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ELMONT, NY – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has shipped multiple stakes winner Mother Mother east for her latest test in Friday’s $80,000 Harmony Lodge Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Harmony Lodge is a 6-furlong dirt sprint for fillies and mares that headlines a 10-race Friday card.
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Baffert rarely ships to lose, especially when traveling to Belmont Park – he has saddled winners in 10 of his 28 mounts in stakes run over Big Sandy. Mother Mother has only missed the board once in 10 career one-turn races and has twice won at the stakes level: the 2020 Kalookian Queen and the 2018 Rags to Riches.
Piedi Bianchi represents perhaps her most formidable opponent as she rides a two-win streak into the race. Now with trainer Carlos Martin, her first stakes victory came against fellow Indiana-breds in a 1 1/16-mile dirt event, but Martin believes that her best efforts will come sprinting.
“For an $80,000 overnight, this is a pretty salty group, but I think she has it in her,” Martin said. “She was Grade 1-placed as a 2-year-old, and in 2018, she had a long campaign with a couple of tough spots like the Alabama (Stakes [G1]). Hopefully, we’ll keep her to one turn and have some success with her.”
Here is a look at the full field for Friday’s Harmony Lodge:
1. Last True Love (30/1) – Never one to go down without a fight, she finally broke through for her first stakes score in the Mahoning Distaff Stakes last November. She fired a 3-furlong sharpener in :34.60 on May 29 in preparation for the toughest task of her 25-race career.
2. Gypsy Janie (20/1) – She rides a 3-race win streak heading into this event that began at the claiming ranks and steadily climbed the ladder, leading her here. She has a distance record of 16-7-0-3 and is making her first start for new trainer Tom Morley.
3. Honey I’m Good (8/1) – She makes her stakes debut after slowly working her way up from the maiden claiming ranks, which began when she won her debut over this course and distance by 13 1/4 lengths. Most recently, she was a clear winner of a 6-furlong Aqueduct dirt sprint against allowance/optional claiming rivals.
4. Royal Charlotte (3/1) – She was a 3-time stakes champion (including 2 at the graded level) last year and began her career winning 4 straight. She is unraced since finishing off the board in last October’s Raven Run Stakes (G2), but she is undefeated in 4 starts at this distance and trainer Chad Brown wins at a 28% clip with horses returning from layoffs of at least 180 days.
5. Piedi Bianchi (10/1) – After missing exactly 365 days, she won her debut for Martin in a 6-furlong allowance/optional claiming event at Aqueduct, then followed that with her first open-company stakes victory over the same course and distance in the Correction. She recently fired back-to-back bullet workouts over the Belmont Park training track and will have the services of Jorge Vargas, Jr., for the third straight time.
6. Nisha (30/1) – With 11 wins in 19 starts (including 5 of 8 at this distance), her record towers over her competition in this event, though 6 of those came when running for a tag. She was most recently sixth, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, in the Correction Stakes behind two rivals who she will face again here.
7. Slimey (15/1) – Her third stakes attempt nearly resulted in a victory last time out when she just missed winning the Correction Stakes by a head. The 4-year-old Quality Road filly will try to give trainer David Cannizzo his first stakes score since the September 2018 Ashley T. Cole Stakes.
8. Chalon (5/2) – The five-time stakes winner makes her 6-year-old debut after she missed the board for the first time in 13 starts in the TCA Stakes (G2). She has worked consistently quick for trainer Arnaud Delacour, who has won 18% at the stakes level since 2019.
9. Mother Mother (2/1) – She makes a relatively quick turnaround while shipping cross-country after clipping heels and crossing the wire fourth in the Desert Stormer Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park on May 17. That was only her second attempt at this distance, following her maiden-breaking debut at Del Mar in 2018.
10. Pacific Gale (20/1) – She will try to right the ship after failing to hit the board in her last four starts, including two in 2020. She has won twice at Belmont Park and twice at this distance, including her last trip to the winner’s circle, an allowance/optional claiming event on October 4, 2018.
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