Nerodio set to chase back-to-back Beaufine Stakes wins at Belmont Park for trainer Stephanie Bakranich
Trainer Stephanie Bakranich has Nerodio fresh and primed to fire in his bid for back-to-back Beaufine Stakes (1000m) victories at Belmont Park on Saturday.
The classy sprinter was freshened for the Listed feature after his encouraging fifth in the Roma Cup (1200m) and 10th in the Belmont Sprint (1400m) in May.
Bakranich is optimistic Nerodio, a winner at nine of 24 starts, can become the first winner of consecutive Beaufines since Great Nation in 2005-06.
The Playing God gelding won his first feature and delivered Bakranich and apprentice Laqdar Ramoly their first black-type successes when he stormed home to beat Gemma’s Son last year.
“I just put him in the paddock for a couple of weeks after the Belmont Sprint and he’s in good order,” Bakranich said.
“He’s nice and sound at the moment and I think he’ll go well.
“Last year he had to carry topweight and he didn’t draw well.
“This year he shouldn’t have topweight and hopefully we can get a nice gate.”
Ramoly, who is just three winners shy of outriding his 1.5kg claim, will again ride Nerodio.
Prolific stakes winner Money Matters is expected to be allocated topweight for his return in the Beaufine.
Brad Rawiller will ride the Chris and Michael Gangemi-trained gelding.
Shaun O’Donnell has picked up the prized ride on likely favourite Wilchino after her regular rider Chris Parnham was suspended for careless riding at Belmont last Wednesday.
Wilchino won six straight races before running last as the $2.80 favourite in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last November.
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