ELMONT, N.Y. -- The late decision to run Tarpy's Goal in Sunday's Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park rather than Saturday's Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs came down to simple mathematics, according to trainer Dale Romans.
"The race here is $100,000, Grade 3 with 11 horses where he's going to be 8-1, 10-1," Romans said Friday morning from Churchill Downs. "The race there is $150,000, Grade 2 with six horses where he's going to be 3-1, that's a pretty easy decision. It's all about the math."
Tarpy's Goal, a debut winner at Churchill, arrived here Friday by van and figures to be first or second choice in the Futurity, which drew a modest field of six, none of whom has raced in New York. The Futurity, and its female counterpart the Grade 2, $150,000 Matron, were brought back by the New York Racing Association after being put on a one-year hiatus. They were moved from the fall to the summer in hopes of stimulating activity in New York's juvenile program, a good-intentioned idea that did not bear fruit.
The Futurity field includes horses who won maiden races at Monmouth, Delaware, Pimlico, and of course Churchill, where Tarpy's Goal overcame a slow start to win his debut by 2 3/4 lengths despite racing a little erratically in the stretch.
"He's a talented horse -- he always acted like the type of horse that could win first time," Romans said. "He ran the way we expected him too. He's got a little class about him."
Javier Castellano, the leading rider at this meet, has the call from post 5.
Tarpy's Goal will likely have to catch Getupwiththesun, who comes off an 8 1/4-length victory in a May 12 maiden race at Pimlico. That came in his second start after he finished second to Threeanddonedan, who is also in this field.
Getupwiththesun broke outwardly in both of his starts, and he has the outside post again Sunday.
"Both times he ran he broke outward. First time dramatically, second time not as dramatic," said trainer Robert Leaf, who is making his New York debut. "Both times there was a horse on the outside of him. I think he broke toward the horse, I don't think he broke away from a horse. I think with no horse on the outside of him, he'll break straight."
Threeanddonedan returns to dirt after finishing fourth in the Victoria Stakes over Woodbine's synthetic surface two weeks ago. Team Six overcame a slow beginning to win his debut at Monmouth Park on June 18, racing three wide down the backside and then repelling a challenge at the quarter pole. He picks up the services of John Velazquez.
Large Kaufy, a speedy sort trained by Wesley Ward, and Jack's in the Deck, a maiden trained by Robin Graham, complete the field.