Wiseman's Ferry Likely Heading to Belmont After Friday Work
Updated: Sunday, June 2, 2002 5:45 PM
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2002 3:40 PM
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan said he was "leaning toward running" in the Belmont Stakes following Wiseman's Ferry's five-furlong work in 1:01 1/5 at Churchill Downs Friday. O'Callaghan decided to move the colt's work up a day after hearing forecasts of possible rain moving in.
The son of Hennessy has won his last two starts, including a wire-to-wire victory in the Lone Star Derby, and is the one horse Belmont Stakes trainers want to see in the race, as he'd be the most likely candidate to put early pressure on War Emblem.
"I just wanted the horse to ease around there, and he went the first quarter in :26," O'Callaghan said. "Obviously, fitness is not a factor at this point. The factor is mentally getting him to relax and he went out there in :26 and came home in :35 1/5. That suited me very well. He galloped out in 1:14 2/5, which was tremendous.
"Right now we're leaning toward (running in the Belmont) -- we'll know Sunday. That was a very positive effort. Obviously, only God knows who'll go a mile and a half. Even if their pedigree suggests they'll go a mile and a half, which this one doesn't necessarily, they have to relax and he does that -- that's the positive. After that, I can't tell the future. But when they do that in their works, they generally transfer it to the race 95 percent of the time."
War Emblem, once again, was full of himself as he returned to the track following Wednesday's five-furlong work.
"We had planned to jog him a mile, but he was too wild," said Baffert. "So we ended up jogging him a half-mile and galloping him a half-mile."
The Kentucky Derby winner is scheduled to work on Tuesday and fly to New York on Wednesday.
Two recent arrivals at Belmont Park, Sarava and Like a Hero, both got a feel of the track Friday morning. Andy Durnin, who gained fame as the exercise rider for Fusaichi Pegasus two years ago, was aboard for Like A Hero's gallop.
Neil Drysdale said Peter Pan winner Sunday Break definitely will have another work before the Belmont, but no decision has been made when it will be or how far.
Joe Aquilino, trainer of Artax Too, said the son of Marquetry will train for the Belmont at Aqueduct, where he is stabled. "It's less hectic there," he said.
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