Jazil, Several Others to Work Monday

(from Belmont Park notes)
Jazil, who dead-heated for fourth in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is scheduled to breeze a half-mile Monday morning in preparation for the June 10 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

The Seeking the Gold colt galloped over Belmont's sloppy main track Sunday morning.

"He doesn't really need much," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "He's really fit."

Eighteen-year-old jockey Fernando Jara has the mount aboard Jazil in the $1 million Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles. Jara rode Jazil in the Kentucky Derby, too. Jara, a native of Panama, says his experience at Churchill was "special."

"It's a great race," said Jara, who had no traffic trouble in the Kentucky Derby. "I wasn't nervous and I was lucky. (Jazil) never got stopped. Once he started moving, things kept opening up."

Jara believes Jazil, a stretch-running colt, will "love" the Belmont Stakes distance.

The Jimmy Jerkens-trained Oh So Awesome, third in the off-the-turf Match the Hatch at Belmont a few weeks ago, also galloped Sunday. Jerkens says he plans on working Oh So Awesome later this week, although he isn't sure what day the colt will breeze.

High Finance, who has won his last two starts by a combined 14 ΒΌ lengths, galloped over Aqueduct's main track Sunday. Trainer Rick Violette Jr. says High Finance is likely to breeze Monday morning.

"He'll probably go a steady (six furlongs,)" Violette said. "We're going if he stays healthy."

Violette shipped High Finance from Aqueduct to Belmont Park on May 28 for a one-mile breeze of 1:38 2/5. Violette, however, says High Finance is going to work at Aqueduct this time.

"He'll be at the Big A," Violette said. "I sent him (to Belmont) last week so he could get another feel for the track."

Jockey Eibar Coa has the mount aboard High Finance in the Belmont.

Bluegrass Cat and Sunriver, trainer Todd Pletcher's duo running in the Belmont Stakes, both galloped Sunday and are scheduled to have workouts Monday morning.

John Velazquez, who is 0-for-9 in the last leg of the Triple Crown, will ride Bluegrass Cat, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and likely favorite for the Belmont Stakes.

Sunriver finished up nicely to win the Peter Pan (gr. II) at Belmont May 20. The full-brother of champion mare Ashado will have jockey Rafael Bejarano in the irons. Bejarano finished second in last year's Belmont aboard Andromeda's Hero, his only Belmont Stakes mount.

Pletcher is winless with four Belmont Stakes starters.

Trainer Joe Lostritto said that he is leaning slightly toward running Platinum Couple in the Belmont Stakes, although he has entered the New York-bred as a main-track-only in Friday's Hill Prince. The Tale of the Cat   colt finished sixth in the Preakness (gr. I) beaten 22 lengths by Bernardini at 33-1.

"I'd say we're 60-40 to run," Lostritto said. "I want to try him on the turf and we're also considering the Colonial Turf Cup. It costs us $20,000 to enter in the Belmont and only $750 to run in the Colonial Turf Cup, which has the same purse. It may come down to a business decision."

The Colonial Turf Cup is June 24 at 1 3/16 mile on the Colonial Downs turf course.

Kinsman Stable's third-place Preakness finisher Hemingway's Key "galloped nicely" over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Sunday, according to trainer Nick Zito.

The Notebook colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 Thursday morning and is likely to ship to Zito's Belmont barn Tuesday.

"That's the same pattern we've followed over the last few years," said Zito, who saddled Andromeda's Hero to a runner-up finish behind Afleet Alex in last year's Belmont and won the race in 2004 with Birdstone upsetting Smarty Jones.

"We're running a lot of seconds," said Zito, referring to last year's race and the recent Met Mile (gr. I) when Sun King came up just short of beating Silver Train. "Those races are tough."

Zito said he won't have many instructions for jockey Jeremy Rose, the rider of Afleet Alex last year.

"The horse has a lot of energy and you need energy going a mile and a half," Zito said. "I'm going to let Jeremy ride his race."

Robert and Lawana Low's Steppenwolfer returned to the track Sunday after breezing six furlongs in 1:10 1/5 Friday. The third-place Kentucky Derby finisher is a solid contender in the Belmont Stakes.

"He jogged a couple of miles this morning and looked good," said trainer Danny Peitz, who has never saddled a horse in the Belmont.

Double Galore, who broke his maiden in his fifth start at Hollywood Park on May 19, is listed as questionable to start in the Belmont Stakes.

Still, owner/trainer/breeder Myung Kwon Cho has contacted the stall office at Belmont Park and is looking into shipping arrangements from California.

Deputy Glitters and Sacred Light complete the probable Belmont Stakes field.

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