November 30, 2021

Always Shopping one of six graded winners in Sheepshead Bay

Always Shopping and jockey Manny Franco capture the Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct on February 3, 2019 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand

Sheepshead Bay S. (G2) — Race 10 (5:37 p.m. ET)

A winner of three stakes and a loser of two others in tight photos since adding blinkers last fall, Always Shopping will look to bounce back from a tough beat in her last start in Saturday’s $200,000 Sheepshead Bay S. (G2) at Belmont Park. The 1 3/8-mile grass feature for fillies and mares is one of three graded events on Belmont’s Kentucky Derby Day card.

A graded stakes winner on turf and dirt, Always Shopping has been transformed of late into a long-distance grass specialist. However, the five-year-old suffered a nose loss in the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream last time as the 11-10 favorite, though the winning War Like Goddess flattered the form with a next-out victory in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland.

Returning from the sidelines are several classy fillies and mares. My Sister Nat won the Waya (G3) last summer and placed in several other graded events, including the Flower Bowl (G1) by a head. Also making their season debuts are Mutamakina, who captured the Long Island (G3) in November, and Orglandes, who rallied to win the Red Carpet H. (G3) at Del Mar the same month.

Magic Attitude defeated recent The Very One (G3) heroine Antoinette in the Belmont Oaks (G1) last September, but has dropped two subsequent appearances, including the March 6 Hillsborough (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs.

“She may have been a little short when we brought her back at Tampa,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said of Magic Attitude. “It didn’t work out well as far as the trip was concerned. She was down and on the inside and never got relaxed. I’m also not sure she likes the tight turns at Tampa either. So, we just regrouped after that race and we wanted to go where she’s been successful in the past to try and bring back her best form. We know she likes Belmont Park.”

Earlier in the card, trainer Chad Brown has the horses to beat in Devamani and Rockemperor in the $200,000 Fort Marcy S. (G2), a nine-furlong grass event for older horses that attracted only a field of five. Six will line up in the $200,000 Westchester S. (G3) at one mile on the main track, which serves as the 2021 season opener for Dr Post, a stakes winner for Todd Pletcher last spring who later placed in the Belmont S. (G1) and Haskell (G1).