Tale of Ekati Works for Belmont

Tale of Ekati Works for Belmont
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Wood Memorial winner Tale of Ekati worked at Belmont in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.
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By Karen M. Johnson

Tale of Ekati turned in a super-sharp work for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I) when he sped four furlongs in 46.84 seconds over Belmont Park’s main track May 20. The move was the fastest of 37 works at the distance, on a track listed as fast before a steady rain began falling later in the morning.

"It was a little quick," said Robbin Smullen, assistant to Barclay Tagg, who conditions the Tale of the Cat   runner. "But he did it very easily, and could not have blown out a match afterward. I was on the pony, and cantered over to him pretty quickly after the work. He was a little sharp. It had been (a while) since his last work, and he gets a little sharp. But he ate up everything at lunch and has head is in the (tub) now.”

Tale of Ekati last worked April 29 at Churchill Downs prior to a respectable fourth-place finish in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), his most recent start. That day the colt went four furlongs in :49.40 over a fast track. Exercise rider Kristin Troxell, who Smullen noted weighs about 100 pounds, was aboard for both outings. 

"Nobody thinks 'Oh my God' when he goes that quick with her," Smullen said. "He is a pretty deceiving horse. I haven’t breezed him, but he is a very, very fast horse, but he doesn’t feel like he is going that fast.”
Tale of Ekati, who is owned by his breeder, Charles Fipke, finished a respectable fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) in his last start May 3. Before the Derby, he won the Wood Memorial (gr.I) in a gutsy victory over the now-sidelined War Pass, last year’s champion 2-year-old male.

Smullen said Eibar Coa, who rode the colt in the Derby, will have the mount in the Belmont Stakes. Tale of Ekati will work twice more before the Belmont, she said.

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