Frankel: Switch to Turf Likely for Master David

(from Belmont Park notes)
Trainer Bobby Frankel said that Peter Pan third-place finisher Master David came out of the race in good shape, but is extremely unlikely to run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Frankel said a switch to the turf is likely for the son of Grand Slam.

Frankel said the field for the Belmont would have to reduced to only four or five for him to consider entering and that looks unlikely.

"He got a little farther back than I wanted," Frankel said of Master David's eight-length Saturday loss. "It's one thing to come from that far back if it's your style, but that's not his style. He probably could have been second with a better trip. I thought he ran a good race. The winner (Purge) was much the best. He had everything his own way breaking from the outside post."

Frankel, who won last year's Belmont with Empire Maker, noted that Master David began his career on grass in Europe.

"I don't think he wants to run a mile and a half," Frankel said. "He's the kind of horse you have to ride along a little bit, so to go a mile and a half is too much. I'm probably going to put my horse on the grass."

While Frankel would not definitively say what Master David's next start would be, he did remark, "There's a better chance he'll run in the Hill Prince (gr. IIIT on June 6) than in the Belmont."

Another factor, Frankel said, is his respect for Smarty Jones.

"I can't really see anybody beating him," last year's winning trainer said. "In years past, you could always pick out a horse who had a chance to beat them. Last year it was Empire Maker, Victory Gallop wasn't that far back and Touch Gold too. You could see how those horses could beat the one going for the Triple Crown, but there's nobody close to this horse.

"I think he's a very good horse. The track was slow Preakness Day and he's been running very fast numbers. He's due to blow up, but he could bounce and still win. I always wanted to be the one to win the Triple Crown, but if I can't, it would be nice for them to do it."