ELMONT, NY – Peter Brant’s streaking Fifty Five will try defending her title as she makes her 2020 debut in Thursday’s $100,000 Mount Vernon Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Mount Vernon is a 1-mile outer turf race open to New York-bred fillies and mares ages 4 and up. It serves as the penultimate event on a nine-race card and has a local post time of 5:04 PM Eastern.
Here is a look at the full field for Thursday’s Mount Vernon:
1. Fifty Five (4/5) – The Chad Brown-trained morning line favorite and defending title-holder has won half of her 22 lifetime starts, including 4 of her 6 appearances last season. The 6-year-old Get Stormy mare missed winning the 2018 edition by a neck and has a record of 10-7-1-2 when facing fellow Big Apple natives.
2. Fetching (15/1) – She takes her first stab against stakes company after wnning her 2020 debut in a 7-furlong sprint over this course on June 19. She earned an 84 Beyer speed figure, by far her career best, but she will need to show that same level of improvement if she hopes to unseat the champ.
3. War Canoe (3/1) – Brown tagged her for $62.5k out of her optional claiming win last November, then went to the bench for over seven months. She finally makes her first start while representing the same barn as the favorite, who defeated her in War Canoe’s 2 prior starts before her latest victory.
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4. Munchkin Money (6/1) – She drops back down to the state-bred ranks after finishing on the board in two of three starts against open stakes foes. She came within a 1/2-length of winning the Marshua’s River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park and was 1 length behind Fifty Five in last year’s edition.
5. Classic Lady (6/1) – Her first start of the year coincides with her debut at the stakes level and with new trainer Christophe Clement. She performed very well against state-bred allowance rivals last year, winning twice and never finishing worse than second in 6 starts.
6. Kreesie (12/1) – She makes her second start of the year after finishing off the board against optional claiming open-company foes here on June 4, her first start in over six months. She projects to show improvement in her second start after the layoff and was 1 1/4 lengths behind Fifty Five in this event last year.
7. Niko’s Dream (20/1) – She drops back down to face New York-breds after defeating open-company optional claimers at Gulfstream Park on May 17. She finished in both stakes attempts last year and has strong connections on her side: trainer Barclay Tagg and owner Sackatoga Stable also campaign the recent Belmont Stakes (G1) champion Tiz the Law.