Belmont Racing Festival Kicks Off Thursday With G3 Wonder Again Stakes

Treadway Racing Stable's Coasted will be seeking her first career graded stakes win as part of a field of six 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again on Thursday, June 8 on opening day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park.

The Wonder Again is the first of 15 graded stakes for the three-day festival, which concludes with the 149th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 10.

Trained by Leah Gyarmati, Coasted breezed three furlongs on the Belmont Park inner turf Saturday, being clocked in 36.11 seconds.

The bay filly will stretch out in distance, running at 1 1/8 miles on the turf after never previously running farther than 1 1/16 miles. Jose Lezcano, who will be in the irons for the Wonder Again, was aboard for the work.

“That's the challenge in the 3-year-old year; some either step up and improve and others stay the same, so you need to see where you are,” Gyarmati said.

Coasted is still looking for her first graded stakes win after impressive runner-up finishes in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride in her 2-year-old campaign. She drew the rail.

“She shipped down to Florida for the winter and then went to Kentucky, so it might have taken a toll on her, so I was waiting to see how she'd come around for this,” Gyarmati said. “But I think she's doing well. It'll depend on the pace, but hopefully we'll be in the mix and in mid-pack or closer to the front. We'll just have to see how it plays out.”

Coasted will face a formidable challenge in New Money Honey; one of three entrants for trainer Chad Brown. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro rallied to win the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf to cap her 2-year-old year before finishing sixth in her 2017 debut in the Grade 3 Appalachian.

New Money Honey, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, has finished on the board in all but one of her four career starts. Javier Castellano, who teamed with Brown to win last month's Preakness, will have the call from the outside post.

Fifty Five, winner of the Grade 3 Florida Oaks on March 11, is 3-0-3 in six career starts and will make her first appearance at Belmont since her third-place debut effort on October 13. Trained by Brown, Fifty Five will return to graded stakes company after finishing third in the Memories of Silver last out on April 23 at Aqueduct. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons from post 4.

Enchanting Kitten, also for Brown, will make her first stakes start after winning her debut and taking second against allowance company in her second start. She will leave from post 3 with Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Trainer Mark Casse has a pair of talented runners looking for graded stakes glory, led by Dream Dancing, whose 88 Beyer Speed Figure in her last start is the highest recorded among the field. Dream Dancing, a gray Tapit filly, rallied from 10th place to finish second in the Grade 3 Edgewood and edged Coasted by a neck to win the Herecomesthebride.

Julien Leparoux will have the mount from post 2.

Casse's Corporate Queen looked strong down the stretch, going from eighth at the top of the stretch to third on the dirt in the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan, run at the Wonder Again distance, the day before the Preakness. Owned by Gary Barber and Bobby Flay, Corporate Queen is 1-1-1 in four career starts but will be making her first career turf start. Teamed with jockey Joel Rosario, the pair will break from post 5.

Bonita Bianca, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, is entered for the main track only.

The post Belmont Racing Festival Kicks Off Thursday With G3 Wonder Again Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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