Notes from Belmont Racetrack
Sep 20, 2013 | 1517 views | 0 0 comments | 121 121 recommendations | email to a friend | print
• Martin Schwartz's Alterite emerged from her North American debut victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Garden City in good shape, trainer Chad Brown said Sunday morning.

Making the first start for her new connections, Alterite overcame a moderate pace set by Discreet Marq and a firm inner turf course to win by 1 ½ lengths, defending the victory Schwartz and Brown earned in last year's Garden City with Samitar.

"She came out of the race good so far," said Brown. "Based on what I'm told and watching her races and reading her form, it seems like she excels with softer ground. The ground had a little cut in it yesterday, which was good, and she ran well, anyway. She's just a good horse.

Brown credited his Belmont-based assistant, Cherie DeVaux, for the progress of Alterite, who arrived in July as the barn was transitioning to the Saratoga Race Course meet.

“Cherie did a fantastic job with the horse. For most of the Saratoga meet she was here [Belmont], and it worked,” said Brown. “She's a bit of a high-strung horse, and she really is comfortable now with her surroundings."

• Prominent horses trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey turned in Saturday breezes in separate locations, with Kentucky Derby winner Orb working at Fair Hill in Maryland and turf star Point of Entry rejoining the work tab at Belmont after spending the past three months recovering from a fracture.

Orb, third in the Grade 1 Travers on August 24 in his most recent start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 at Fair Hill. He is targeting the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational on September 28.

"He went excellent," said McGaughey. "The reports were all nothing but positive, not only from his camp but also from some people I talked to. They said it was a terrific."

McGaughey said that if everything goes perfectly, Point of Entry could be ready in time for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf in November at Santa Anita. Point of Entry was second in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf after winning the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.

• After ending the Saratoga Race Course meeting on a high note, trainer Leah Gyarmati has carried her momentum to Belmont Park.

Gyarmati won with two of her 22 starters at Saratoga, both with 2-year-old filly Sweet Reason, who gave the trainer her first Grade 1 victory with an upset of the $300,000 Spinaway on September 1.

Already, Gyarmati has matched her Saratoga win totals through the first six days of Belmont's fall gathering, taking the meet opener with Smooth Bert on September 7, and Saturday's fifth race with promising juvenile colt Noble Moon.

"I knew he could run, but kind of like [Sweet Reason], he's going to probably want to go longer and the post position was probably not ideal for getting a clean trip," Gyarmati said.

Gyarmati said she has no immediate plans on where to run Noble Moon next.

Meanwhile, Gyarmati is looking to bring Sweet Reason back in the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies going a mile at Belmont on October 5. The daughter of Street Sense broke her maiden at Saratoga on August 9.

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