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Banimpire- The Curragh - 07.08.2011

Banimpire: US debut on Saturday after big-money sale at Goffs last year

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos))  

Belmont debut for Royal Ascot winner Banimpire

Preview: USA, Saturday 10.06pm BST (live on ATR)

Belmont Park: New York Stakes (Grade 2) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+ f/m

BANIMPIRE, one of the leading three-year-old fillies in Europe last term for Jim Bolger, makes her US debut on Saturday following her €2.3 million sale at Goffs in November to owner Martin Schwartz.

Runner-up twice in Group 1 company in the Irish Oaks and the Prix de l'Opera, the ultra-tough daughter of Holy Roman Emperor won five Group contests at lesser level, notably the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Banimpire is now trained by former Bobby Frankel assistant Chad Brown, who had a couple of runners at last week's royal meeting as is well known for his aptitude with turf runners, among them former French-trained star Stacelita.

The four-year-old makes her US bow in the Grade 2 New York Stakes, with Kentucky Oaks-winning jockey Rosie Napravnik in the plate.

Her rivals include Aruna (Graham Motion/Ramon Dominguez), who recently beat several of Saturday's rivals in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay at this venue.

Among those reopposing from that race is former Henry Cecil-trained Principal Role (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado), who has made the usual Juddmonte transatlantic switch.

Also on Saturday

Belmont Park: Dwyer Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo (10.38pm BST, live on ATR)

A handful of also-rans from the Triple Crown bid to step up for the second half of the season, headed by Teeth Of The Dog (Michael Matz/Joel Rosario), fifth in the Preakness before a good victory on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

He concedes weight to six rivals including Preakness fourth Zetterholm and Unstoppable U, sixth in the Belmont.

Hollywood Park: Triple Bend Hcap (Grade 1) 7f, AW, 3yo+ (11.38pm BST)

Hollywood has a monopoly of the Grade 1 action this weekend with a pair of them on Saturday's card, headed by the Triple Bend in which 7f specialist The Factor (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano) appears for the first time since a dismal sixth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Although he has won Grade 1 events at this trip on synthetics and dirt, he must give 4lb to last year's winner Smiling Tiger (Jeff Bonde/Mike Smith) and 7lb to runner-up Camp Victory (Mike Mitchell/Joe Talamo).

Hollywood Park: Shoemaker Mile (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ (1.10am Sun BST)

Perhaps not the strongest Grade 1 ever contested, raising hopes that Little Mike (Dale Romans/Joe Bravo) will complete back-to-back top-level successes after a surprise win in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Prairie Meadows: Iowa Derby (Grade 3) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo (3.39am Sun BST)

Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen (Mike Maker/Ramon Dominguez) breaks from the rail as he returns to action at a more suitable distance after fading in the Kentucky Derby.

Prairie Meadows: Cornhusker Hcap (Grade 3) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+ (4.11am Sun BST)

Alysheba Stakes winner Successful Dan (Charles Lopresti/Julien Leparoux) goes pot-hunting under the floodlights in this $300,000 event on the Iowa Derby card.

The six-year-olds, unbeaten in his last five (disqualified in one), gives weight away to his rivals but should still outclass the likes of veteran Awesome Gem and former Cornhusker winners Headache and Shadowbdancing.

 

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