While some trainers altered their plans Monday after unexpected overnight rainfall in New York, two Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-olds completed their final preparations for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
With retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Jr., aboard, Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) winner Sunriver worked over the Belmont Park training track labeled "good" in company with stablemate Adieu, with Sunriver stopping the timer in 1:00 1/5 for five furlongs while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.
Bluegrass Cat, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked five furlongs over the training track in 1:01 3/5, with fractional splits of :13 2/5, :25 1/5, and :37 4/5. With jockey Eddie King aboard, the Storm Cat
colt galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 and "pulled up" seven furlongs in 1:28 2/5.
On the West Coast, Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Bob and John worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5, fastest time of the day among the dozen horses working that distance at Santa Anita. The Stonerside Stable homebred son of Seeking the Gold
has won four of 10 starts for trainer Bob Baffert.
Despite the off conditions at Belmont, Pletcher said he wanted to get the workouts completed Monday rather than waiting another day.
"They both worked really well," Pletcher said. "I was afraid to work Sunriver by himself this close to a big race. He has steadily improved every day we have had him. In January, February, and March we talked about him being our sleeper."
Concerning the circumstances under which Sunriver did not get to run in the Derby because his earnings in graded stakes did not rank him among the 20 allowed to run in the classic, Pletcher said it was a disappointing turn of events, although "it might have been a blessing in disguise. We got the perfect prep in the Peter Pan."
Sunriver, a Saint Ballado colt owned by Aaron and Marie Jones, has won three of seven starts and earned $281,400.
Of Bluegrass Cat's work, Pletcher said he did not want to do too much Monday. "He was well in hand and got enough out of it without overdoing it."
A homebred racing for WinStar Farm, Bluegrass Cat has won half of his eight career starts, including two graded stakes as a 2-year-old, while earning $561,520.
Two trainers who altered their training plans Monday due to track conditions were David Hofmans and Kiaran McLaughlin.
Hofmans postponed Sacred Light's workout until Tuesday, when the Amerman Racing Stable homebred son of Holy Bull
is expected to breeze six furlongs.
McLaughlin said Shadwell Farm's Jazil, a son of Seeking the Gold
, would now just be trained up to Saturday's 1 ½-mile Belmont.
Scheduled to work Wednesday is Joseph Lacombe homebred Deputy Glitters, a son of Deputy Commander
who won the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and ran eighth in the Kentucky Derby.