Robert LaPenta Jr.’s Ice Box , the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up and probable morning-line favorite for the upcoming Belmont Stakes (gr. I), turned in a four-furlong work at Saratoga May 19.
It was the first breeze for Ice Box since missing by 2 1/2 lengths to Super Saver in the May 1 Derby. The son of Pulpit, with exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard, covered the distance in :49.65, the seventh fastest of 22 works at Saratoga that morning.
Ice Box will likely have one more work before the June 5 Belmont. His trainer, Nick Zito, is also pointing impressive Dwyer (gr. II) winner Fly Down to the third leg of the Triple Crown. Fly Down is scheduled to work this weekend.
Already with two Belmont wins to his credit (Birdstone , 2004 and Da' Tara, 2008), Zito will hold a strong hand if both Ice Box and Fly Down go to post. But the race is shaping up to have a full field, maybe as many as 12 or 13 starters.
Also under consideration for the Belmont is Preakness (gr. I) runner-up First Dude ; Dwyer runner-up Drosselmeyer; Lone Star Derby (gr. III) winner Game On Dude from the barn of Bob Baffert; fourth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Make Music for Me; Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) runner-up Setsuko; and Derby starters Dublin and Stately Victor. Also possibilities are Spangled Star, Stay Put, and Uptowncharlybrown .