Feel Glorious will cut back in distance while making her graded stakes debut, headlining an eight-horse field of 3-year-old fillies in the seven-furlong Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly on Saturday, Preakness Day, on the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
The English-bred Feel Glorious will be returning to sprinting after starting her North American career 2-for-2 in routes since coming into trainer Christophe Clement's care, winning against optional claimers at one mile on March 9 at Gulfstream Park and handling the step up to stakes company with a win by a head over Blowout in the 1 1/16-mile Memories of Silver on April 19.
“I liked her efforts very much,” Clement said. “She's training well. I liked the two starts. She's training at Belmont Park and I wanted to see how she does in New York in a graded stakes.”
Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Tango Uniform Racing, the daughter of Bated Breath's first five career starts were at tracks in England and Germany going seven furlongs or shorter, including a second-place effort in the Grosser Preis Soldier Hollow Youngster Cup at the Soaring Softly distance in October in Hannover before shipping to North America.
Feel Glorious had been training at Payson Park in Indiantown, Fla., before shipping to New York, where she earned an 82 Beyer in the Memories of Silver. Now stabled at Belmont, she breezed five furlongs in 1:02.66 over the main track on May 8. Jockey Eric Cancel, who rode her to the stakes win last month, will have the return call from post 2.
“Seven-eighths shouldn't be a problem. She has very high cruising speed,” Clement said. “The distance should be fine. Wherever the jockey is comfortable will be fine. She has plenty of pace, she doesn't need to be last. She can be wherever they put her.”
Augustin Stable's Entirely will be coming off a seven-month layoff following a third-place finish in the six-furlong Grade 3 Matron in October on the Belmont turf. The Point of Entry filly will make her 3-year-old bow after a juvenile campaign in which she went 2-0-1 in four starts, including her debut win on June 1 at Gulfstream Park and a stakes win in the Sharp Susan in September at Gulfstream for trainer Jonathan Thomas.
Jockey Dylan Davis will pick up the mount, breaking from post 7.
Marcus Stables' Stillwater Cove returned off a five-month freshening following a 10th-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint by running second in the 5 ½-furlong Limestone Turf Sprint on April 12 at Keeneland, notching a personal-best 82 Beyer after finishing 1 ¼ lengths behind Ginger Nut.
The Wesley Ward trainee will be making just her second start at longer than 5 ½ furlongs and first since running fifth in the Grade 1 Natalma in September at Woodbine. The Quality Road filly, purchased for $150,000, drew post 3 with Joe Bravo in the irons.
Seek and Destroy ended her 2-year-old year with two consecutive wins, including a 3 ½-length win in the Chelsey Flower moved off the turf in October. Owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, Seek and Destroy, trained by Chad Brown, will look return from a seven-month layoff with momentum, breaking from post 5 with Kendrick Carmouche aboard.
Gary Barber's Eyeinthesky registered her first career stakes win, outkicking Fashion Faux Pas for a three-quarter length win in the six-furlong Mizdirection on April 14. Making her 11th career start, and first at Belmont since running third in the Astoria on dirt in June, Eyeinthesky is 2-0-1 in six starts since trainer Mark Casse moved her to turf. Manny Franco will ride from post 6.
Waving Flags will face stakes company for the first time, moving up in class after running fifth in her turf debut going one mile against optional claimers on April 10 at Aqueduct. After going 2-for-4 on dirt, trainer Brian Lynch said coming back from a 2 ½-month rest and trying the turf could help her improve as she enters into a more ambitious spot for owner Up Hill Stable.
“When we ran her for the first time on the grass, I thought she showed good speed,” Lynch said. “She laid up and I think she was just coming off a bit of a layoff and got tired. She has that race under her belt; she's a little bit fitter and shortening her up to seven furlongs might help her a little bit.”
Under jockey Mike Luzzi, Waving Flags will break from the outside post.
My Galina, who won impressively on debut, garnering a field-best 84 Beyer. My Galina, trained by Jorge Abreu, will break from post 1 with Reylu Gutierrez aboard.
Rounding out the field is stakes-placed Missmizz, conditioned by Michael Stidham, out of post 4 under Junior Alvarado.
The Soaring Softly is carded as Race 11 on Saturday's 12-race card, with an approximate post time of 5:26 p.m Eastern. First post is set for noon.
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