Trainer Ken McPeek said Harlan's Holiday, seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness, will not run in the June 8 Belmont Stakes. But McPeek will still be represented in the third jewel of the Triple Crown by Sarava, an impressive winner of Saturday's Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.
"It looks like Harlan's Holiday is going to bypass the Belmont," said McPeek. "We're going to try to put some weight back on him. His running weight all winter long was 1,075 and right now, since he came back (from the Preakness), it's 1,050. So he's 25 pounds lighter than he was before he ran. I think we're going to take some time and get some weight on him and point towards mayble the Jim Dandy (gr. II), Haskell (gr. I), or Travers (gr. I). You probably won't see him run for another 60 days."
Sarava, a son of Wild Again owned by the New Phoenix Stable, earned his trip to the Belmont Stakes with a four-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton. McPeek said the colt would be a fairly early arrival at Belmont.
"As long as he does well in the next week or 10 days, I'm probably going to ship him to Belmont nine, 10 or 11 days prior to the race," he said. "I do think that he's got a chance. He's kind of a 'pick up the pieces' type of horse. He's doing real good and he'll run all day. If they falter I think you'll see this horse coming and maybe he can pull a huge upset. Who knows?"
Sarava, a British import who arrived in McPeek's barn last fall, has
compiled a 2-3-0 record in five races in the U.S. He had finished no better than fourth in three races in England for trainer Brian Meehan, but made an immediate turnaround when McPeek switched him to the dirt and won at first asking in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race in late November at Churchill Downs.