(Momos to try turf in G3 Futurity on Sunday / Coglianese Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Ironhorse Racing Stable and Secure Investments’ Momos will look to build on a third-place effort last out in his graded stakes debut when he tries turf for the first time in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Futurity for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on Belmont Park’s Widener course.
The 130th running of the prestigious Futurity, which counts 16 eventual Hall of Famers as winners before the race was moved from the main track to turf in 2018, is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 6 at Keeneland. It is one of two turf stakes for juveniles on the 10-race card, with the Grade 3, $100,000 Matron for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs also on the docket.
Momos won his debut for trainer Christophe Clement with a 6 1/2-length maiden win going 5 ½ furlongs on July 18 over Saratoga Race Course’s main track. Returning just three weeks later, the Distorted Humor colt ran third in the six-furlong Grade 2 Saratoga Special, finishing behind winner and eventual Grade 1 Runhappy Hopeful victor Jackie’s Warrior.
Purchased for $180,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale in March, Momos has breezed twice on Belmont’s inner turf since shipping from Saratoga, including a four-furlong work in 50.75 seconds on October 4.
“He’s been training well,” Clement said. “I trained him on the grass and thought he worked well over it. I know he can handle the firm turf, not sure about softer turf. He’s a fast horse. I could always bring him back on the main track.”
Manny Franco, aboard for his first two starts, will have the return call from post 9.
Breeze Easy’s After Five, one of three entrants for trainer Wesley Ward, showed potential on debut when he ran second by a nose to his more experienced stablemate and fellow Futurity contender Trade Deal in a 6 ½-furlong turf sprint on September 10 at Kentucky Downs. The Ward-trained duo both earned a field-best 77 Beyer Speed Figure.
A $165,000 purchase at the same sale as Momos, Ward said he was impressed after watching After Five make his debut on a challenging course.
“It’s always tough being a maiden down at Kentucky Downs with the course being big, and wide, and he was beaten by a nose by Trade Deal,” Ward said. “First-time starters are at a big disadvantage starting there as opposed to if he had a start. But he ran an incredible race and we’re looking forward to him moving on and getting better from here.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard for the maiden appearance, will ride again from post 2.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Trade Deal broke his maiden via that victory over After Five, building on his second-place first-out performance on August 31 at Indiana Grand.
A son of Fed Biz, Trade Deal will ship to Belmont for the first time, drawing post 10 with Junior Alvarado aboard.
Rockingham Ranch’s Gypsy King, broke his maiden at third asking for Ward going 5 ½ furlongs in August at Ellis Park before running fifth stepping up to stakes company for the first time in the More Than Ready on September 7 at Kentucky Downs.
Jose Lezcano has the call from post 11.
Sky’s Not Falling won his debut on dirt July 1 at Delaware Park and trainer Michael Trombetta has finished in the money in three straight stakes starts. After running third in the Hansel in July at Colonial Downs on the main track, Trombetta moved him to turf for the first time in the Skidmore on August 21 at the Spa, which resulted in a third-place effort before running second to Credit River in the Ontario Racing on September 19 over the Woodbine turf.
Luis Saez will ride from the inside post.
Stakes-winner County Final, who captured the Tyro on August 8 at Monmouth in a stakes moved off the turf, ran fourth last out in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint on September 12. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook and Anna Marie Shannon, County Final is graded stakes placed on dirt, running second in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor in June at Churchill.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, County Final will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post 8.
Rounding out the field is Newbomb, a $155,000 purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, who ran third on debut on August 29 on the Saratoga turf for trainer Todd Pletcher [post 4, Hall of Famer John Velazquez]; Irish-bred Bright Devil, making North American debut and first start for trainer Mark Casse, from post 7 [Joel Rosario]; Second of July, a debut winner going six furlongs on the Belmont turf on September 20 and trained by Phil Gleaves [ Dylan Davis, post 3].
Nutsie, trained by David Cannizzo, and Kentucky Knight [Amira Chichakly] are entered for the main track only.
The Futurity is slated as Race 7 on Sunday’s 10-race card which will feature a 12:50 p.m. Eastern first post. America’s Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the 27-day fall meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete America’s Day at the Races broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.