Knickerbocker Preview


After a couple of unsuccessful tries in Grade 1 marathon races, Boisterous drops back in class and distance when he meets eight rivals in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Knickerbocker, scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course, shares billing on Saturday’s 10-race card with the Grade 3, $100,000 Athenia Stakes for fillies and mares over the Widener turf.

Boisterous had won four of five starts from last August through May, capped by the Three Coins Up Stakes over yielding Belmont turf. Trainer Shug McGaughey ran him in the Grade 1 Man o’ War here in July where he finished a respectable third behind Cape Blanco and Gio Ponti.

Sent off the 2-1 favorite in the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga on Aug. 13, Boisterous finished fifth, 6 1/2 lengths behind Winchester.

“He just didn’t run as good as I thought he would,” said McGaughey, who trains Boisterous for the Phipps Stable. “He had a chance, it opened up for him, he just didn’t finish. I freshened him up a little bit, kind of scaled down a little bit; we’ll see where we stand.”

Boisterous, who breaks from post 3 under John Velazquez, should be able to handle some give in the ground, which figures to be the case if forecasted Friday rains materialize.

Mr. Ryder has won five of his last six starts, including three straight, capped by a neck victory in the $100,000 Sussex Stakes at Delaware Park in July.

“He’s won five races this year, he keeps improving all the time,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “He might be better off on firm turf than soft turf, there’s not much I can do about that.”

Yummy With Butter, a 7-year-old Canadian-bred gelding, is coming off a pair of Grade 3 victories in the Oceanport and Cliff Hanger at Monmouth Park. Those wins broke a nine-race winless streak dating back to Sept. 13, 2009.

Yummy With Butter is the high weight at 124 pounds and will be ridden by Alan Garcia.

Center Divider comes off a second-place finish to Grassy in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap here on opening day of the Belmont fall meet.

Jimmy Simms looms the primary speed in the field. He comes off a narrow loss to Wise Dan in the Presque Isle Mile over that track’s Tapeta surface.

Boots Ahead, Mata Keranjang, Followmyfootsteps and Sleepless Knight complete the field.

by David Grening

On the New York worktab

Grade 2 victor Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno), last seen finishing a distant seventh in the Belmont Stakes, traveled five-eighths in 1:02 2/5 over Belmont Park's fast dirt training track on Thursday.

South African champion Here to Win (Roi Normand) readied for her U.S. debut with a four-furlong move in :50.

Grade 3 vixen Cheetah (Tiger Hill), unraced since a ninth-place run in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes, turned a half-mile in :50 on the fast main dirt at Big Sandy.

Lightly raced undefeated four-year-old Trickmeister (Proud Citizen), victor of the Barbaro and Pleasant Colony in his last two, logged three-eighths in :36 1/5 on Aqueduct's fast main track.

Multiple Grade 3-placed C C's Pal (Alex's Pal), unplaced in two stakes starts since taking the Monmouth Beach, posted three panels in :38 3/5.

Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap runner-up Center Divider (Giant's Causeway) breezed five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 on the muddy Oklahoma dirt training track at Saratoga.





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