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Mike previews the 2022 Floral Park Stakes at Belmont at the Big A, then gives his top picks and longshots. Lady Edith is the morning line favorite as she attempts to get back on track and find victory following 3 straight defeats since joining trainer Christophe Clement. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle defending race champ Too Sexy and graded stakes-placed Lady Edith in Sunday’s $150,000 Floral Park, a six-furlong outer turf test for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward, at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.
The Elkstone Group’s Too Sexy won 4-of-8 starts last year, graduating last March at Gulfstream Park before defeating winners at Saratoga Race Course and again at Belmont Park.
The 5-year-old Quality Road bay made her stakes debut in last year’s Floral Park at Belmont, closing from seventh to post a 3 1/4-length score. She followed with a game runner-up effort in the six-furlong Autman Days at the Big A, missing by three-quarters of a length to multiple graded-stakes winner Change of Control.
Too Sexy, bred in Kentucky by Burleson Farm and McKenzie Bloodstock, has landed off-the-board in both starts this year, finishing fifth in the six-furlong License Fee in May at Belmont and seventh in the Smart N Fancy traveling 5 1/2-furlongs last out on August 20 at the Spa.
Clement said the added distance and cooler weather will benefit Too Sexy.
“Five-and-a-half is a bit too short for her. She’s done better at six, so this race is perfect,” Clement said. “She won it last year. It’s the fall and she seems to enjoy the fall.”
Out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Cake Baby, Too Sexy is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Slipstream, who is also conditioned by Clement.
Abbondanza Racing and Omar Aldabbagh’s graded stakes-placed Lady Edith, a four-time winner from 15 starts, was purchased for $370,000 in February at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Mixed Sale.
The 4-year-old Street Boss chestnut, out of the stakes-winning Yankee Gentleman mare Lady Grantham, made her first 12 starts for trainer Thomas Drury, Jr., posting stakes scores in last year’s five-furlong Mamzelle over the Churchill Downs turf and the 6 1/2-furlong Wishing Well in January over the synthetic at Turfway Park.
Lady Edith has made three starts since being purchased and transferred to Clement, finishing fourth in the six-furlong Grade 3 Intercontinental in June at Belmont ahead of two Spa turf starts at 5 1/2-furlongs, rallying for third in the Grade 3 Caress in July and a close fifth last out in the Smart N Fancy on
Dylan Davis will pilot Too Sexy from post 3, while Joel Rosario will guide Lady Edith from post 2.
Sanford J. Goldfarb, Irwin Goldfarb and Nice Guys Stables’ graded stakes-placed Kept Waiting [post 6, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] enters from a three-quarter length score in a six-furlong outer turf sprint on September 29 at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.
Trained by Robert Falcone, Jr., the 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of Broken Vow enjoyed a solid run of form at the Big A this winter, taking a six-furlong state-bred outer turf allowance by five lengths in December. She followed in February with a state-bred score in the Broadway over a sloppy and sealed main track, ahead of a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap in April contested on a fast main track.
“She’s ready,” said Falcone, Jr., who noted the mare is also under consideration for the Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel on October 22 at one-mile on the Big A turf. “She’s been doing really well. She came out of her last race in real good shape.”
The versatile Kept Waiting, bred by John Lauriello, has posted 4-of-6 wins on turf while banking $382,350 through a career ledger of 16-6-4-2.
Trainer Michael Trombetta will saddle a pair of talented stakes winners for owner R. Larry Johnson in Maryland homebred Spun Glass [post 7, Feargal Lynch] and Kentucky-bred Can’t Buy Love [post 5, Flavien Prat].
Spun Glass, a 5-year-old Hard Spun mare, boasts a record of 18-6-0-3 for purse earnings of $261,099. The chestnut will look to complete a hat trick of turf stakes sprint scores, having taken the restricted Jameela in July at Laurel Park and the Camptown last out on September 7 at Colonial Downs.
Can’t Buy Love, a veteran of 21 career starts for a ledger of 4-2-3 and purse earnings of $205,912, captured last year’s Star Shoot sprinting six furlongs over Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack in her lone non-turf win.
She launched her current campaign with a prominent score in a six-furlong optional-claiming sprint over firm Big A turf. By Twirling Candy, Can’t Buy Love is out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Pay the Kitten, who is a full-sister to 2015 Champion Grass Horse Big Blue Kitten.
Anthony Scott DeMario’s Queen Sheba [post 4, Luis Rodriguez Castro] will make her stakes debut for trainer Charles DeMario.
The Maryland-bred daughter of Seville boasts a record of 4-2-0-2 in 5 1/2-furlong turf sprints with her lone off-the-board effort coming in a 1 1/16-mile off-the-turf allowance route in September at Pimlico.
Queen Sheba graduated at third asking in August at Colonial and enters from a rallying head score in a restricted allowance on September 30 at Laurel.
Rounding out the field is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ multiple stakes-placed Igloo [post 1, Manny Franco], who returns off a nearly four-month layoff for trainer Jonathan Thomas.
The 4-year-old Mshawish bay graduated gate-to-wire at first asking in December 2020 sprinting six furlong over the Turfway Park synthetic and followed up two months later with a pacesetting third in the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy at the same track ahead of a 10-month layoff.
Igloo returned to winning form in March sprinting five furlongs over the Gulfstream Park turf before a frontrunning third in the six-furlong License Fee in May on the Belmont turf. She enters from a close fourth in a five-furlong optional-claiming turf sprint on June 22 at Delaware Park.
Multiple graded stakes-winner Frank’s Rockette, Short Summer Dress and Piece of my Heart are entered for the main-track only.
The Floral Park is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.
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