The eighth race of the day at Belmont Park on Saturday, May 14, is the $150,000 Beaugay Handicap (GIIIT) named for 1945’s champion 2-year-old filly trained by Hall of Famer Tom Smith of Seabiscuit fame. This year, in the prep for the Longines Just A Game Stakes (GIT) in a month, a field of eight fillies and mares will race the grassy 1 1/16 miles over the Belmont turf, including morning-line favorite Ball Dancing making her second start of the year and looking to improve off a dismal eighth-place finish in the Hillsborough Handicap (GIIIT) to champion Tepin at Tampa Bay Downs back in March.
The daughter of Exchange Rate has won her only start at the distance, is trained by top turf trainer Chad Brown and has earned two wins and two seconds on yielding turf since being imported for an American campaign two years ago. This isn’t the toughest field she’s faced in her career and she drew an optimal post for her stalking running style and will have Javier Castellano aboard — all things that can only help her chances in here.
Grade II dirt winner My Miss Sophia has shown promise since switching to the turf last year, winning one and finishing third twice in stakes company from four starts. This will be her first start of 2016 for Hall of Famer Bill Mott and while she could need a race, her best will be tough to tangle with. Jockey Joel Rosario is back aboard and the pair will break from the outside post, which is a gift for a filly with a flexible running style to either go to the front if she has to or sit a couple lengths off the pace, waiting for the speed to tire.
In 2015, Recepta was performing near the top of her division, winning a couple of stakes and finishing well in a couple others. But in two starts since a last-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (GIT) and only one this year, she hasn’t been able to reach the winner’s circle. However, she has been training great for James Toner and the daughter of Speightstown could be rounding into form at the right time.
Strike Charmer has never won at this distance and, though she will be making her third start of 2016, she may prefer more ground against good 1 1/16-mile types.
Tapitry tries for her third win in a row, but will have a lot to do to earn her first graded stakes victory.
Ticking Katie, Sistas Stroll and Miss Atomic Bomb seem just a step below the top in here.
Post time for the race is at 5:13 p.m. ET.