug in for a half-length victory in the May 8 Beaugay Stakes (G3T) at Belmont. Her lone start at 10 furlongs came on dirt last season when she finished third in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Her best victory came in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Dixiana (G1T) run at 1 1/8 miles on the Keeneland turf last fall.
Allen Stable’s Civil Union had her own four-race win streak last season, topped by a gutsy, late-running head victory in the Oct. 10 Flower Bowl Stakes (G1T) going 1 1/4 miles at Belmont. Shug McGaughey trains the 6-year-old War Front mare, who will have to rebound from a fifth-place finish in the Beaugay.
The field also features grade 1-placed graded stakes winners Micheline , My Sister Nat , and Antionette. Virginia Joy , Thundering Nights , Traipsing , Mutamakina , and Always Shopping , who is cross-entered in the one-mile Longines Just a Game Stakes (G1T) June 5 at Belmont, round out the field.
Baron Samedi Invades for Belmont Gold Cup
Males will stretch out to two miles on the Widener turf course in the $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Stakes (G2T). LECH Racing’s Baron Samedi invades from Ireland in an attempt to add a U.S. win to his résumé. The 4-year-old Harbour Watch gelding has won six straight races, most recently the 1 3/4-mile Vintage Crop Stakes (G3) at Navan.
“He’s been a nice, progressive horse into this season,” trainer Joseph O’Brien said. “He’s a horse that will stay well. Tactically and ground wise, he’s shown that he is quite versatile. He was a relatively cheap purchase of a foal. They bought him for very little money. As he has matured physically, he’s really matured. With more distance, he’s gotten better.”
Joseph O’Brien will saddle Baron Samedi in the Belmont Gold Cup
Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Conviction Trade is the lone horse in the field to have raced at the two-mile distance when second beaten less than a length after showing the way in the Dec. 26 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Mike Maker trains the 5-year-old son of Exchange Rate and also entered for the owners Ajourneytofreedom , who was fourth last out in the May 15 Louisville Stakes (G3T) at Churchill Downs. The trainer’s third entry in the race is Three Diamonds Farm’s Tide of the Sea , runner-up in the Feb. 27 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream two starts back.
Knight R.B. Stables’ So High and Wertheimer and Frere’s Ziyad return from the May 8 Man o’ War Stakes (G1T) at 1 3/8 miles on the Belmont turf. So High finished fifth beaten two lengths, while Ziyad finished sixth another length back.
Belmont Park, Friday, June 04, 2021, Race 9
- Grade II
- 1 1/4m
- Inner turf
- 4 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
- 5:15 PM (local)
Belmont Park, Friday, June 04, 2021, Race 10
- Grade IIT
- 4 yo’s & up
- 5:48 PM (local)