Grade 1 Apple Blossom winner and millionairess Forever Unbridled heads a field of seven talented fillies and mares, including four other graded stakes winners, who were entered for the 76th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Beldame will be contested as race 10 on the first of two “super” Saturdays at Belmont, which also features the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the Grade 1 Vosburgh, the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap and the Grade 3 Pilgrim. First race post time is 12:30 p.m.
The 4-year-old Forever Unbridled has been a model of consistency for trainer Dallas Stewart and her breeder and owner, Charles E. Fipke, finishing first, second or third in all but two of her 12 career starts. Most recently, she finished third, beaten less than a length, behind Cavorting and Curalina in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course; immediately prior to that, she was second to Cavorting in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 11, Belmont Stakes Day.
She arrived at Belmont from Kentucky on Monday for what Stewart hopes will be a substantive prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park in November.
“She's been doing great since Saratoga,” said Stewart. “The biggest concern is the weather, so we have to think that out. The thinking in running her here is that it would set her up great for the Breeders' Cup.”
Stewart has named Joel Rosario to ride Forever Unbridled, who drew post position 2.
Two other Grade 1 winners, both 3 year olds, are among those lining up to challenge Forever Unbridled: Paola Queen, stretching out after her 55-1 triumph in the Test at the Spa, and Off the Tracks, who followed her win in the Mother Goose with a third-place finish behind Paola Queen in the seven-furlong Test.
“She did well in the Test, set some very fast fractions before tiring late, which was understandable,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Off the Tracks, who carries the colors of Newtownanner Stud Farm. “We [next] made a decision to go shorter in the [six-furlong] Prioress and she was fourth; it was probably a little too short for her. Considering she ran well in the Acorn and won the Mother Goose, we felt like this was the logical next step.”
Paola Queen drew post 6 with Luis Saez named to ride, while Off the Tracks drew post 7 with Hall of Famer John Velazquez aboard.
The third sophomore in the field is the lightly raced Going for Broke for trainer Chad Brown and Waterford Stable. The homebred daughter of Blame most recently finished second, seven lengths behind Songbird, in the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga in her stakes debut. With a 3-2-0 record in five starts, she will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 5.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will be represented by Godolphin Stable's well-traveled Penwith, who will be making her first start at Belmont since breaking her maiden on October 27, 2013. In the interim, the 5-year-old Bernardini mare has amassed a 4-2-3 mark from 15 subsequent starts, including a three-length victory in the Grade 2 Royal Delta in February at Gulfstream Park and most recently a second-place finish in the Lady Jacqueline on August 27 at Thistledown.
“She's doing well,” reported McLaughlin. “I understand it might be wet, which is no big deal for us. We're excited about running her.”
Javier Castellano will be in the irons for Penwith when she leaves from post 4.
Rounding out the field are Rachel's Temper and Tiger Ride, the first and second-place finishers in the Summer Colony on August 22 at Saratoga.
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