Summer Bird, owned by Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman, will breeze seven furlongs after the break under Edgar Prado, said trainer Tim Ice. Charitable Man, owned by William K. Warren, will also work after the break, going a half-mile with exercise rider Renzo Morales aboard.
“We have Joe Talamo to ride Summer Bird in the Belmont, but Edgar said he didn’t mind working him,” said Ice May 22. “I’ve known Joe since he was 14 years old, hot-walking in Louisiana. I think the rider change (from C.R. Rosier) will help him.”
Ice also said Summer Bird will be equipped with blinkers for the first time in the Belmont.
“I think it will help him be more focused down the lane,” he said. “Maybe he won’t drop so far back.”
Summer Bird, a chestnut son of 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone who was third in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), has been doing “very well” since arriving at Belmont Park Tuesday from Louisiana, Ice said.
“He came out of the Derby really good,” said the trainer. “He’s put on weight and he’s blossoming at the right time. What I really liked about the Derby was the way he galloped out. I think the distance will suit him.”
Charitable Man, a winner of three of four starts in his career, scored by three lengths in Belmont’s Peter Pan on May 9. It was his second start since coming back from a serious leg injury that required surgery late last year. Kiaran McLaughlin trains the Lemon Drop Kid colt.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Belmont hopeful Dunkirk out May 25 as he continues preparations for the Belmont.
The gray Unbridled's Song colt breezed a half-mile in a bullet :47.24 last week in his first move since finishing 11th behind Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby.
“I haven’t decided how far he will go,” said Pletcher. “But he will go after the break.”
Belmont Stakes weekend is shaping up to be a busy one for Pletcher. In addition to Dunkirk, he is also pointing Cowboy Cal to the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan (gr. I), Captain's Lover to the $400,000 Just A Game (gr. I), Affirmatif to the $100,000 Hill Prince (gr. IIIT), Munnings to the $250,000 Woody Stephens (gr. II), and Yesshesalady toward the $300,000 Acorn (gr. I).