October 16, 2021

Firenze Fire, Flagstaff clash in True North

Firenze Fire
Firenze Fire wins the Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont (Coglianese Photos)

True North S. (G2) — Race 7 (4:07 p.m. ET)

Firenze Fire will break from the rail in his title defense of Friday’s $300,000 True North S. (G2), a 6 1/2-furlong dash that counts as one of six victories the Grade 1-winning six-year-old has made to the winner’s circle in nine outings over the Belmont Park strip. The Kelly Breen charge prepped for this with a 3 1/4-length score in the May 8 Runhappy Stakes (G3).

Flagstaff shortens up slightly off back-to-back wins in the Commonwealth S. (G3) and Churchill Downs (G1), both over seven furlongs. The seven-year-old finished third behind C Z Rocket and champion Whitmore in the Hot Springs S. at Oaklawn over six panels three back.

“He almost has no bad races on his form,” said trainer John Sadler, noting the gelding’s 19-7-6-3 career record. “He’s just a nice honest horse and has run with top class horses all the time.”

Also lining up are graded veterans Phat Man and American Power; Westchester (G3) runner-up Wicked Trick; and Looking at Bikinis, who’s won all three of his Belmont appearances.

Bed o’ Roses S. (G3) — Race 8 (4:40 p.m. ET)

Chub Wagon, who maintained her perfect record in taking the Skipat S. at Pimlico last month, takes on graded company for the first time in the $300,000 Bed o’ Roses S. (G3) over seven furlongs. Undefeated in six starts, Chub Wagon is based at Parx, where she blazed a half-mile in 44 seconds and change in a May 28 workout.

Victim of Love, who successfully defended her title in the May 8 Vagrancy H. (G3) is a logical threat to repeat, while Estilo Talentoso has settled for minor awards in the Barbara Fritchie (G3), Madison (G1), and Derby City Distaff (G1) in her last three outings. Also lining up are Grade 2 veterans Lake Avenue and Pacific Gale.

Tremont S. — Race 3 (1:54 p.m. ET)

Little Drama, a comfortable five-length winner on debut May 16, looms as a short-priced favorite in the $150,000 Tremont S. for two-year-olds over 5 1/2 furlongs. A Steve Asmussen-trained Oklahoma-bred son of Dramedy, Little Drama will break outside all five of his rivals, including Gulfstream graduate Trust Our Journey, a son of American Pharoah.