Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Ride On Curlin
, who failed to finish in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will be getting a break after competing in all three legs of the Triple Crown.
Daniel J. Dougherty's son of Curlin
bled in the Belmont and was eased at the quarter pole by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
"He bled probably a three out of 10," trainer Billy Gowan said June 8. "He ate everything last night and his legs look good, so that's the main thing. He was going to get a little break anyhow, so maybe it's time to give him one."
Gowan and Ride On Curlin will head back to their base in Kentucky on Monday.
"I'll take him back to the track and see how he is," Gowan said. "Maybe I'll take him to the farm and just kind of see how he's doing. He's a pretty tough horse. He didn't really want to go a mile and a half looking back on it. Anybody can be a Monday morning quarterback, but I probably won't ever run him a mile and a half again."
The Belmont was only the third time Ride On Curlin had finished out of the money, including the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) , where he wound up seventh following a tough trip.
"The bleeding is what stopped him," Gowan said. "His head went up and that's a tell-tale sign. The bleeding will stop one dead in their tracks because they can't get their air. Johnny did the right thing. He said at the three-eighths pole he didn't have a lot of horse. He asked him one time and there was nothing there, so he just eased him and I'm glad he did."
Gowan has not looked past the Belmont for Ride On Curlin, who was also second in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and third in the Feb. 17 Southwest (gr. III), both at Oaklawn Park
"We'll look at (the grade I Travers Stakes), but we're going to give him 30 to 45 days off," he said. "It's been a long grind, for me and the horse."