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Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s multiple New York-bred stakes winner Acoustic Ave will look to topple open company for the first time in Sunday’s $125,000 Carle Place, a six-furlong outer turf test for sophomores, at Belmont at the Big A.
The Carle Place is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.
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Trained by Christophe Clement, the Maclean’s Music chestnut made his turf debut last out with a rallying runner-up effort in an open-company allowance sprint traveling 5 1/2-furlongs over yielding turf at Saratoga Race Course. The frontrunning winner of that event, Souper Quest, returned to finish third against older horses in the Da Hoss at Colonial Downs and recently captured a Keeneland allowance sprint.
Clement said he was pleased with the effort from the usually prominent Acoustic Ave.
“He ran well coming from off the pace. The ground was soft, but he ran a good race,” Clement said.
The $200,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds-In-Training purchase made his first six starts in state-bred company, graduating on debut last July at Saratoga and adding narrow wins in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes and the Notebook at the Big A.
Acoustic Ave made his seasonal debut in June with a runner-up effort in the Ontario County at Finger Lakes before finishing a distant fourth over sloppy and sealed going in the off-the-turf Quick Call presented by Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in July at the Spa.
Bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Acoustic Ave is out of the Street Boss mare Rock Ave. Road, who is a half-sister to New York-bred stakes winner Can You Diggit.
Dylan Davis has the call from the inside post.
R. L. Johnson’s Souzak [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche] returns from an eight-month layoff for trainer Graham Motion.
The French-bred Kodiac bay was purchased from the Arqana Saint-Cloud mixed sale following a trio of wins for his former conditioner Jerome Reynier, including sprint scores at Deauville and Lyon-Parilly and a one-mile event over soft going at Longchamp when stretched out for the first time on the eve of the sale last October.
Souzak has made a pair of stateside starts at Gulfstream Park, finishing fifth in both the one-mile Dania Beach in January and the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy in February.
Motion said six furlongs should suit Souzak, who has trained extensively over the all-weather surface at Fair Hill for his long awaited return.
“He had some bone bruising and we felt he needed some time,” said Motion, regarding the layoff. “I think this is the right place for him to start. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up keeping him at these shorter distances.
“I’m pleased with how he’s come around lately. We gelded him last year and that’s changed his makeup a little bit, but physically I’m very happy with him,” Motion added. “I’m surprised how fit he looks because he hasn’t done as much as I would normally do with a horse coming back to the races.”
Motion said Souzak, who was also a close second in a pair of sprints over soft turf in France last year, won’t be bothered by the wet weather forecasted this weekend.
“It would not offend me to have soft grass for him,” Motion said. “We’re pushing it a little bit from a fitness point of view. We’ve had to get him ready quite quickly because we’re running out of turf options here before we go to Florida.”
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John and Susan Moore’s Kentucky homebred Sir Lancelot [post 10, Jose Ortiz] returns to turf following a distant off-the-board effort in the Grade 2 Gallant Bob on September 23 at Parx.
Trained by Michael Stidham, the Goldencents bay boasts victories over all three surfaces, taking his debut last September over the Delaware Park dirt and following with a seven-length romp one month later in the Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile over the Presque Isle Downs synthetic. He added a turf score to his ledger in August with a frontrunning romp traveling 5 1/2-furlongs over firm going at Colonial Downs.
Sir Lancelot is out of the stakes-winning Polish Numbers mare Madame X Ski, who is a full-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning turf mare Tenski.
Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Skychai Racing and Angelo Carlesimo’s graded stakes-placed Gaslight Dancer [post 2, Manny Franco] cuts back in distance after a pair of off-the-board efforts in one-mile turf stakes.
Trained by Mike Maker, the City of Light bay was a close second in the six-furlong Grade 3 Futurity here last October when a neck back of Nagirroc. He completed his campaign with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland, but returned victorious in April at Keeneland with a 1 1/2-length score in the 5 1/2-furlong Palisades.
Gaslight Dancer was a close third in the William Walker at Churchill Downs in May and closed belatedly when sixth in the Mahony at Saratoga before his recent stretch out efforts.
A robust field includes:
Super Chow, Tappin Josie and Ninetyprcentmaddie are entered for the main-track only.
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