Thais, La Serdane Headline Perfect Sting Stakes Field
Hardly a turf stakes races is run in New York these days without a starter from the barn of the two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer , who is particularly renowned for his success with grass runners.Thus, it comes as no surprise to see that Brown will send out Thais in Saturday’s $100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes at Belmont Park. Hardly less of a surprise is that Thais may start as the favorite in the one-mile race for fillies and mares.
The French-bred daughter of Rio de La Plata was an accomplished stakes competitor last year, starting off in France (where she ran second in a Group 3 and competed in the French 1,000 Guineas) before being brought to the U.S. and transferred to Brown, for whom she ran third in both the Pebbles Stakes and Winter Memories Stakes on the New York circuit.
Thais looked as sharp as ever when returning from a layoff to win a one-mile allowance race at Belmont last month, and with Hall of Fame jockey in the saddle, Thais looms as the horse to beat while stepping back into stakes company over the same course and distance as her allowance win.
But some of her foes are more accomplished overall, including fellow French-bred La Serdane, who won the Prix de Sandringham (Fr-II) in her native country. Owned by Team Valor International and trained by Neil Drysdale, La Serdane has gone 2-for-3 since arriving in the U.S., most recently winning Belmont’s seven-furlong Intercontinental Stakes (gr. III) in hard-fought fashion.
Feeling Bossy, front-running winner of the Mount Vernon Stakes over this course and distance last month, could be the main danger on the front end in a race that doesn’t contain much speed on paper. In the Lee has also shown the ability to set the pace, but rallied from behind to win a one-mile allowance race at Belmont last time out, and the Shug McGaughey-trained filly figures to employ similar tactics on Saturday.
Pas de Soucis, runner-up behind In the Lee in that allowance race, previously won a similar race at Saratoga last summer and could be poised to take a step forward while making her second start of the season. Lido, third in the Beaugay Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont behind the next-out Grade 1 winner A Raving Beauty, could appreciate the drop in class for the Perfect Sting, while the Gulfstream allowance winner Princess Gibraltar completes the field.
The Perfect Sting is the fourth race of the day, with a post time of 3:09 p.m. Eastern.