Trainer Dallas Stewart said May 28 Golden Soul, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is doing "awesome" after taking a while to recover from his effort in the Derby.
Owned and bred by Charles Fipke, the son of Perfect Soul had been off his feed for several days and missed a scheduled work, but Stewart said the colt has been galloping strongly and steadily and will go into the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in great shape.
"He had a great gallop today and has been galloping daily a mile and three-quarters and a mile and seven-eighths," Stewart said. "He has a great foundation, and (the May 28) gallop was just awesome. He looks as good or better to me than he did before the Derby. We'll probably breeze him five-eighths, out in three-quarters, (May 30), nothing overly fast, and we'll be set.
"The Belmont is a test of endurance, and the longest and strongest will survive. We have a fresh, sound, fit horse. I know some of the others work in :47 and 1:00, but I don't know if that gets you to a mile and a half. He's not that type of horse. He's going to lay back and hopefully creepy crawl up on the turn and finish up strong.
"We're just laying that foundation to get him to a mile and a half race. I look at it this way: he ran a mile and a quarter in the mud and it probably will be the hardest race he'll ever run in his life, so there's going to be a lot of recovery time there. And he needed it. He's got the pedigree and that's the way we trained him, with a lot of long gallops and finishing up in the end.
"I thought his energy was good for about a week or more after the race, but dropped off just a little bit and his appetite was just OK, but he has come back the last couple of days and his energy has been good again and he's eating again, so, everything looks good so far. I'm very happy with him."
No firm decision on Kentucky Derby winner Orb has been made, but trainer Shug McGaughey has indicated his willingness to run.
One colt on the fence is Darley Stable's Incognito, who breezed a half mile in :50.01 May 27. The son of A.P. Indy—Octave, by Unbridled's Song, was a well-beaten fifth in the May 11 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) in the slop, but did enough in that race to encourage Darley's Jimmy Bell and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin to consider the thought of running because they believe he will love the 1 1/2-mile distance. Bell said May 28 he and McLaughlin will discuss the colt's status and make a decision shortly.
Following the May 27 works of all his Belmont hopefuls, owner Mike Repole said Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Overanalyze is a definite starter; Unlimited Budget is "75-25" to run, with the June 22 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) as the alternative; Midnight Taboo is "60-40" to run; and Micromanage definitely will point for the Easy Goer Stakes.
The definite runners in addition to Overanalyze are Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Oxbow and his stablemate Will Take Charge; two other Todd Pletcher-trained horses, Revolutionary and Palace Malice; Peter Pan winner Freedom Child , who worked five furlongs May 27 in :59.87; Giant Finish, 10th in the Kentucky Derby; and Always In A Tiz.
Chad Brown said Saint Vigeur, second in the Peter Pan, is a doubtful starter because the colt developed a quarter crack, and trainer Bob Baffert seemed to indicate that recent allowance winner Code West was only a slight possibility.