Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition

‘Fatima’ back with N.Y.-breds

- By Mary Rampellini

Fatima’s Blessing returned to the New York-bred ranks for the first time since 2021 last month and proved a strong fit in a performanc­e that will make him a top choice when he faces similar in Friday’s eighth race at Belmont Park.

Fatima’s Blessing is one of 11 horses entered in the first-level allowance at a mile on turf. It’s for 3-year-olds and up bred in New York, with two runners entered main track only. Overall, there are four allowances on the nine-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Fatima’s Blessing returned to New York-bred company in April at Aqueduct after wintering at Tampa Bay Downs. He was second over 1 1/16 miles on the grass at this level, finishing six lengths behind winner Citizen K.

“The last time, the horse that won – he’s a nice horse – was able to walk the dog in front,” said Chad Summers, who trains Fatima’s Blessing for Terry Bruner. “Fatima has no real early pace. You leave him alone, let him do his thing, and he’ll come running at the end.”

Fatima’s Blessing earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 81, which is one of the best last-race numbers in Friday’s race. It’s also the latest in a strong collection of Beyers for the consistent Fatima’s Blessing.

The horse, who won a firstlevel allowance over open company this winter at Tampa, is shortening up in distance Friday.

“He’s eligible for the New York-bred [first-level allowance],” Summers said. “Going through this condition is the logical step. We prefer more distance, more ground, but this was the only option in this condition book.”

Summers hopes Fatima’s Blessing will get an honest pace with the move to a one-turn configurat­ion Friday.

“I think that will help,” he said.

Jose Ortiz, who was aboard Fatima’s Blessing last out, has the mount again. The pair will start from post 7.

There are several runners who could contribute to the pace Friday.

Conman is stretching out in distance after running second in a first-level allowance over six furlongs on the grass last month at Aqueduct. The start was the 3-year-old’s first against older rivals and the Beyer of 82 he earned is the best last-race number in the field.

Dylan Davis has the mount for D.J. Stable and trainer Mark Casse from post 2

In the fourth race, the German-bred runner Arina moves to 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf for a second-level allowance for fillies and mares. The Group 3 winner is making her third stateside start after launching her career in her native country. She was third at this level in a 1 1/16-mile turf race last month at Aqueduct.

In the third race, Dancing Sophia bids for her fourth straight win in a two-otherthan allowance for fillies and mares at a mile on the main track.

The seventh race is an open first-level allowance for 3-yearolds and up at six furlongs. It drew Rotknee, a multiple stakes winner against New Yorkbreds.

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