Team Valor's Dr Greenfield, winner of the listed Dee Stakes at Chester in his last start, worked a half-mile out of the gate Saturday morning at trainer Gerard Butler's yard near Lambourn, England.
Butler, a former assistant to D. Wayne Lukas and Rodney Rash, said the son of Dr Devious couldn't be doing any better. "This horse is doing so well in himself, he swells up like a bloody elephant," he told Team Valor president Barry Irwin shortly after the work. Bulter had the colt break out of the gate to sound of a bell, and said he "flew out of there."
Butler feels he has Dr Greenfield exactly where he wants him, and doesn't want to do too much more with him now for fear of going over the top. The colt is expected to be released from quarantine at Newburgh, N.Y. next Wednesday, and will arrive at Belmont either later that afternoon or Thursday morning. He'll have only one morning to get the feel of the Belmont track. Team Valor came into the 1992 Belmont Stakes in almost idential fashion with My Memoirs, whom Irwin compares favorably with Dr Greenfield. The result was a second-place finish behind A.P. Indy at odds of 18-1. Team Valor also finished third in the 1998 Belmont with 28-1 shot Thomas Jo.
Although many feel Dr Greenfield does not measure up speed-wise and class-wise to horses like Point Given and Monarchos, it is rare that Team Valor ever runs a horse over his or her head. They have knocked off many a champion over the years with seemingly lesser quality horses, and always must be feared, especially when they show up in top-class races with European purchases. Because of Team Valor's extraordinary record purchasing live horses, and Dr Greenfield's stamina-oriented pedigree and grand looks, this is not a horse to be taken lightly.
Irwin said they could have run Dr Greenfield in races like the Lingfield Derby Trial, but they felt this was the best way to have him ready for a top effort on Belmont Stakes Day. Irwin and Butler believe they have a horse who is fast, fresh, and fit, to go along with his pedigree. They are also happy to have the services of Edgar Prado, whom Irwin says has shown an ability to ride foreign horses well in their U.S. debuts. After the Belmont, Dr Greenfield will be turned over to Bill Mott.