April 20, 2024

Oscar Performance, Beach Patrol headline a bevy of Belmont breezers

Oscar Performance winning the Secretariat, at Arlington (Photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos)

Multiple Grade 1 winner Oscar Performance breezed five furlongs over the firm inner turf at Belmont Park on Sunday in readiness for Saturday’s $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1).

The Kitten’s Joy ridgling clocked five-eighths in 1:01.66 with the dogs up in his third turf move since taking the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park on August 12. Oscar Performance had Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard for the move but is regularly ridden by Ortiz’s brother Jose Ortiz, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in a spill on Wednesday.

“He had a good, sharp work the week before and today we just gave him a comfortable five-eighths and he did it very nicely,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “We’re real happy with the way he’s coming into the race. We’ll answer the questions of ‘Can he get the mile and a half and will he be competitive against older horses?’ We’ll be able to tick off a couple of boxes after this one.”

Oscar Performance is riding a three-race win streak that includes the Secretariat and Belmont Derby Invitational (G1). He opened the year with a pair of off-the-board efforts in the Transylvania Stakes (G3) and American Turf (G2) before beginning his winning skein in the Pennine Ridge Stakes (G3) on June 3 at Belmont Park. Last year he triumphed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Pilgrim Stakes (G3).

“I’ve seen the maturity in race-day antics,” Lynch said. “When he was younger, he could get a little hot and could be a bit flighty in the post parade. Now, he takes it all in stride and has gotten a lot more professional. I’ve seen a lot of seasoning coming his way and maturing into a nice, late three-year-old, and I think he’s ready to take on older horses.”

Two of those older horses Oscar Performance will meet up with in the Joe Hirsch are Beach Patrol and Fanciful Angel, who finished one-two, respectively, in the Arlington Million (G1) just four races after Oscar Performance’s Secretariat score.

Beach Patrol worked in company Sunday with new stablemate Fanciful Angel, who transferred to trainer Chad Brown after the Arlington Million. The duo breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 over the inner turf with the dogs up.

“They each looked great,” Brown said. “They both remain on target for the Joe Hirsch.”

Multiple Grade 1 heroine Lady Eli, continuing preparations for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) on November 4 at Del Mar, took a spin around Belmont’s fast main dirt, clocking a half-mile maintenance breeze in :48.88 for Brown. The Divine Park mare has captured the Ballston Spa Stakes (G2), Diana Stakes (G1) and Gamely Stakes (G1) in her past three races.

Brown sent out New Money Honey on Belmont’s inner turf Sunday, and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) queen breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60.

“She was terrific,” Brown said. “I’m really happy with her.”

The Medaglia d’Oro filly is expected to return to the turf for her next start in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland following a well-beaten fifth in the Alabama Stakes (G1) last out on August 19 at Saratoga while making her main track debut.

Also working for Brown on Sunday at Belmont were Grade 2 winner Roca Rojo, third in the Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) last out, and Rymska, who is unraced since taking the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park while making her sophomore bow on February 4.

The pair worked in company, clocking five furlongs over the inner turf in 1:01.66. Roca Roja is headed to the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland while Rymska will return in the Commonwealth Oaks at Laurel Park.

Finally from the Brown shedrow, multiple English Group 2 victor Time Test breezed a half-mile on the inner turf in :49.49. The Dubawi five-year-old has been second in all three of his starts this year, including the Manhattan Stakes (G1) and Fourstardave Handicap (G1) in his past two, and is now pointing for the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland.

Trainer Christophe Clement’s Frostmourne worked in company with stablemate Dover Cliffs on Sunday over Belmont’s inner turf in advance of the $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes (G3) on October 7.

The Speightstown sophomore breezed a half-mile in :48.05, his third move since taking the July 15 Kent Stakes (G3) by six lengths. Frostmourne also captured the Penn Mile (G2) on June 3 and opened the year with a half-length second in the April 22 Woodhaven Stakes.

“It was a nice work,” Clement said. “He came back good from it and the plan is to go to the Hill Prince from here.”

The horseman also sent out Disco Partner, who set a world record for six furlongs when taking the Jaipur Invitational (G3) on July 15, to breeze a half-mile over the fast main track in :49.66. The Disco Rico five-year-old most recently finished fourth in the Fourstardave on August 12 going a mile at Saratoga and will cut back to six furlongs for the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational on October 7.

“He worked very well this morning so I’m happy,” Clement said. “Unfortunately, last time out he didn’t take to the soft going in the Fourstardave, but he’s been training forwardly since that race.”

Trainer Linda Rice had Seymourdini, who is unbeaten this season from three starts, breezing six furlongs over Belmont’s fast dirt training track on Sunday.

The Bernardini four-year-old was clocked in 1:15.25, posting his third move since taking the State Dinner Stakes at Belmont on July 3 by 10 1/2 lengths. Seymourdini’s other two starts this year came at Laurel Park, where he romped by 13 1/2 lengths and 12 1/4 lengths against allowance/optional claiming rivals.

“He’s coming along pretty well,” Rice said. “He’s getting there. I stopped on him after that race (State Dinner) and gave him a little bit of time off so he’s had two breezes up there (at Saratoga) about 10 days (apart) and this one.

“He’s doing well. I’m happy with his breezes, I’ve just got to figure out where I’m going to go with him.”

Rice said the $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) on October 28 is a possibility for Seymourdini and that the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) remains the year-end goal.