Dunkirk Possible For Belmont Stakes
(From Belmont Park)
Trainer Todd Pletcher said May 9 that Susan Magnier’s Dunkirk, 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is under consideration for the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6.
“He is possible,” said Pletcher from his barn at Belmont Park. “We’ll make a determination after he breezes, which will probably be sometime next weekend.”
Unraced at two, the gray Unbridled's Song colt won his first two starts at Gulfstream Park this year in impressive fashion, then finished second to Quality Road in the Florida Derby (gr. I) March 28 before his run for the roses.
Pletcher also said that Michael Tabor’s Munnings , a $1.7 million purchase as a 2-year-old, was being pointed toward the $250,000 Woody Stephens (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, also on Belmont Stakes day.
Third in the 2008 Hopeful (gr. I) after stumbling badly at the break, Munnings was then second in the Champagne (gr. I) and closed out his 2-year-old campaign with an 10th place finish over an artificial surface in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
In his first start of 2009, he was second in a seven-furlong allowance at Churchill Downs May 1.
Pletcher, the most recent trainer to saddle a filly to victory in a Triple Crown race, having won the 2007 Belmont Stakes with Rags to Riches, was intrigued by the possibility of Kentucky Oaks star Rachel Alexandra taking on colts in the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
“That filly has been most impressive,” said Pletcher, who is sending Take the Points to Pimlico. “It takes a special kind of filly to win one of the classics, and she looks like she is special.”
Trainer Shug McGaughey will not be shipping the Phipps Stables’ Conservative to Baltimore for the Preakness. Instead, the son of Unbridled’s Song will remain at Belmont Park, where he will return to the turf.
“He’ll be going in the Hill Prince (gr. III, June 5),” said McGaughey.
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