Belmont Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Stately Victor arrived at Belmont Park from Louisville a few hours behind schedule May 27, but no worse for the trip.
“Everything went smoothly, but the plane was a little late,” trainer Mike Maker said at his Belmont barn May 28. “I think they had some mechanical issues. We got here at about 7:45 last night.”
Maker said that the son of Ghostzapper, owned by Thomas and Jack Conway, galloped an easy 1 1/4 miles May 27 before preparing to ship.
“He’ll gallop Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. and breeze Monday or Tuesday after the break,” Maker said. “Usually I prefer just to ship right on top of a race, but I thought that coming here, I would prefer to have a work over this track. Another positive on our side is that Alan Garcia has won a Belmont, but more importantly, he fits the horse well.”
Garcia piloted Stately Victor to his improbable 40-1 win in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 10, as well as an eighth-place finish in the May 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In 2008, he rode longshot Da' Tara to victory in the Belmont
Arriving on the same flight as Stately Victor was Stay Put, who also appears to be acclimating to his new surroundings, trainer Steve Margolis said by phone from Kentucky.
“He shipped well and he’s getting settled,” said Margolis, who trains Stay Put for Richard, Bertram, and Elaine Klein. “He came up with my longtime assistant Loren Diego, who rides him in the mornings. He’ll gallop tomorrow after the break, then work a half-mile and gallop out five-eighths first thing after the break on Sunday.”
Stay Put enters the Belmont off an allowance victory on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs. All three of the Broken Vow colt’s wins have come around two turns.
Margolis said he would join the horse June 1, arriving in time for training hours.
In addition to Stay Put, a number of other Belmont Stakes hopefuls are scheduled to have their final serious works for the race over the holiday weekend.
Preakness (gr. I) runner-up First Dude will go out May 29 on the main track following the renovation break, with trainer Dale Romans in attendance. Uptowncharlybrown, third in the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) in his most recent start, is also slated to go on the main track after the break, said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Drosselmeyer will likely work May 30, said trainer Bill Mott, as will Make Music for Me, fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
At Saratoga, Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Fly Down will breeze May 31 or June 1 before shipping down with stablemate and likely Belmont favorite Ice Box on June 2.