Belmont Allowance Winner Belmont Stakes-Bound

Belmont Allowance Winner Belmont Stakes-Bound
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Colita, winning at Aqueduct earlier this year.
Team Valor Stable's Colita, a 3-year-old son of Grindstone, won Wednesday's seventh race at Belmont Park by 2 1/4 lengths, and in doing so, earned a trip to the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

"We had planned on going and after today, we will go in the Belmont Stakes," said Team Valor president Barry Irwin. "We think he can go that far."

Colita, ridden by Edgar Prado, won today's race in the mud, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40 3/5 in his first start with blinkers. It was his first start since March 16, when he ran fourth in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct behind Alysweep, Grey Comet, and Spite the Devil. The Gotham was run on Aqueduct's inner track.

Colita was bred in Kentucky by Charles Nuckols Jr. & Sons, who also bred Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem. The colt is out of the Dixieland Band mare All Sweets. He was initially consigned to the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale by Nuckols Farm and bought by White Horse Stable for $50,000. The following year trainer Carlos Morales paid consignor Robert Scanlon $15,000 for the colt at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Colita made his first start for Mercedes Alvarez. For his second start Luis Morales joined the ownership. Team Valor bought into the colt after he broke his maiden by 3 1/4 lengths in his second start on Jan. 5. Carlos Morales still trains the colt. Wednesday's race was Prado's first aboard Colita.

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