Rags Breezes, No Final Decision Yet On Belmont

Rags Breezes, No Final Decision Yet On Belmont
Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
Kentucky Oaks winner Rags to Riches may challenge 3YO colts in Belmont 139.
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Trainer Todd Pletcher unleashed more than a handful of his stakes horses for workouts at Belmont Park Sunday morning, including 3-year-old stars Rags to Riches and Any Given Saturday.

Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) champion Rags to Riches breezed five furlongs over the main track in 1:00.64.

“She’s doing well,” said Pletcher, who has considered running Rags to Riches against colts in the 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I)  on June 9. He also said she could wind up in the Mother Goose (gr. I) versus 3-year-old fillies on June 30.

“There’s no decision yet,” he said.

Pletcher said he hasn't ruled Circular Quay out of the Belmont. His two main, riders, John Velazquez (Slew’s Tizzy) and Garrett Gomez (Hard Spun), have already committed to other horses, but the trainer said, “All that means is that those guys can’t wait around long enough for somebody to make a decision. If he runs, we’ll get somebody on him.”

Velazquez rode Circular Quay to a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and fifth-place finish in the Preakness. 

Any Given Saturday, the Distorted Humor   colt, breezed a half mile over the main track in :49.88. The move was Any Given Saturday’s first since finishing eighth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Any Given Saturday exited the Derby with a foot bruise.

“That foot bruise absolved itself in about four days,” Pletcher said. “Today was a nice easy breeze. We haven’t really decided where we’re going with him.  The Dwyer (gr. II) is a possibility.”

Belmont’s $150,000 Dwyer for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles is July 4.

Master Command, winner of Hawthorne’s National Jockey Club (gr. III) April 21, worked five furlongs in 1:00.64, handily.  Master Command is probable for Churchill’s Stephen Foster (gr. I) June 16, as is Magna Graduate, who earned the day’s ‘bullet’ for five furlongs in :59.47, handily. Magna Graduate has not raced since winning Aqueduct’s Excelsior (gr. III) on April 7.

“Both those horses are doing great,” Pletcher said.

Deadly Dealer, who felt the wrath of Preakness (gr. I) champ Curlin in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), is expected to return to sprinting  on Belmont Stakes day in the $250,000 Woody Stephens (gr. II) at seven furlongs.

“He’s got good sprint form and he’s doing well,” Pletcher said.

Octave, runner-up to Rags to Riches in the Kentucky Oaks, breezed a half mile in :48.22.  She is on target for a potential run in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I), also on Belmont Stakes day.

Gotham (gr. III) winner Cowtown Cat, last of 20 in the Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs in :59.47, handily.  He is racing next in the Ohio Derby (gr. II).

Pletcher also worked two of his grass stars over Belmont’s firm inner turf Sunday. Wait A While, champion 3-year-old filly last season, breezed a half mile in :50.01. English Channel also breezed, clocking five furlongs in 1:02.09.

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