BELLE OF THE NORTH LOOKS TO DOUBLE UP IN CAROUSEL
Stronach Stable, Inc.’s Belle of the North, a homebred daughter of Street Boss that became a stakes winner in her previous start, will attempt to make it two in a row in the $100,000 Carousel Dec. 26 at Laurel Park.
The Carousel will be just the seventh start for Belle of the North, trained by Jose Corrales. She drew Post 4 in a field of eight and, as the lone 3-year-old filly in the field, will carry low weight of 119 pounds including jockey Horacio Karamanos.
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“The filly is doing very well. She’s doing very well,” Corrales said. “She’s training good after the race, and she’s a horse that has been an improving horse. I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Belle of the North was making her stakes debut when she made a last-to-first move to capture the seven-furlong Safely Kept by a half-length over Fraudulent Charge Nov. 27 at Laurel. Runner-up in four stakes, Fraudulent Charge came back a popular 5 ¾-length allowance winner Dec. 18.
“I think she was in the right spot last time. I don’t think I wouldn’t have wanted her any closer. I think she was perfect where she was,” Corrales said. “As a matter of fact, I think she was probably closer than where I expected her to be. But she broke better this time, because she’s slow out of the gate.”
Belle of the North has encountered early trouble in half of her races, part of the reason she didn’t graduate until a Sept. 24 maiden special weight triumph at Laurel after going unraced at 2.
“She’s improving every time. I think with this filly just the time will help her to mature and she will be even better,” Corrales said. “Now we’re stretching her out going a mile-and-an-eighth and I think that’s going to help her. I’ve been teaching her to go longer, to open up her air so that she has enough air to finish.”
Horacio Karamanos has the call; the duo will leave from the fourth stall.
The 5-2 morning line favorite in the Carousel is Smooth With a Kick. Once a $650,000 two-year-old purchase, the now-five-year-old Candy Ride mare will make her first start in trainer Brittany Russell’s barn and is hunting her first stakes win. Also signed on is the Claudio Gonzalez-trained Miss Leslie (3-1), winner of a hard-fought edition of the Thirty Eight Go Go Nov. 13.