Belmont Stakes and Festival Doings: (updated)
The Latest Belmont Park Notes
- Pletcher contingent post final breezes for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival assignments
- Tax works at Belmont Park; status for “Test of the Champion” still to be determined
- Fancy Dress Party on trend for G1 Acorn
- Whitmore headed to G2 True North, Stan the Man and Midnightcharly join prospective field
- Lady Montdore breezes solo in preparation of G2 New York start
- Clement happy with Saturday morning turf workers
- Daddy Is A Legend works for G1 Just a Game
- Diversify puts in maintenance breeze; Catholic Boy posts first work since G2 Dixie win
- Tax is out, Bourbon War is in
- Master Fencer in fine fettle ahead of G1 Belmont Stakes
- Miller considering quartet of contenders for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
- Baffert sending McKinzie, Much Better for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
- McLaughlin talks Turf Trinity, Belmont Stakes Day runners
- Sisterson hoping to make good showing for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
- Holy Helena looks to improve on last year’s G2 New York effort
Trainer Todd Pletcher said he was pleased with the final breezes from a bevy of Belmont Stakes Racing Festival contenders on Saturday morning at Belmont Park.
Visiting the main track shortly after the renovation break were Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets contenders Intrepid Heart and Spinoff along with Grade 1 Runhappy Metropolitan contender Coal Front.
Working in company with recent maiden winner Principled, Spinoff completed five furlongs in 1:02.16 seconds.
“I thought he went well,” said Pletcher. “He seemed very relaxed and got into a good comfortable rhythm. He stayed steady all the way around and put in a nice seven-eighths gallop out. He had a really strong workout last week, so we didn’t have to do quite as much today. He seemed happy and moving well.”
The Wertheimer and Frere homebred Hard Spun colt, who most notably ran second in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March, will enter the Grade 1 Belmont following an 18th place finish in the Kentucky Derby over a muddy track.
Todd Pletcher had this to say:
“It looked like he never really appreciated the off going in that race. Since then he’s seemed to continue to move forward and he’s been training well so we’re expecting a better effort.”
Intrepid Heart, for owners Robert and Lawana Low, worked in blinkers on the inside of graded stakes placed stablemate Outshine, completing five furlongs in 1:00.92.
“I thought he [Intrepid Heart] had another good work and strong gallop out,” said Pletcher. “I had him finish a mile in 1:38 and change. I think we got a solid work out of him. He seemed to be happy and moving well. He worked on the outside last time, so I just wanted to work him again with the blinkers on and have him on the inside this time and thought it went smoothly.”
Multiple graded stakes winner Coal Front, preparing to make his first start since an impressive victory in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan in Dubai, worked alone with regular rider Jose Ortiz aboard and completed four furlongs in 50.02.
“Very solid work,” said Pletcher. “Consistent with what he’s been doing. He got into a nice rhythm. We’re happy with how he’s been doing since Dubai.”
On the Belmont training track, Marconi completed five furlongs in 1:01.20 looking towards a start in the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Brooklyn Invitational.
“Very solid work from him. We’ve been real happy with how he’s been doing since his win last out in the Flat Out.”
Wrapping up Pletcher’s busy morning of workouts was graded stakes winner Bellavais, who breezed four furlongs in 49.09 seconds on the inner turf in preparation for the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game.
Fancy Dress Party on trend for G1 Acorn
Fancy Dress Party struts into the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn with a perfect record from four starts.
Trained by Ben Colebrook, who captured the Grade 1 Belmont Sprint Championship in July here with Limousine Liberal, Fancy Dress Party will step up to the Grade 1 level in the one-turn mile for sophomore fillies to test her mettle against Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress.
Colebrook trains the filly for an ownership, LNJ Foxwoods – nom de course of the parent-daughter team of Larry, Nanci and Jaime Roth – that has enjoyed a great deal of success during Triple Crown season as co-owners of Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner County House, trained by Bill Mott; and the dynamic sprinter Covfefe, trained by Brad Cox, who captured the Grade 3 Miss Preakness in track record time on Preakness Day at Pimlico.
“They’ve been the best. They put the horse first and are so easy to deal with. It’s been a blessing to train this filly for them,” said Colebrook.
Colebrook said Fancy Dress Party has been a model of consistency and he is excited to enter the dark bay daughter of Munnings in the 89th running of the Acorn.
“She’s a very nice filly and she’s done nothing wrong so far. She’s proven that she likes to win, and she’s doing well coming into the race, it’s a big step up going into the Acorn, but we’re excited to take a shot at it. It’s a Grade 1 with a lot of history.”
A $280,000 purchase at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Fancy Dress Party was initially expected to showcase her talents on turf. She debuted in October in a 5 1/2-furlong off-the-turf sprint over a sloppy Keeneland main, winning by 3 1/4-lengths – good for a 68 Beyer Speed Figure.
“I thought her action was a little turfy and the family had some nice turf sprinters, so we wanted to debut her on the turf but it came off the grass. Her works had been good enough on the dirt that we had no reservations running her on the dirt,” said Colebrook.
Her Beyer numbers continued to climb in subsequent starts sprinting six furlongs in an optional claimer over a sloppy surface at Churchill Downs [73 Beyer]; a first stakes win in the Glitter Woman at Gulfstream Park [79 Beyer]; and a last out score, off a three-month layoff, in the Grade 3 Beaumont at Keeneland, sprinting seven furlongs on a sloppy track to garner a career-best 86 Beyer when besting graded stakes winner Feedback.
On Belmont Stakes Day, Fancy Dress Party will stretch out to a mile for the first time in the Acorn – an assignment Colebrook says will suit.
“She’s coming out of a race on the Beard course at Keeneland which is a little over seven furlongs. It’s not like we’re asking her to stretch from six furlongs to a mile. It was a taxing race last time and I don’t think I had her 100 percent for the race. She did that on her own,” said Colebrook. “She ran a huge race in the Beaumont and we’ve given her time to recover. She’s coming into this race very well.”
Also expected to contest the Acorn are Bell’s the One (Pessin), Ce Ce (McCarthy), Cookie Dough (McLaughlin), Guarana (Brown), Jeltrin (Delgado), Proud Emma (Miller) and Queen of Beas (Abreu).
* * *
Whitmore headed to G2 True North, Stan the Man and Midnightcharly join prospective field
The Grade 2, $250,000 True North field will likely have to deal with the presence of the ultra-consistent Whitmore, who has finished in the exacta in 20 of 27 starts and compiled earnings upwards of $2.5 million. The 6-year-old gelding’s trainer, Ron Moquett, confirmed Saturday morning that the son of Pleasantly Perfect is targeting the race following a bullet work on Friday at Churchill Downs.
Whitmore enters the True North off an uncharacteristically dull effort in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs, but he nearly defeated multiple Grade 1-winner Imperial Hint to win last year’s True North coming off a fourth-place finish in the same race. The chestnut gelding also finished third in the 2017 edition of the True North.
Ron Moquett had this to say:
“I just thought he had a bad day; it was an odd race. He came back safe and sound and for whatever reason the race just didn’t set up for him. He made a move but didn’t finish like he normally does.”
Following the same progression as last year, Moquett hopes to use the True North as a springboard to the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga, a race Whitmore won last year.
“If he runs well we’ll point to the Forego,” said the trainer. “With the uncertainty with the Breeders’ Cup, that’s our Breeders’ Cup this year.”
Other likely new additions to the prospective True North field are Stan the Man, who is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester for trainer John Terranova and Long Lake Stable, and Midnightcharly, who won a Pennsylvania-bred stake in his most recent outing.
Other probable starters for the True North include: Catalina Cruiser (Sadler), Do Share (Maker), Midnightcharly (Coletti), Mr. Dougie Fresh (Servis), Nicodemus (Rice), Recruiting Ready (Hough), Stan the Man (Terranova), Strike Power (Hennig).
Also under consideration for the 6 ½-furlong sprint are Bon Raison (Martin), Prince Lucky (Pletcher).
ELMONT, N.Y. -Katsumi Yoshizawa’s homebred Master Fencer, trained by Koichi Tsunoda, was in good order on Thursday morning at his Belmont barn, where he continues to prepare for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.
The Japanese-bred son of Just a Way stumbled slightly during his five-furlong breeze on Wednesday morning under training assistant Yosuke Kono. As a precaution, an X-ray was taken of Master Fencer’s front ankles, which did not show any issues.
Kono, via translator Mitsuoki Numamoto, said that Master Fencer was sound and in good order.
“He got a little inflammation because of the breezing, which is normal,” said Kono. “The X-rays came back totally fine. The vet is not concerned about anything.”
Kono said that Master Fencer followed his regular schedule on Thursday morning, which included an opportunity to stretch his legs on the walking path in the back paddock of their barn.
“Today, he walked for an hour, which is normal for us the day after a breeze,” said Kono. “Tomorrow, we will go to the paddock for paddock schooling first and then to the main track for a light jog.”
Master Fencer rallied from last of 19 to finish seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and was elevated to sixth following the disqualification of Maximum Security, who had crossed the wire in first.
Julien Leparoux, aboard for the Derby effort, will retain the mount.
Miller considering quartet of contenders for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
Trainer Peter Miller could be represented by as many as four contenders for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival slated for June 6-8, including Belvoir Bay, Om,Proud Emma and Spiced Perfection.
The California-based conditioner has won a trio of stakes at Belmont, including the Grade 2 Kelso in 2015 with Appealing Tale; the Grade 2 True North with Roy H in 2017; and the 2017 Jersey Girl with Chalon.
Belvoir Bay and Om are both under consideration for the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational set for Belmont Stakes Day, June 8. The Jaipur is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park on November 2.
A millionaire daughter of Equiano, the British-bred Belvoir Bay boasts a record of 11-6-2 from 26 starts, with nine being on turf, including a pair of graded scores at Santa Anita last season in the Grade 3 San Simeon and Grade 2 Monrovia.
Owned by Gary Barber, Belvoir Bay opened her 2019 campaign with a win in the Wishing Well at Santa Anita ahead of an impressive runner-up effort in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in March at Meydan when narrowly defeated by Blue Point.
She returned to action on May 26 to finish second in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Monrovia, contested over a fast main track at Santa Anita.
“She’d have won easy on the grass,” said Miller. “She’s not as good on the dirt and she kind of stumbled at the start and rushed up. We’re going to take a look and think about running her back in the Jaipur.”
While Miller meditates on Belvoir Bay, the conditioner said Om, a 7-year-old Munnings gelding, will shorten up for the six-furlong test on the Belmont turf following a pace-pressing fifth in the one-mile Opening Verse at Churchill Downs.
“He’s doing well. We ran him one mile, a little prep stakes there and he got a little tired,” said Miller. “His best race was the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint  where he got beat a nose, so we thought we’d try and go that route again with him.”
Proud Emma, a 3-year-old Include chestnut, boasts a record of three wins and one second-place finish from seven starts. Miller is considering entering her in the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn at one mile on Big Sandy for sophomore fillies.
The improving filly has finished fourth in her two most recent efforts when stepping up to the graded level in the Grade 2 Gazelle at the Big A and the Eight Belles at Churchill.
“She’s doing well. We have one more breeze and then we’ll make a decision, but that’s the plan right now,” said Miller.
Last out, in a sloppy renewal of the Eight Belles, Proud Emma rallied from last of nine to earn a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Miller said Proud Emma could relish the one-turn mile at Belmont.
“We like the distance,” said Miller. “We’re not sure if she’s Grade 1-caliber but the distance should suit her. She tries hard and is a very nice filly.”
The ultra-consistent Spiced Perfection, a 4-year-old Smiling Tiger bay, boasts a record of 7-5-2 from 17 starts.
Spiced Perfection is nominated to both the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed o’ Roses, a seven-furlong sprint on June 7; and the Grade 1, $700,000 Ogden Phipps at 1 1/16-miles set for June 8 – a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” event to the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Although Spiced Perfection captured the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April when sprinting seven furlongs, Miller said he is considering stretching the filly out.
“We’re leaning towards the route race, the Ogden Phipps, at the moment,” said Miller. “We have another breeze to get through and make sure she’s on top of her game. The Bed o’ Roses looks pretty salty for a third of the money. I think if we can get a win at a longer distance, it would open up a lot of options for us.”
Baffert sending McKinzie, Much Better for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won’t have an entrant in the 151st running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes after successfully winning the “Test of the Champion” and capturing racing’s elusive Triple Crown two out of the past four years with American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify last year, but he will send a pair of formidable entrants to compete on Belmont Stakes Day undercard, with multiple graded stakes winner McKinzie pointing for the star-studded Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap and Much Better to the Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun.
“I really wish we had a runner ready for the Belmont, but it’s going to be a great day of racing,” said Baffert. “We’re going to send two east that we like to compete in some tough races. Martin Panza [NYRA’s Senior VP of Racing Operations] always does a great job putting together great cards on big days and this looks to be another one.”
McKinzie is pointing for the Met Mile following an impressive 4 ¾ length victory in the Grade 2 Alysheba on May 3 at Churchill Downs. Baffert said McKinzie was in good order following his most recent workout on Monday at Santa Anita, where he completed six furlongs in 1:11.80 handily.
“He’s doing great,” said Baffert. “I thought he really had a nice work the other day and we’ll work him one more time this weekend before we send him to New York on Tuesday.”
A 4-year-old son of Street Sense owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, McKinzie emerged as one of the top horses in the country last year collecting graded stakes wins in the Grade 2 San Felipe and Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita as well as a Grade 1 score in the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx.
McKinzie was second by a half-length in his 2019 debut in the Grade 2 San Pasqual on February 2 at Santa Anita, and he finished second by a nose in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap before his impressive score in the Alysheba.
“I thought he came out of his last race well and he’s really moved forward,” said Baffert.
An onslaught of graded stakes winners are expected for the Runhappy Metropolitan, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2, including Coal Front, Firenze Fire, Mitole, Promises Fulfilled, Pavel and Thunder Snow.
Baffert said he is expecting a thrilling race.
“It’s certainly one tough race,” said Baffert. “We think we have a good horse too and we want to compete, but those are the type of horses that make it a Grade 1.”
Much Better, a 3-year-old Pioneerof the Nile colt owned and bred by Three Chimneys Farm, will look to regroup off a fourth-place finish over a sloppy and sealed main track in the Gold Fever on May 12 at Belmont, where he was sent off as the 1-2 post time favorite.
Much Better breezed five furlongs in 58.80 seconds last Tuesday at Churchill Downs, and Baffert said he’s hoping to draw a line through his Gold Fever effort.
“I just don’t think he liked the off track that day,” said Baffert. “He worked great at Churchill so we’ll look to ship him up Wednesday and give him another shot.”
Making his first three career starts on turf, including a 14th place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs last year, Much Better switched to the dirt, picking up a third-place finish in the Sham and an allowance win at Santa Anita before running fourth in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 9 and second in the Grade 3 Bay Shore on April 6 at the Big A.
Lastly, Baffert reported multiple graded stakes winner Marley’s Freedom would not point for the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed o’ Roses and will instead look at other options.
McLaughlin talks Turf Trinity, Belmont Stakes Day runners
Kiaran McLaughlin’s A Thread of Blue will bypass the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge this Saturday at Belmont Park in favor of the Grade 2 Penn Mile, but it won’t be long before the talented turf runner is back on the NYRA circuit, as the trainer hopes to take aim at the newly minted Turf Trinity.
“We thought turning back [for the Penn Mile] might be a great opportunity,” McLaughlin said of A Thread of Blue, whose last race came in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile American Turf at Churchill Downs, where he finished a close second. “It’s a good spot. We’ll look at the Belmont Derby after this race. The mile and an eighth [of the Pennine Ridge] might have been a good stepping stone, but we’re the favorite in the Penn Mile and probably wouldn’t be the favorite in the Pennine Ridge.”
Established this year, the Turf Trinity is a series of turf races for 3-year-olds comprised of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational on July 6 at Belmont, as well as the inaugural running of the $1 million Saratoga Derby on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course and $1 million Jockey Club Derby on September 7 at Belmont.
“I think it’s a great idea for the world of racing,” said McLaughlin. “I think some people will take a look from Ireland, England, and France, too. It fills a void in American racing, so it’s good to have if you have the right horse.”
The distances of the trio of races mirror that of the American Triple Crown, as the Belmont Derby is contested at 1 ¼ miles, the Saratoga Derby at 1 3/16 miles, and the Jockey Club Derby at 1 ½ miles. Though A Thread of Blue has yet to run beyond 1 1/16 miles, McLaughlin is optimistic that the son of Hard Spun will be up to the challenge.
“We think that he can go longer, and it’ll be nice to have the speed that we have,” said the trainer. “A lot of times the longer turf races don’t have a strong pace, so we’ll be right up there.”
On Belmont Stakes Day, McLaughlin will likely send out another burgeoning turf star, Qurbaan, in the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan at 1 ¼ miles. The Shadwell color-bearer is coming off a valiant runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill, in which he missed by a half-length to Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational victor Bricks and Mortar.
After winning the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga last summer, Qurbaan finished second or third in four consecutive graded stakes before almost breaking through in the Turf Classic while donning blinkers for the first time.
“We ran huge at Churchill and just got nipped by Bricks and Mortar getting four pounds, and we’re supposed to get eight pounds if they both run again,” said McLaughlin. “That should help us. We’re not sure about us going a mile and a quarter, but adding blinkers definitely helped. Mike Smith likes him and rode him well, and we get him back, too.”
A recent addition to the barn, Cookie Dough will give the trainer another shot at Grade 1 glory on Belmont Stakes Day in the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn. The 3-year-old filly last ran in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 17 at Pimlico for trainer Stanley Gold, and had previously raced exclusively at Gulfstream Park, finishing third in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale.
“We’re happy to have her; she’s doing very well,” said McLaughlin. “Stanley Gold has done a terrific job with her. It’s a Grade 1 at a mile, so it’s going to be a tough race, but she definitely fits. She’s a speed, she goes. She was on the lead in the Black Eyed Susan all the way and finished third. That spot on the lead might be occupied, but she’ll be close [to the pace]. She’s pretty fast.”
Sisterson hoping to make good showing for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
Trainer Jack Sisterson could possibly send a trio of Calumet Farm runners for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, slated for June 6-8.
Bandua, a distant seventh over a sloppy main track in the Grade 3 Westchester on May 4, may switch back to the grass for the Grade 1, Manhattan – a 1 ¼ mile event over the inner turf at Belmont.
The gray or roan son of The Factor’s most recent start on grass took place three starts back with a close runner-up effort behind Synchrony in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February, where he recorded a career best 99 Beyer Speed Figure. He then made his career debut on dirt next out in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, where he was fourth beaten three lengths.
“His two races on dirt are obviously black and white,” Sisterson said. “You have to put a line through the last race. He trains well on dirt at Keeneland and did so over the winter at Fair Grounds. We’re excited to get him back on grass, which might be his better surface.”
Bandua’s two career victories took place going the classic distance in Ireland, where he began racing for trainer Dermot Weld. His American debut also was going 1 ¼ miles with a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Secretariat in August at Arlington.
Fresh off of a graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Chick Lang on May 18 at Pimlico where he lit up the tote board at 17-1, Lexitonian could target the Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun on June 8.
The son of Speightstown broke his maiden at first asking over the Belmont main track last summer when trained by Todd Pletcher. He made his debut for Sisterson on Derby Day at Churchill Downs with a fifth-place effort in a first level allowance event.
“He’s not the biggest horse, but he’s got a huge heart,” Sisterson said. “He always gives 100 percent. Every time he runs, he shows up and his last race was a very exciting win.”
In search of a second graded stakes victory is the royally-bred Vexatious. The full sister to graded stakes winners Creative Cause and Destin has placed twice on dirt as a 3-year-old and notched her first graded stakes win via disqualification in the Grade 3 Dowager on October 21 at Keeneland.
The daughter of Giant’s Causeway and graded stakes winner Dream of Summer could race in the Grade 2, $600,000 New York on Belmont Stakes Eve. Last out, she was a distant fifth over a soft Widener turf course in the Grade 3 Sheepshead Bay on May 4.
Vexatious, previously conditioned by Neil Drysdale, will make her first start for Sisterson.
“She came from Drysdale in great shape and I haven’t had to do anything with her,” Sisterson said. “Hopefully she can catch a firm ground, she didn’t care for the soft ground she got at Belmont last time.”
All three runners could breeze on Sunday at Keeneland, weather permitting.
Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets winner Tacitus breezed over the main track at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday at Belmont Park, working in company with Multiplier.
Both horses covered five furlongs in 1:01.16 with Tacitus, piloted by Jose Ortiz, galloping out strong in front of his graded stakes winning stablemate in preparation for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, slated for Saturday, June 8.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms, Tacitus rallied from 16th at the half-mile call in the Kentucky Derby to finish fourth and was elevated to third with the disqualification of Maximum Security.
Mott said he was pleased with the breeze from the regally-bred son of Tapit and multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches.
“It was very good, very even; I liked the rhythm of it – 12, 12, 12, 12. Each furlong was in about 12 seconds and he went out six furlongs in about 1:12, so I thought it was a very steady, solid work.”
Country House, who provided Mott with his first Kentucky Derby winner, developed a cough after his historic win and was forced to skip the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Preakness.
Mott said the Lookin At Lucky chestnut is in good order at Churchill Downs and will be pointed to a summer campaign at the lucrative Saratoga meet which kicks off on Thursday, July 11 featuring 76 stakes worth $20.85 million across 40 racing days, highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers set for August 24.
“Country House is back on the track at Churchill – he’s jogging. He’s doing fine,” said Mott, who trains the Derby winner, bred by the late Joseph V. Shields Jr., for owners Mrs. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden, and LNJ Foxwoods. “He’s a horse you’d look at for the Jim Dandy [Grade 2, $600,000 – July 27] with the Travers as the [longer term] goal.”
Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Channel Maker earned a lofty 106 Beyer Speed Figure in his Grade 1 Man o’ War score. The talented 5-year-old son of English Channel, bred in Ontario at the Tall Oaks Farm of Ivan Dalos, worked four furlongs in 48.33 on the Belmont dirt training track on Sunday morning.
Mott said Channel Maker is tentatively pointed to the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, a 1 1/4-mile turf test for 4-year-olds and up set for Belmont Stakes Day, June 8 as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival slated for June 6 – June 8 at beautiful Belmont Park.
“He worked very nicely on the training track. It was the first work back for him and it was very good,” said Mott. “We’re nominated for the Manhattan, but I’m not sure what we’re doing yet. We’ll see how he trains up to it.”
With the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes as its centerpiece, the 2019 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will include 18 stakes races over the three days including an unprecedented 8 Grade 1 races on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8.
Brown battalion breezes on busy Belmont weekend
Chad Brown, an Eclipse Award winner as Outstanding Trainer in each of the last three years, rolled out a remarkable contingent of graded stakes winners on both the turf and main track on Saturday and Sunday at Belmont Park.
On Saturday, Grade 1 winner Separationofpowers worked four furlongs on the main track in 49.77 seconds with an eye towards the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed O’ Roses Invitational, a seven-furlong dirt sprint for older fillies and mares set for Friday, June 7
“She’s likely for the Bed O’ Roses. We’re planning on running her there. She worked fine,” said Brown of the 4-year-old Candy Ride filly owned by Klaravich Stables.
Three Chimneys Farm homebred Guarana, a romping 14 3/4-length maiden winner over a sloppy Keeneland track on April 19, worked five furlongs, in company with Electric Forest, in 1:00.01 on the main track.
Brown said the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn on Belmont Stakes Day is a possibility for the Ghostzapper filly.
“She looked really well. She worked fine. She’s been working at Saratoga before she came down here,” said Brown. “We might take a shot and enter her in the Acorn. I’ll have to talk to the owners about that.”
Peter M. Brant’s graded stakes placed Dunbar Road has breezed steadily since her runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks. The daughter of Quality Road, who graduated at first asking on March 3 at Gulfstream Park, breezed on the main track Saturday in company with South of the Shore, covering four furlongs in 48.59 seconds.
Dunbar Road and South of the Shore, a maiden winner in March at the Big A, are both entered in an allowance race on Thursday at Belmont Park. Brown said the Grade 2, $250,000 Mother Goose, a 1 1/16-mile event for sophomore fillies slated for June 29 is the longer term goal for Dunbar Road.
“She worked fine,” said Brown. “We’re using this a prep for the Mother Goose. The timing works well.”
Klaravich Stables’ Grade 1 winner Competitionofideas worked in company with Grade 3-winner Significant Form in 49.03 over the main track Saturday.
Competitionofideas finished second, defeated a half-length by stablemate Homerique, in her seasonal debut in the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 11 at Belmont.
Homerique, owned by Brant, was making her North American debut in the Beaugay. The Exchange Rate grey also worked Saturday, covering four furlongs on the inner turf in 49.56.
Brown said that Competitionofideas and Homerique are likely to renew their rivalry in the Grade 2, $600,000 New York, a 10-furlong turf test slated for June 7 as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
“She [Competitionofideas] ran really well. She just ran into a filly in Homerique, who ran a tick better. They both ran great and both her and Homerique are pointed to the New York Handicap,” said Brown.
Uni, who captured the Grade 1 Matriarch in December at Del Mar, worked four furlongs in 49.56 on the inner turf on Saturday as she prepares for her seasonal debut.
Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Newspaperofrecord worked in company with Grade 3 Herecomesthebride winner Cambier Parc on the turf on Saturday, with both fillies covering five furlongs in 1:02.12.
Newspaperofrecord finished second in her 3-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Edgewood at Churchill Downs over a turf course rated good. It was the first defeat from three starts for the Lope de Vega bay, who romped by 6 3/4-lengths in her Breeders’ Cup score, earning a 96 Beyer number.
Brown said he will point the talented filly to the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again which kicks off the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Thursday, June 6 as part of her path towards the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational which kicks off the Turf Tiara, first leg of the Turf Triple Series for fillies.
“She looks good. She looks like she’s moved forward from that last race and she’s pointed to the Wonder Again. We’re excited to run there,” said Brown. “We’re pointing her to the Belmont Oaks and using it as a prep.”
The Belmont Oaks Invitational is contested at 1 1/4-miles on the Belmont turf as part of the July 6 Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, and will be broadcast live on NBC.
Talented maiden winners Cafe Americano and Valid Point also worked on the main track Saturday for Brown.
Brant’s Cafe Americano, a 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and Canadian champion Roxy Gap, worked four furlongs in 48.28 in company with Grade 3-placed Blowout, who was clocked in 48.38. Cafe Americano graduated at first asking on February 9 on the Gulfstream green.
Valid Point, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Michael J. Ryan, also graduated at first asking in February on the Gulfstream turf. The 3-year-old Scat Daddy bay worked four furlongs in 48.82 in company with stakes winner Alter Moon also clocked in 48.82.
Recent maiden winner Value Proposition, who earned a 90 Beyer in her April 27 debut on the Belmont green, worked five furlongs Saturday on the inner turf in 1:01.33 in company with Demarchelier, who is undefeated in two starts.
The bustling Brown barn was busy again on Sunday with an armada of Grade 1-talent taking to both the main track and turf.
Multiple Grade 1-winner Rushing Fall, a winner of seven of eight starts for owner e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, worked five furlongs on the inner turf in company with multiple Grade 1-winner Sistercharlie who was last seen winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Both were clocked in 1:00.02.
While Sistercharlie is likely to try and defend her title in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana set for July 13 at Saratoga, Brown said Rushing Fall, who won the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland last out, will contest the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game on Belmont Stakes Day.
“She worked good,” said Brown. “She’s pointed to the Just a Game and she worked really well.”
A trio of potential contenders for the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day all went to the turf with Grade 1 winners Bricks and Mortar andRaging Bull working together through five furlongs in 1:00.19 on the inner turf.
Robert Bruce, last year’s Grade 1 Arlington Million winner, covered five furlongs in 1:01.56 on the inner turf working in company with Grade 3-winner Instilled Regard.
Precieuse, who won the Group 1 Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in 2017 at Deauville, worked in company with Juddmonte homebred Environs in 1:00.13 with the Longines Just a Game a potential target for both.
Irish-bred sophomore Digital Age, recent winner of the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs, worked in company with 4-year-old Olympico, recent winner of the Grade 3 Fort Marcy at Belmont, with both covering four furlongs on the inner turf in 50.03.
Brown said Digital Age is on target for the first leg of the Turf Trinity, the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby at 10 furlongs on the turf slated for July 6.
“He’s going to train up to the Belmont Derby. He won’t run until then,” said Brown.
Wow Cat, who won the Grade 1 Beldame last year, covered three furlongs in 37.43 on the main track as the 5-year-old daughter of Lookin At Lucky prepares for her seasonal debut.
Master Fencer enjoys first tour of Belmont Park
Katsumi Yoshizawa’s homebred Master Fencer, a rail-rallying sixth in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Koichi Tsunoda, jogged at Belmont Park for the first time early on Sunday morning.
Racing manager Mitsuoki Numamoto, translating on behalf of training assistant Yosuke Kono, said the talented Japanese-bred son of Just a Way enjoyed the experience.
“Master Fencer had one lap of jogging on the training track, with a jog and light gallop at the main track as his schooling,” said Numamoto. “The horse was very fresh and energized because of his day off yesterday, and shows no tiredness from shipment. Since the surface is pretty similar to Japan dirt, he seems okay for [racing on] this surface.”
Master Fencer is scheduled to breeze five furlongs on the Belmont Park main track early Wednesday morning. Jockey Julien Leparoux is slated to be aboard for the work and in the Belmont.
Code of Honor breezes three-eighths for Dwyer
William Farish’s Code of Honor was back to serious business on Saturday morning and recorded his first breeze since a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby with a three-eighths work in 37.33 seconds for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
“He worked really well,” McGaughey said. “Just an easy three-eighths to get him going again. He seemed to do it real easily, he came back good. We’re moving forward. We’re hoping to have a good summertime horse.”
McGaughey is pointing the chestnut son of Noble Mission to the Grade 3, $250,000 Dwyer on July 6 at Belmont Park. McGaughey has won the Dwyer twice with Grade 1 winning millionaires Seeking the Gold (1988) and Coronado’s Quest (1998).
Never worse than fourth in four career starts, Code of Honor won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park over the winter and was third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby before his runner-up effort in the Derby. He is a Farish homebred out of graded stakes winner Reunited.
McGaughey also spoke of impressive maiden winner Passing Out, who has not raced since breaking her maiden over the turf at Gulfstream Park in late February. The Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable-owned daughter of Orb is pointed to a first-level allowance event on Sunday, June 2 over the Widener turf course.
Japanese-bred Master Fencer arrives at Belmont Park
Katsumi Yoshizawa’s homebred Master Fencer, a Japanese-bred son of Just a Way arrived at Belmont Park on Friday evening from Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, where he has trained towards the 1 ½-mile ‘Test of a Champion’ following his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
“Today he will just walk and graze. It’s a relax day for him. He’ll go to the training track and the main track probably tomorrow morning,” racing manager Mitsuoki Numamoto said.
With Julien Leparoux up for the Kentucky Derby, Master Fencer was last of 19 at third call before launching a menacing bid up the rail to finish seventh, defeated just four lengths. When Maximum Security was disqualified, Master Fencer was elevated to sixth besting the effort of the two previous Japanese-based horses in the Derby topping Lani [9th, 2016] and Ski Captain [14th, 1995].
Numamoto said Master Fencer should appreciate the added distance in the Belmont. He also said:
“In Kentucky, after the race, his jockey Julien said, ‘I needed one more furlong,”
On Saturday, June 8, Master Fencer will have two additional furlongs to demonstrate his late flourish. Numamoto stated:
“Maybe we wouldn’t have beaten Maximum Security and Country House, but he has a strong late kick. His movement is not like a sprinter. We asked Julien last time to please put pressure on him for the last six furlongs. He has a really strong heart,”
Leparoux will have the return call on Master Fencer in the Belmont.
Tax records ‘easy work’ for G1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets
Trainer Danny Gargan was looking for an easy move out of graded stakes winner Tax on Saturday morning and that’s exactly what he got as the 3-year-old gelded son of Arch went a half-mile in 49.80 seconds over the Belmont Park training track.
Under mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the early 60’s, Gargan sent Tax to the training track at 7:40 a.m. on Saturday morning as he recorded his first serious work since a 14th place effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
“It was just a maintenance work, I wanted a nice easy work, he gallops out like he always does, nice and strong. We worked him by himself so he wouldn’t go too fast.”
“When he was in company, he grabs the bridle and works more impressive but today we just wanted to keep him going forward. We’ll come back next week and work him and get a stronger breeze in him. Hopefully we can work on Saturday next week. I’ll work him with another horse next week, so he gets a lot more out of it.”
Gargan stated that Tax is pointing towards the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 8.
“That’s what we’re pointing for; we’re aiming for that. If everything goes as planned that’s where we’ll run,” said Gargan.
Tax’s energy level following the ‘Run for the Roses’ was good according to Gargan. He stayed on the rail throughout the Derby but was not a factor following the eventual disqualification of Maximum Security. In six career starts, it was the only off-the-board effort for Tax, who won the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct before a runner-up placing in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets.
Danny Gargan had this to say about the Derby:
“We didn’t do much running in the Derby. I expected the track to be sealed tight so I told him to stay on the inside and they harrowed it and it was kind of a disaster, we didn’t do that right thing by getting on the rail when it was so deep. It is what it is and we’ll just move on to the next race. Hopefully the Belmont will be a good track that day and we can show that we can run with these horses.”
Owned by R A Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable, Tax was bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farms and Adele Dilschnieder. He is out of the Giant’s Causeway broodmare Toll and comes from the same family as two-time Grade 1 winning millionaire Elate.
War of Will to post final G1 Belmont breeze at Keeneland; Sir Winston breezes in company at Belmont
Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse will saddle both War of Will and Sir Winston in the Belmont Stakes.
Casse said Gary Barber’s War of Will, who was a powerful winner of the Grade 1 Preakness, is in good order in Kentucky where he is currently preparing for the third leg of the Triple Crown.
“He trained this morning and it went well. He’s been through a lot the past couple weeks, so right now we’re just trying to gather up energy and get him feeling good,”
Casse said War of Will is likely to arrive in New York on Monday, June 3 ahead of the Belmont, which is slated for Saturday, June 8.
“The plan is for him to breeze on Friday [May 31] or Saturday [June 1] the week prior to the Belmont at Keeneland. If all goes as planned, he’ll get on a van Sunday night or Monday afternoon to New York to arrive for the week of the Belmont,” said Casse. “We’ve had pretty good luck doing it that way, not only with him, but with others. I talked it over with Gary Barber and David Carroll [assistant trainer] and that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
Tracy Farmer’s homebred Sir Winston, a chestnut son of Awesome Again, worked five furlongs in company with fellow Farmer-owned Catch a Thrill on Saturday morning on the Belmont main track.
With Joel Rosario up, Sir Winston tracked the stakes-placed Catch a Thrill before finishing strong to stop the clock in 1:01.48 just in front of Catch a Thrill in 1:02.31.
“I was very happy with Sir Winston this morning,” said Casse. “He’s never been much of a work horse, but since he’s started running better recently he’s become a better workhorse. I would call that an A+ work for him this morning – it might be a ‘B’ for most horses, but for him it’s an ‘A+’.”
Assistant trainer Jamie Begg, who saddled Sir Winston at Casse’s New York base, said that the improving colt came out of the work in good order.
“He came out of it well. We wanted to give him a good finishing work. We’re not looking for track record speed in any regard, it’s just the fact that he comes home and builds some confidence,”
Sir Winston earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure last out when rallying for second behind Global Campaign in the Grade 3 Peter Pan.
“More importantly, he ran the last quarter of a mile, after going a mile and an eighth, in 23 and 2,” said Casse.
Begg said that Sir Winston is training in the morning in a style that matches his afternoon efforts.
“We work him the way he likes to run,” said Begg. “Let him fall away from the pole and then run when you need to run and he gets a lot more out of the gallop out. He seems to have responded to that in his works.”
Casse also noted that Grade 3-winner Got Stormy breezed well this morning at Churchill Downs, covering five furlongs on the main track in 1:01.40. The 4-year-old Get Stormy chestnut is targeting the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, a one-turn mile on the Belmont turf.
“She breezed well this morning and she’ll be traveling with ‘WOW’,” said Casse, in reference to War of Will. “I think it suits her perfectly – the distance, the one-turn. It’s a good spot for her. It’s a tough spot, but she’s doing extremely well right now. We’re excited about her.”
Casse also noted that he expects to saddle both Perfect Alibi and Reiterate in the $150,000 Astoria, a 5 ½-furlong dirt sprint for juvenile fillies set for June 6 to kick off the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival; while the graded stakes placed Dream Maker is pointed to the $150,000 Easy Goer, a 1 1/16-mile test for sophomores on Belmont Stakes Day.
It was a busy Saturday morning at Belmont Park for trainer Todd Pletcher as he breezed a number of stakes contenders in preparation for upcoming assignments in the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival set for Thursday, June 6 – Saturday, June 8.
Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred Spinoff will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 8, after finishing a disappointing 18th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track.
Spinoff breezed five furlongs in 59.91 seconds in company with fellow 3-year-old stablemate Last Judgment, raking second out of 28 runners at the distance.
“I thought he [Spinoff] worked well, I think the main track was a bit fast, but he galloped out [six furlongs] in one [minute], twenty-four [seconds] and change and a mile in one [minute] thirty-seven [seconds] and change so it was the kind of big work we were looking for from him today.”
Last Judgment, a son of Congrats owned by Mathis Stable and Madaket Stables, broke his maiden in his second career start in February at Gulfstream and followed up with an allowance win on March 16 at Oaklawn.
Following a ninth-place finish as the even-money favorite in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile on May 4 at Churchill Downs, Last Judgment is expected to target the $150,000 Easy Goer at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8.
“We have him penciled in for the Easy Goer at the moment,” said Pletcher. “He looked good this morning and that’s encouraging. His race in the Pat Day was probably the most disappointing performance I’ve seen in a long time from a horse that trained like he did leading into it. I don’t know if it was leaving from post 14 or what, but he never tightened the bridle at any stage.”
Intrepid Heart is also pointing for the Grade 1 Belmont following a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Peter Pan, and posted his first breeze back completing four furlongs in 49.16 seconds, with the addition of blinkers. He breezed in company with multiple graded stakes winning stablemate Prince Lucky, who finished sixth in the Grade 3 Westchester on May 4 in his most recent start and was clocked in 48.82 seconds.
“I thought his [Intrepid Heart’s] workout was very good,” said Pletcher. “It was his first time with blinkers and he seemed to be a little bit more focused, but not head strong, so we got the response we were looking for. I thought he put in a nice move toward the end of the work and he had a nice gallop out as well. Prince Lucky didn’t quite get to finish his gallop out due to the loose horse siren that went off, but I thought he also worked well. We’ll see how he comes back next week before deciding on a race for him.”
Marconi completed his first breeze since winning the Flat Out on May 9. The handsome Tapit colt also visited the main track, breezing four furlongs in 49.82 seconds with his next target the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Brooklyn Invitational.
“We didn’t want to do too much today and I thought it was a good effort from him,” said Pletcher. “We’re looking at the Brooklyn [Invitational] for him, so we’ll see how he comes out of the work.”
Making a visit to the inner turf for Pletcher was Bortolazzo Stable’s graded stakes winner Bellavais, who breezed four furlongs in 49.31 seconds and is targeting a start in the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.
“I thought it was nice, consistent work from her,” said Pletcher. “We’re getting her ready for the Just a Game. She ran pretty well here last fall [October 24, Allowance win] going a mile on the turf, so we’ll try to do that here again. It’ll be a tough assignment, but we’ll give her a try.”
On Friday, Pletcher sent multiple graded stakes winner Coal Front to the main track for his fourth workout since returning from Dubai after winning the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan Racecourse.
The 5-year-old son of Stay Thirsty breezed five furlongs in 1:00.66 in preparation for an upcoming start in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Mile.
“I thought he had an especially good work as well,” said Pletcher. “He’s come out of it well and he seems to be in good shape in what’s looking like a very deep race, but he’s certainly earned his way to be in there.”
Also expected for a loaded renewal of the Runhappy Metropolitan are Mitole, McKinzie, Firenze Fire, Promises Fulfilled and Thunder Snow.
Daddy Is a Legend breezes for G1 Longines Just a Game
Jim and Susan Hill’s Daddy Is a Legend breezed four furlongs in 49.89 on the inner turf on Saturday morning at Belmont in preparation for the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game.
The Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Scat Daddy notched Grade 3 wins in the 2017 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar and 2018 Lake George at Saratoga for trainer George Weaver. She just missed a Grade 1 win when second, by half a length to Uni, in the Matriarch at Del Mar to close out her 2018 campaign.
Daddy Is a Legend made her seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day and finished a closing third with regular pilot Manny Franco up.
Assistant trainer Blair Golen said she was pleased with Daddy Is a Legend’s first breeze back at Belmont.
“She breezed excellent. I’m very happy with her. I haven’t seen her since last year, but she looks nice and has filled out great. She ran excellent at Churchill so I’m excited,” said Golen. “We told Manny to let her do a nice half-mile and let her do what she wants. She went 49 and 4 beautifully. We couldn’t have asked for any more from her.”
Thomas Brockley’s Colonel Tom, bred in New York by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, commanded attention on the turf last year winning back-to-back races at sprint distances including a 2 3/4-length score at Saratoga that earned a 90 Beyer number.
The 4-year-old Colonel John bay worked four furlongs in 48.09 on the Belmont main on Saturday morning.
“He breezed good today. He’s doing really good. We could try an ‘open 1x’ now and if he does good there maybe entertain a New York-bred stakes race with him, said Golen.
Talented Weaver trainees Vekoma, who captured the Grade 2 Blue Grass ahead of finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby; and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan winner Point of Honor, are both training at Saratoga.
“Vekoma just went to Saratoga on Wednesday along with Point of Honor. He came out of the race well,” said Golen. “With Point of Honor, she came out of the race excellent, and we’ll look for something at Saratoga. We’re happy with them.”
* * *
Highland Sky to stretch out in G2 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational
Multiple graded stakes placed Highland Sky, trained by Barclay Tagg, breezed six furlongs in 1:12.76 on Saturday morning over the inner turf course in preparation for the Grade 2, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational.
Tagg said he was pleased with the effort ahead of the two-mile stamina test on Friday, June 7 as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
“I thought he did great,” said Tagg. “It was a nice, easy breeze and I got him going out seven furlongs in 1:25 and a tick. It was just what I wanted.”
In 2016, the now 6-year-old Sky Mesa gelding, captured the Woodhaven at Aqueduct ahead of a strong second, defeated by a neck to Deauville, in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational.
Highland Sky won at 1 3/8-miles last June at Belmont and Tagg said the added distance shouldn’t bother his hard-trying charge.
“He should have plenty of stamina. He comes from a stamina family and I’ve trained that whole family for 30 years,” said Tagg.
* * *
Disco Partner remains on target for G1 Jaipur
Patricia A. Generazio’s multiple graded stakes winning New York-bred Disco Partner visited the inner turf on Saturday under the watchful eye of conditioner Christophe Clement.
With regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, Disco Partner completed four furlongs in 49.72 seconds in preparation for a start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational.
“I thought he worked well,” said Clement. “It was a slow work by design, but he looked good and very sound. Irad was very positive following the work and as of now we’re still on target for the Jaipur.”
The 7-year-old son of Disco Rico is the reigning two-time defending champion of the Jaipur. He has made only one start this year finishing ninth in the Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland and has an impressive 9 wins from 16 starts at Belmont.
Also visiting the turf for Clement was 5-year-old multiple graded stakes placed White Flag for owner and breeder Robert S. Evans, breezing four furlongs in 49.51 seconds and 4-year-old French-bred Chipolata owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Hubert Honore and Robert Masiello, who worked 51.43 seconds.
Clement is weighing options for each of their next starts.
“Chipolata had a nice easy work,” said Clement. “It was also slow by design. She looked well. I’m not sure where we’ll go next, but we’ll look at a number of options. White Flag also worked well with Joel Rosario aboard. We’ll also take a look at what’s coming up and see how he comes out of this work and go from there.”
Courtesy of NYRA Press Office
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