Unbeaten Gamine Steps Up in Class
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Saturday’s Belmont Stakes undercard has five additional stakes races, topped by the $300,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) for three-year-old fillies. The one-mile contest has a storied history with winners such as Ruffian, Open Mind, Sky Beauty, and Monomoy Girl. Last year, Guarana outran Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine Serengeti Empress to win. The 2020 field is just seven strong, but full of class.
Leading the charge on the rail is Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine. The even-money favorite is unbeaten in two starts, breaking her maiden at Santa Anita sprinting March 7, then adding an allowance at Oaklawn Park May 2 around two turns. On that occasion, the three-year-old filly ran faster than older males in stakes company later that day. Bob Baffert trains the $1.8 million daughter of Into Mischief, who will have her third rider in as many starts: John Velazquez.
Lucrezia drew alongside. Another daughter of Into Mischief, Lucrezia was a dual stakes winner at Tampa Bay Downs over the winter, then ran second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) under Julien Leparoux. That rider will be back aboard for trainer Arnaud Delacour. Lucrezia worked a bullet at Fair Hill on June 13, the fastest half-mile of 40 on the day.
Casual is 3-1 for Steve Asmussen and rider Ricardo Santana, Jr. The daughter of multiple Grade 1 winners Curlin and Lady Tak is also unbeaten in two tries, breaking her maiden at Oaklawn and then dashing seven furlongs at Churchill Downs. She is a definite threat to take on Gamine and the rest of the field.
Perfect Alibi drew outside for trainer Mark Casse. The $220,000 purchase by Sky Mesa broke her maiden by nearly 10 lengths first out, then ran second over this track in the Astoria Stakes. She was brilliant at Saratoga last summer, winning the Adirondack (G2) and the Spinaway (G1) before running second in Keeneland’s Grade 1, the Darley Alcibiades. The horse who beat her that day and in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies was eventual division champion British Idiom. Perfect Alibi finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup. This will be her 2020 debut, but she has been working steadily here since March.
The Acorn goes as the eighth race on a 12-race program. Water White, Glass Ceiling, and Pleasant Orb complete the field. Bet on all the stakes action at Belmont Park on TVG.com.
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