American horses could have a tough time in the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I). Not only is European invader Midday back to defend her title, Japan has sent a formidable adversary in Red Desire.
Casino Drive, the Japanese-trained colt whose bruised foot prevented him from trying to follow in the hoofprints of his two Belmont Stakes (gr. I)-winning siblings, has entered quarantine in Japan as the first step to returning to the United States.
After being delayed by one day due to inclement weather and track conditions, Casino Drive's final preparations for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were completed Thursday when the son of Mineshaft worked at Belmont Park.
Casino Drive, the son of Mineshaft who is expected to provide some of the stiffest competition to Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), follows a daily routine that raises eyebrows on the backstretch of Belmont Park but is consistent with how he is trained in Japan.
Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto, said consideration has been given to Japanese, European, and American riders, but no decision will be made for "four or five days," on who will ride Casino Drive in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I).
On May 10 at Belmont Park, North America got its first look at the colt who could have the best chance at spoiling Big Brown's entry into racing immortality, as Japanese invader Casino Drive blew away eight challengers to win the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) in sensational fashion.
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