ELMONT, N.Y. – Recepta’s last start at Belmont Park resulted in her first career graded stakes victory, and the Phillips Racing Partnership and Pam Gartin’s dark bay mare will look to duplicate that feat in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf.
Recepta is coming off a fifth-place showing in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley on April 16 at Keeneland. Since arriving at Belmont, the 5-year-old has clocked a four-furlong breeze time of 52.12 seconds and a five-furlong breeze of 1:03.85 – both on the turf – in preparation for the Beaugay. She has finished first or second in three of her last five races and four of her five career victories have come on New York Racing Association tracks.
“She’s doing great and came back from Kentucky in good order and has had a couple of nice breezes since then, so she’s good to go,” said trainer Jimmy Toner of Recepta, who won the Grade 3 Noble Damsel in September. “She looks great and has settled in really nice.”
John Velazquez is set to ride Recepta, a 5-2 second choice on the morning line from the rail.
“She’s legit; she tries and gives you everything she has,” Toner said. “She gives you an honest effort every time she runs.”
Trainer Chad Brown will saddle the Bill Farish-owned Ball Dancing, who has two graded-stakes victories on her resume: the 2015 Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the 2014 Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park. Ball Dancing is the 2-1 morning-line favorite out of post position 3.
Javier Castellano, who guided Ball Dancing to victory on the turf in the 1 1/16-mile Jenny Wiley, will be in the saddle again.
Tapitry will be making just her second career graded stakes start after posting back-to-back allowance victories at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 4-year-old filly has finished in the money in six of her last seven starts and enters the Beaugay at 10-1 out of post position 4. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said Tapitry has looked good all winter and in her last start on April 9, but now will be facing better competition.
“She has to step it up a little, but she’s training good and looks good,” McGaughey said. “It’s a field with very good fillies on the right days, but I think they’ll know that she [Tapitry] is in there. I have no qualms of her moving up a little bit. It’s time.”
Tapitry, whose only career graded stakes start resulted in a sixth-place finish in the 2015 Sands Point, will have Jose Ortiz in the irons.
My Miss Sophia is set to make her 2016 debut and return to Belmont Park for the first time since winning an allowance race last June for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The 4-year-old chestnut filly placed in her last two graded stakes starts and has a Grade 2 victory on her resume with a win in the 2014 Gazelle at Aqueduct. Jockey Joel Rosario will team with My Miss Sophia, a 3-1 choice, from the outside post position. My Miss Sophia is 3-2-2 in 11 career starts.
Courtlandt Farm’s Strike Charmer, a 6-year-old bay mare for trainer Mark Henning, will leave from post position 6 at 8-1. Strike Charmer will be making her sixth graded-stakes start and is looking for her first stakes victory since the 2014 Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Irad Ortiz, who rode Strike Charmer to her last victory in a claiming race in November at Aqueduct, will be in the irons again.
Sistas Stroll will leave from post position 5 with Jose Lezcano in the saddle. The 4-year-old dark bay filly is 1-0-2 in four career graded-stakes starts for trainer Thomas Proctor.
Rounding out the field are a couple of international horses: the Irish-bred Ticking Katie, who won her United States debut last June in a Belmont claiming race, will leave from post position 2 under Luis Saez, and Miss Atomic Bomb, a British-bred 5-year-old bay mare, will team with jockey Cornelio Velasquez from post position 7.
The Beaugay is one of four graded stakes races highlighting Saturday’s card, which includes the Grade 1, $400,000 Man o’War, the Grade 2, $250,000 Ruffian and the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan.