Nice Guys Stables and Steve Hornstock's Fierce Lady will look to double up on stakes wins in Wednesday's $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma for New York-bred juvenile fillies at Belmont Park.
Trained by Dermot Magner, the dark bay daughter of Competitive Edge romped on the front end by 6 lengths in her June 22 debut at Belmont when sprinting five furlongs to earn a field-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure.
She followed up with a pacesetting nose loss to My Italian Rabbi in the six-furlong Stillwater on July 18 at Saratoga Race Course, but turned the tables on that rival when overcoming a slow start to stalk and score in the Seeking the Ante at 6 ½-furlongs on August 23 at the Spa. My Italian Rabbi, who was third in the Seeking the Ante, came back to win the Lady Finger on Monday at Finger Lakes.
Magner said he is hopeful that Fierce Lady, bred by Sugar Maple Farm, will handle the stretch out in distance after showing a new dimension in winning the Seeking the Ante.
“We get to stretch her out a little further and the fact that she rated the last day should help her get the distance,” said Magner. “She didn't react to the gate and she took a little bump, but it all worked out.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, aboard for all three starts, guided the filly through a crisp three furlongs in 37 flat on Friday morning on Big Sandy.
“She breezed well this morning. Javier Castellano came out to sit on her and everything went well,” said Magner. “It was a nice, steady three-eighths in 37. She was in hand all the way.”
It was the second consecutive three-furlong breeze for the lightly built filly, which Magner said is by design.
“She's a small filly, so we're trying to get a bit of air in her but not be too hard on her,” said Magner. “I'm happy with her. She's doing well. We've had good weather here and the horses are doing well.”
Castellano retains the mount from post 6.
A talented field of six includes Seeking the Ante runner-up Time Limit and promising Christophe Clement trainee Irish Danzing.
Trained by Mike Maker for Three Diamonds Farm, Time Limit graduated by 6 1/4-lengths in her June 23 debut at Belmont. Following a troubled trip in the Stillwater in which she stumbled badly en route to finishing fifth, Time Limit returned to form with a front-running try in the Seeking the Ante in which she missed by a neck.
Manny Franco will pilot Time Limit, a chestnut daughter of Bustin Stones bred by Hibiscus Stable, from post 2.
NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, AI Racing Stable and Maspeth Stables' Irish Danzing waltzed to a 6 ½-length score in an impressive August 29 debut when sprinting six furlongs at the Spa.
Rounding out the field are first-out maiden winners Thea's Theme (post 3, Jose Ortiz), Naked Avenger (post 5, Luis Saez) and Ilchester Cheetah (post 1, Feargal Lynch).
The Joseph A. Gimma is slated as Race 7 on Wednesday's 8-race card. First post is 3 p.m.
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