Caixa Eletronica expected for Belmont's closing weekend co-feature
Caixa Eletronica, who at age seven finished second in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational last out, returns next Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap, a race in which he finished third last year.
"Seven furlongs is not a problem for him," said Whit Beckman, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, of the Repole Stable colorbearer, who has earned more than $1 million this year. "He ran a very credible race last time out in the Vosburgh. It set up well for him. He's one of those horses who is so versatile, no matter what distance, he seems to show up every time."
The Pletcher barn will have two representatives in the other Grade 3 event on Saturday, the $150,000 Turnback the Alarm at 1 1/16 miles. Maristar, most recently fourth in the Grade 1 Beldame, will get some class relief while R Gypsy Gold returns after a brief freshening following her sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap.
"Maristar didn't run a bad race last time out; she was just a little overmatched," Beckman said of the five-year-old Giant's Causeway mare. "Hopefully, this will be a better spot for her. She's doing well, so we'll see what happens."
R Gypsy Gold, who won the Endear overnight stakes at the Turnback the Alarm distance on July 4, was third in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher prior to finishing 18 1/2 lengths behind winner Love and Pride in the Personal Ensign.
"Like Maristar, that was probably a little bit out of her league," Beckman said of R Gypsy Gold. "She's doing really, really well right now, and 1 1/16 miles should suit her just fine."
The Bold Ruler for sprinters and Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares highlight the closing weekend for Belmont Park's fall meet. Spring to the Sky, winner of the six-furlong Groovy overnight turf stakes on September 13, will return to the main track in the former contest for trainer Bruce Brown.
The three-year-old Langfuhr colt began his career on dirt, breaking his maiden over a muddy Belmont track 13 months ago, then finished fourth and second in a pair of sprints. Switched to the grass in June, he was fifth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince, third in the Duluth overnight stakes at Saratoga and ninth in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Saranac prior to the Groovy.
"Looking back, 1 1/8 miles was way too far for him," Brown admitted. "He has been running really well on grass, but we thought we would give him one more shot on dirt as we plan for the future.
"If he runs big on the dirt, there are much more opportunities on dirt," the trainer added. "Or, he can go to grass full-time."
According to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Brynes, there are eight runners currently likely for the seven-furlong Bold Ruler, including Associate, who has been first, second or third in seven of eight starts since breaking his maiden last July; Buffum, unraced since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap in July; Fort Loudon, who followed a second in the Grade 1 King's Bishop with a seventh in the Vosburgh in his first start against older horses; Golddigger's Boy, most recently fifth in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap; Little Drama, fourth in the Vosburgh; and Zero Rate Policy, eighth in the Vosburgh.
In addition to Maristar and R Gypsy Gold, the 1 1/16-mile Turnback the Alarm is expected to attract All Due Respect, second to champion Awesome Feather in the Nasty Storm overnight stakes on September 20; Arena Elvira, returning to action from a six-month layoff after finishing third in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne; Catch a Thief, runner-up in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses in July; Go Unbridled, most recently third in the Grade 1 Beldame behind Royal Delta and It's Tricky; Nefertini, unraced since a fourth-place finish in the Molly Pitcher on July 29 at Monmouth Park; and Thundering Emilia, seventh in the Grade 3 Athenia and Grade 2 Ballston Spa in her last two starts.