Zayat Stables’ Nehro went to the Belmont Park track early Monday, June 6, and the son of Mineshaft breezed a half-mile in :50 4/5 in preparation for the June 11, $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The third of the Triple Crown races, the Belmont is the longest, at 1 1/2 miles.
With Toby Sheets, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, observing the workout at about 6:40 a.m. (ET), the colt was timed in :13 1/5 for the first eighth of a mile and galloped out five-eighths in 1:03 2/5. He changed leads without any problem and galloped out strong.
“Were thrilled and we’re ready--his demeanor, the way he did it, the way he’s moving on the track, everything we're looking for,” said Zayat Stables’ owner Ahmed Zayat. “I’m a very happy camper. I wish the race was tomorrow. The mile and a half is not even a concern. It’s a non-issue.”
Nehro finished second in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) victory of Animal Kingdom and sat out the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Noting that Nehro was on the outside in the Derby, Zayat said, “he ran a mile and a half in the Derby.” He added that of the seven other Derby starters that will likely run in the Belmont, Nehro finished ahead of all of them except one—Animal Kingdom.
After breaking his maiden in his third career start under the late Michael Baze, Nehro has reeled off three consecutive seconds in graded stakes company—Louisiana Derby (gr. II), Arkansas Derby (gr. I), and Kentucky Derby. He has earned $825,140 for a healthy return on his $170,000 purchase price out of the Keeneland September yearling sale.