(from Churchill Downs)
Flight schedules were changed on Monday and the flight from Louisville-to-New York that will carry Belmont Stakes contenders Denis of Cork and Macho Again is now scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, rather than Tuesday, June 3. The horses are scheduled to load onto vans at Churchill Downs at 11 a.m. (EDT) and the flight is scheduled to leave Louisville International Airport at noon.
Denis of Cork completed his serious preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7 with an easy half-mile breeze at Churchill Downs June 2. Denis of Cork, who finished third to unbeaten Triple Crown contender Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed four furlongs under jockey Robby Albarado in :48.60.
Denis of Cork and fellow Churchill Downs-based Belmont contender Macho Again are scheduled to fly from Louisville to New York around noon June 4. The two were originally scheduled to depart June 3.
Trainer David Carroll was beaming after Denis of Cork worked a solid half-mile to wrap up his serious preparation for his rematch with Big Brown. Carroll’s colt, owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Warren, worked just after the break for track maintenance.
Denis of Cork covered the first quarter-mile in :24.80 on the way to his half-mile clocking of :48.60. The son of Harlan's Holiday galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.60.
“I was very, very happy with what I saw today,” said Carroll. “Robby was very careful not to go too fast early. He’s very deceiving. He can go fast because he covers a lot of ground, so he was under wraps the last eighth. He just let his head out and he just immediately accelerated, and it was a beautiful thing to watch. We’re excited.”
“It was a good work,” said Albarado. “He went really well. He’s showing improvement and he’s doing everything that David’s asked him to do.”
The other Belmont Stakes contender stabled at Churchill Downs was on the track June 2 for a jog. West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, the runner-up to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I) and winner of the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, jogged about two miles under exercise rider Kenny Bourque. The Dallas Stewart-trained son of Macho Uno had worked May 30. After a day of walking in the shedrow, he returned to the track for a jog June 1.
“We’re just trying to be a little careful,” said Stewart. “He’s doing great. He’s on his toes and looks awesome, so we’re just hoping to go up there with a lot in the tank.”