Mr. Fantasy and Haynesfield have garnered most of the attention for New York-bred 3-year-olds this season, but with both of them now on the sidelines it might be Legal Consent’s time to shine. Trainer Carlos Martin is hoping the breakthrough will start in the $100,000-added Mike Lee Stakes on June 21 at Belmont Park.
The seven-furlong Mike Lee is the first leg of the OTB’s Big Apple Triple. Last year, Tin Cup Chalice became the first horse in history to sweep the series, earning his connections a $250,000 bonus. A field of six was entered for this year’s edition.
“Legal Consent is doing as well as he can possibly be doing, which is why I am excited about running him on Sunday,” said Martin, who will saddle the Officer colt. “He’s an improving horse and he is getting more mature all the time. But mostly, he is a survivor.
“He raced against some good horses over the winter. But we haven’t seen Mr. Fantasy since the Withers, and we haven’t seen Haynesfield or Trinity Magic, for that matter. But Legal Consent is still around and he has won two in a row. He’s in a great position, and he is doing as good as he can be doing.”
Jockey Ramon Dominguez, who has won two of the three races he has ridden with Legal Consent, again has the mount in the Mike Lee. Legal Consent will carry top weight of 120 pounds.
Eric Brophy’s Slevin is certain to be of interest to trip handicappers. The gelded son of Belong to Me was an easy winner in the slop at Aqueduct on April 22, covering a mile in 1:38 1/5. On his return trip, he was shortened to seven furlongs and went off as the favorite in a field of eight on May 16.
“He started rocking back and forth in the gate,” said trainer Carl Domino of Slevin’s third-place finish. “When the gate finally opened, he got left bad. I can’t even watch that start because it makes me sick. Once he put his head down, he really exploded.”
Slevin, named for the hero of the 2006 crime movie Lucky Number Slevin, scenes of which were filmed at Aqueduct Racetrack, picks up a new jockey in Rajiv Maragh.
The other two legs of the Big Apple Triple are the $150,000 New York Derby July 11 at Finger Lakes and the $150,000 Albany Stakes Aug. 26 at Saratoga.