Here’s a mathematics problem for the Acorn Stakes (G1) June 5 at Belmont Park: Will the winning 3-year-old filly be one who subtracts or one who adds?
That is to say three of the six 3-year-old fillies enter the one-mile Acorn off a start in the Eight Belles presented by Smithfield (G2) April 30 at Churchill Downs, run at seven furlongs. Two others shorten up from that day’s 1 1/8-mile Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill.
The puzzle going into Saturday’s race is all the knottier as the Eight Belles winner, Juddmonte Farms homebred Obligatory , needed only seven furlongs to rally from last of 12 and defeat runner-up Dayoutoftheoffice by one length. Make Mischief also was gaining ground late to finish third. All three are entered in the Acorn.
OXO Equine’s Travel Column , by contrast, led most of the way in the Kentucky Oaks before fading through the stretch to finish fifth and might enjoy the shorter trip while Search Results ran her heart out through the stretch before finishing second by a neck to Malathaat .
Video: Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1)
Dayoutoftheoffice, an Into Mischief filly trained by co-owner Tim Hamm, won the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course in July 2020 in just her second start, then backed that up with a win in the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont, defeating Vequist and others, before finishing second to Vequist in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The runner-up finish in the Eight Belles was her first effort as a 3-year-old and Saturday’s race will mark her return to Belmont Park.
“She’s doing great and coming in perfect,” Hamm said of Dayoutoftheoffice. “We worked her on Sunday morning and she went just as prescribed, doing exactly what we wanted (four furlongs in :49 at Thistledown). We are confident, but when you get to this level of racing, you need a good trip. She’s coming into the race in good shape.”
Search Results was 3-for-3 coming into the Kentucky Oaks, including a victory in the Gazelle Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. Trainer Chad Brown said she, too, has looked good in the morning but pointed out that’s not always definitive.
“I’ve been doing this long enough to know that even if they work well, you’re going to find out how they’re really doing at the quarter pole and how much the last race did or didn’t affect them,” Brown said. “I just can’t pass on a race where she would be favorite in a grade 1 and she’s training this well.”
Obligatory’s upset win in the Eight Belles was her second career victory and followed a fourth-place finish in the TwinSpires Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). She is trained by Bill Mott.
Travel Column, a gray filly by Frosted , has been working steadily at Churchill for trainer Brad Cox. Obligatory and Travel Column faced off in the Fair Grounds Oaks with Travel Column winning that event off a pace-stalking trip.
A wild card in Saturday’s race is Miss Brazil , an Into Mischief filly who makes her graded stakes debut in the Acorn for trainer Tony Dutrow. Miss Brazil won the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct Feb. 8 over just two rivals and finished second in the Busher Invitational over the same track a month later.
Belmont Park, Saturday, June 05, 2021, Race 5
- Grade I
- 3 yo Fillies
- 2:01 PM (local)