New York Stallion Stakes featured Sunday at Belmont Park

May 5th, 2012 | By TrackSide View | Category: Race Preview

Ashley Herriman
NYRA/Belmont Park

ELMONT, N.Y. – A pair of New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-olds will be co-featured Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park. The NYSS action kicks off in race 6, the $100,000 Park Avenue Division for fillies, and continues in race 9, the $100,000 Times Square Division. Both NYSS races will be contested at 6½ furlongs over the main track.

The 2-1 morning line favorite in the Park Avenue is Saul and Max Kupferberg’s SunnyDesert, a 15 ¼-length maiden winner in her most recent outing on March 25 at Aqueduct. Claimed by John Parisella for $35,000 in November out of her second start, a runner-up effort at Aqueduct, the daughter of WildDesert turned in a fourth and pair of seconds in her next three starts before going to the sidelines at the end of January.

Sunny Desert’s front-running maiden win – for which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 76 – came at one mile, while all of her previous starts were at six furlongs. On Sunday, she gets the services of BelmontPark’s leading rider, Ramon Dominguez, and leaves from post position 5 in the field of eight fillies.

Second choice among the fillies is Merrylegs Farm’s Caught by You, who broke her maiden by 9 ½ lengths at Aqueduct on March 9, also earning a 76 Beyer Speed Figure. Fourth in a first-level allowance race nine days later, she most recently finished last of 10 under the same conditions after rearing up at the start and trailing throughout on April 15 at Aqueduct.

Rajiv Maragh will ride the Stanislavsky filly, 3-1 on the morning line, from post 6.

Returning from a layoff to make her 3-year-old debut is Chester and Mary Broman’s Bait. A daughter of Hook and Ladder, Bait broke her maiden last July at Belmont and then went to the sidelines until November. She returned to post a third-place finish, beaten just a half-length against colts, in the NYSS Great White Way for juveniles on Nov. 13, and closed out her 2-year-old campaign with a fifth place allowance finish.

Trained by Linda Rice, Bait will be ridden by Corey Nakatani from post 8 on Sunday

Castles Burning, Sweet Moon, Hot Splash, Lenders Way and Sally’s Dream complete the field from the rail out.

In the NYSS Times Square, even-money favorite Sportswriter tops a field of eight colts and geldings off a runner-up finish in the one-mile Patsyprospect overnight stakes on April 6 at Aqueduct.

A Flying Zee Stables homebred who began his career running on turf for trainer Carlos Martin, Sportswriter is now trained by Rudy Rodriguez for Michael Dubb and Michael Imperio. In four dirt starts for Rodriguez ranging from six furlongs to one mile and 70 yards, the gelded son of Mabry’s Boy has compiled a record of 2-1-1, with both victories coming in six-furlong allowance contests.

Cornelio Velasquez has the call aboard Sportswriter from post 7 on Sunday.

Trainer Derek Ryan will saddle I’ll Stake U, the 7-2 second choice in the Times Square, who enters the race off a runner-up allowance finish at Parx Racing. A 6½-length maiden winner at Parx on Feb. 19, the Utopia colt was second in an Aqueduct allowance on March 14 after a wide trip and a tough-luck in a March 23 allowance at Parx. On Sunday, Rosie Napravnik will ride from post 1.

Shane Roars, Think I’m Hooked, Western Tryst, Exciting Missile, Disco On, Maggie’s Hadder and Frisky Warrior complete the field.

The field for the $100,000 NYSS Park Avenue Division: Castles Burning (10-1), R Napravnik; Sweet Moon (20-1), E Castro; Hot Splash (6-1), C H Velasquez; Lenders Way (8-1), J Lezcano; Sunny Desert (2-1), R A Dominguez; Caught by You (3-1), R Maragh; Sally’s Dream (15-1), D Cohen; and Bait (4-1), C S Nakatani.

The field for the $100,000 NYSS Times Square Division: I’ll Stake U (7-2), R Napravnik; Shane Roars (12-1), J Castellano; Think I’m Hooked (20-1), R Maragh; Western Tryst (6-1), J Lezcano; Exciting Missile (30-1), J A Davis; Disco On (8-1), E Castro; Sportswriter (even), C H Velasquez; Maggie’s Hadder (20-1), C C Lopez; and Frisky Warrior (12-1), M J Luzzi.

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