Grade III Athenia Stakes
October 25 4:55 p.m.
There are two Graded Stakes races on Sunday with Belmont Park hosting one of them with the Grade III Athenia Stakes (Race 9). This $100,000 graded stakes event will feature eight fillies and mares that will go one and one-sixteenth miles on the turf. Here is a look at all the runners.
#1 Mitchell Road (ML 9/2) owns a field high seven victories, which ties her with Sweet Bye Bye for the most wins overall, on the turf and has earned almost $600,000 lifetime -- which is the most of all competitors. The 5-year-old daughter of English Channell, who loves this distance as she has recorded seven cashes in eight starts, has a 12-4-4-0 record in stakes events including 6-1-2-0 in graded stakes. This will be Mitchell Road’s first race at Belmont, although each of his last 12 outings has been stakes races.
#2 Call Me Love (ML 9/2) does not have a win since moving across the Atlantic from Italy but she does have two-second place finishes in graded stakes. The 4-year-old Great Britain horse was outmatched in the Grade I Diana Stakes in her last outing, finishing fifth on Aug. 23. Trainer Christophe Clement, whose horses own an 18% strike rate and 50% WPS in graded stakes events, and jockey Joel Rosario have a strong working relationship. Call Me Love has two starts under her belt at Belmont.
#3 Feel Glorious (ML 8/1) has cashed in 75% of her 16 starts on the turf which includes five wins. She loves the distance and has recorded top-3 finishes in each of her two races at Belmont. Plus, Feel Glorious will have jockey Junior Alvarado, who has two wins and four cashes in five rides with her, back in the saddle.
4 Story Time (ML 30/1) has just two wins and three top-3 finishes in 10 starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow is also making her graded stakes debut and is 0-3 in stakes races overall and 0-4 at the current distance.
#5 Altea (ML 6/1) has medaled in 14 of 22 starts on the sod, although she has only finished first twice. A closer, the French horse has three top-3 finishes in seven stakes races which includes a second, fifth, and fourth-place finish in graded events. Irad Ortiz is back in the saddle and he has guided Altea to three top-3 finishes in four rides.
#6 Sweet Bye and Bye (ML 3/1) is 11-4-2-4 on the turf and 7-2-1-2 at the current distance. The 5-year-old mare, who has trained well lately, finished second in this event last year and has two top-3 Grade III finishes as well as placing fourth once. Jockey Jose Lescano, who earned a win and two other top-3 finishes in six stakes on Saturday at Belmont on Friday, gets his third straight ride on Sweet Bye and Bye.
#7 She’s Got You (ML 4/1) is a closer that is coming off her first victory on American Soil as she took the top spot in the Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sept. 26. It was also her first career stakes victory overall, though She’s Got You has a 9-4-1-3 lifetime mark.
#8 Tapit Today (ML 6/1) is making her fourth straight start in a graded stakes race and has not finished worst than fourth in any of those races. Trainer Chad Brown owns a 21% strike rate in stakes races over the last year and his horses have a 63% WPS percentage when he teams up with Jose Ortiz.
With #4 Story Time really the only horse that appears to be out of place in this race, expect a very close and competitive race unless Sweet Bye and Bye or Tapit Today is able to run away from the rest of the field.