From the New York Racing Association
A trio of contenders for the Oct. 3 $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) had their final tune-ups for the 1 1/4-mile race on a busy morning at Belmont Park Sept. 26.
Belmont Stakes and Shadwell Travers (both gr. I) winner Summer Bird, with Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard, went five furlongs in 1:02.40, while Quality Road , third in the Travers, covered the same distance in 1:01.60. Asiatic Boy, most recently fourth to Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I), went a half-mile in a bullet 47.55, fastest of 38 at the distance.
“It was perfect,” said trainer Tim Ice of Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman’s chestnut colt. “Last week’s work was superb, so wanted to slow him down a little today. He galloped out very strong and he’s right on target.”
With four more grade I stakes being run Oct. 3, a host of others also put in their final serious moves this morning.
The Christophe Clement-trained Gio Ponti , going for his fifth straight grade I win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT), went five furlongs on the turf in 1:01.04.
“He’s doing great, he’ll be running a mile and half for the first time in his life, but I think he should be fine with it, I hope,” said Clement, who trains Gio Ponti for Castleton Lyons Farm. “We’ll use this as a prep for the Breeder’s Cup.”
Jon and Sarah Kelly’s Carribean Sunset, also trained by Clement, worked four furlongs on the main track in 51.67 for the Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), while trainer Tom Albertrani sent Darley Stable’s Criticism out for a five-furlong move on the turf in 1:01.19 for the same race.
In preparation for the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), Godolphin Stable’s Cocoa Beach drilled five furlongs in a bullet 59.84, fastest of 29 at the distance, and stablemate Music Note went in 1:01.05. Captain’s Lover, trained by Todd Pletcher for Team Valor International, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.74; while at Saratoga, Team Valor’s Unbridled Belle covered a half-mile in 48.95.
Pletcher also had Michael Tabor’s Munnings on the worktab, with the 3-year-old colt breezing five furlongs in 1:01.74 for the Vosburgh (gr. I).
“Every single one of them went well,” said Pletcher. “Both Unbridled Belle and Captain's Lover are in position for the Beldame, and we will make a decision on their status for the race later in the week.”