Believe You Can to Skip Alabama
Brereton Jones' homebred Believe You Can, the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner who had been working toward a start in the Aug. 18 Alabama Stakes (gr. I), will instead be given some time off at Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
"We noticed in her last couple of works, she didn't quite have the same zip," said trainer Larry Jones of the 3-year-old filly. "She didn't work badly, but for her, she normally works brilliantly and the last couple works were not brilliant works."
Jones referred to Believe You Can's first two drills over Saratoga Race Course, where she covered five furlongs in 1:02.10 on Aug. 6 and the same distance in 1:02.78 on Aug. 12 under jockey Rosie Napravnik.
"There is really nothing physically wrong with her," Jones said. "It's just that ever since we broke her as a yearling, she has been in constant training. We did not give her the normal break because she was running so well and she didn't appear to need it.
"But the next morning after the last work, she acted like she had just run a race. So I think we pushed her a little too much."
Jones said there is no time frame on when they will put the daughter of Proud Citizen back in training.
"We'll be watching her and when she starts acting like she's ready to go back to the track, that's where we'll go," he said. "Her knees and ankles are in great shape and she's got everything going for her."
Believe You Can was expected to be a strong competitor in this year's Breeders' Cup and Jones said there is still a possibility the filly could still make the trip to Santa Anita Park in November.
"Maybe she'll be ready for Breeders' Cup; maybe she won't," he said. "Maybe she won't be ready till next spring. But we think her future is still exceptionally strong."
Believe You Can has won six of her 10 starts and earned $1,089,484.
In addition to the Kentucky Oaks, she won this year's Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) and Silverbulletday Stakes and the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) last year. The dark bay most recently finished third behind Zo Impressive in the June 23 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I).
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