February 24, 2024

Randomized tackles elders in Beldame; Futurity, Matron showcase juvenile turf sprinters

Randomized wins the Alabama (Photo by Adam Coglianese / Credit Chelsea Durand)

Dominant Alabama (G1) winner Randomized bids to enhance her resume against older foes in Sunday’s $250,000 Beldame (G2). The Chad Brown sophomore could make a bid for divisional honors if passing this test and following up in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

Obviously that’s a hypothetical case at this point, but it does reveal that the 1 1/8-mile prize at Aqueduct may have added piquancy, despite the short field of four.

Randomized, who aired in a March 31 maiden in her only prior appearance over the track, enters in razor-sharp form. Rebounding from her uncharacteristically dull sixth in the Acorn (G1), the daughter of Nyquist wired the restricted Wilton S. at Saratoga, and made it a double in the Alabama. She looms as the controlling speed with a returning Joel Rosario.

Godolphin’s Nostalgic is battled-tested at this course and distance for Bill Mott. Her signature win came in the 2022 Gazelle (G3), and she was also fourth in the 2021 Demoiselle (G2) and a near-miss runner-up in last November’s Turnback the Alarm (G3). Like Randomized, Nostalgic returned to form at the Spa, where she landed an Aug. 19 allowance.

A Mo Reay looked poised to make an impact in the distaff division early in the season, with back-to-back graded wins in the Bayakoa (G3) at Oaklawn Park and a career high in the Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. But the Brad Cox mare has lost three straight, most recently finishing sixth in the Locust Grove (G3) at Churchill Downs. Rounding out the quartet is the other three-year-old, Riding Pretty. A distant third in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) two back, exits a nine-length allowance romp versus New Jersey-breds at her home base.

The $150,000 Futurity (G3) serves as a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). Unbeaten Smoke Glacken S. winner Book’em Danno, 2-for-2 on the Monmouth main track, is bred to excel on the surface switch as a son of classy turf sprinter Bucchero. The Derek Ryan gelding will meet Apollo Ten, who broke his maiden over this course and six-furlong trip for Christophe Clement; the Rick Dutrow-trained Where’s Chris, a stylish debut winner on the dirt who should prosper on turf; the respective third and fourth from the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Sprint, Please Advise and Jimmythetooth; and Mott’s well-bred maiden filly Lamorna.

The $150,000 Matron (G3), the companion dash for juvenile fillies, has lured Star of Mystery from the Newmarket yard of Charlie Appleby. A Kodiac half-sister to two other Godolphin homebreds who earned North American Grade 1 laurels, Althiqa and Mysterious Night, Star of Mystery tries to rebound from a sixth in the Lowther (G2). Her previous summer form was much sharper, including romps at Haydock and Newmarket’s Empress Fillies’ S. and a runner-up effort in the Duchess of Cambridge (G2).

Rain’s in the forecast for the next couple of days, and trainer George Weaver is monitoring conditions for Amidst Waves. The Bolton Landing S. and Colleen S. heroine has Sunday’s Indian Summer S. at Keeneland as an alternative, albeit versus males.

“We entered at Keeneland, so we’ll make a decision tomorrow (Friday),” Weaver said. “She’s put together a nice resume so far and both the Matron and the race at Keeneland are logical spots for her. The Matron was our first choice, but Mother Nature might intervene.”

Cox’s course-and-distance maiden winner, Ever So Sweet, is among the recent graduates taking the class hike. Jody’s Pride crushed an off-the-turf maiden at the Spa by 10 lengths, and the American Pharoah filly should transfer her form to the grass. Love to Eat from Kentucky Downs, and Independenceavenue from Colonial Downs, likewise fit the category. Marco T., placed in both starts for Clement, could appreciate having a bit more real estate to close. Sugar Hi, a sharp debut winner on the Saratoga main track, thinks that the grass might be greener after a sixth in the Spinaway (G1).

Hopefully the third time’s the charm for the $150,000 Noble Damsel (G3), a one-mile affair for turf distaffers that’s been postponed twice due to adverse weather. Brown is triple-handed with multiple Grade veteran Fluffy Socks, the unexposed Salimah, and turf experimenter Gerrymander. Malavath has yet to put her best foot forward this term, but the Clement filly has the back class to get involved. Graham Motion’s Sparkle Blue was runner-up in the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs in her latest, and Irish import Panama Red returns from a layoff for new trainer Michael Stidham. Three main-track-only entrants are rooting for the rain – Balpool, Movie Moxy, and Sunset Louise.