Ten Most Wanted Works at Hollywood Park; Other Belmont Notes

From NYRA reports
Illinois Derby winner Ten Most Wanted worked five furlongs in a solid :59 3/5 at Hollywood Park Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's $1-million Belmont Stakes. The son of 1997 Travers winner Deputy Commander is scheduled to depart Ontario, Calif. for New York at 5:30 Tuesday morning, according to trainer Wallace Dollase.

"It was a very nice work," Dollase said. "He galloped out very strong. He's been training sensationally since the Derby. I've been schooling him at the gate, but the problems he's had at the start haven't been his fault. It's been the horses around him."

Ten Most Wanted finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby after breaking from post 15 in the field of 16. The colt returned to California following the Derby and did not compete in the Preakness.

Meanwhile, Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, jogged and cantered three miles over Belmont's main track. He'll break from the starting gate in hopes of becoming racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in Saturday's Belmont Stakes. If Funny Cide wins the Belmont, his connections will receive a $5 million bonus from Visa.

With a place among racing's all-time greats and a $5 million bonus on the line, one would think trainer Barclay Tagg would continuously fret over the Belmont Stakes. That isn't the case.

"I only think about it when I'm talking to you guys (the media,)" Tagg said. "Your questions stimulate me to think about it. You try not to dwell on it. You do the same old stuff to get him over there."

Tuesday morning, Funny Cide is scheduled to turn in his final pre-Belmont Stakes workout. Tagg said the New York-bred gelding would hit the track between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. with assistant trainer and regular exercise rider Robin Smullen in the irons. Funny Cide will work his usual five-eighths of a mile over Belmont's main track.

"We'll do it right after they harrow the track," Tagg said. "He's going in the right direction; he's getting stronger. It's a little hard on Robin, but its what you want. I don't know if he can do anything different. He's a free-running horse."

Juddmonte Farms' Wood Memorial winner Empire Maker jogged Monday, according to his trainer, Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel. The main track at Belmont was in remarkably good condition this morning after two days of rain. Clockers called the track "wet fast" for morning workouts as sun and wind helped to dry the track out.

Frankel has not given too much thought to how the Belmont will unfold, but he envisions his horse sitting in a good spot.

"Funny Cide might be a little quicker than him," Frankel said. "Empire Maker is a young horse just coming into his own right now. I don't think anyone's going to steal this race wire to wire. My horse has good tactical speed and Scrimshaw has speed."

Lone Star Derby winner Dynever galloped a mile and a quarter over the main track Monday morning, according to trainer Christophe Clement.

"Everything is fine," said Clement after it was revealed Dynever had been training in bar shoes up front to protect a minor bruise to his left front. "I took him to the paddock yesterday around lunchtime and he schooled fine."

One of Clement's keys for Dynever running a big race in the Belmont Stakes is keeping everything simple.

"A lot of people try to make this very complicated and I think that's a huge mistake," said Clement, who worked for trainer Shug McGaughey before going out on his own. "McGaughey keeps things very simple and that's why he's a brilliant trainer."

Rodney Lundock's Supervisor, who might go off the biggest price of any horse in the Belmont, galloped a mile and a half this morning according to trainer Linda Rice. Supervisor finished third in the May 24th Peter Pan, his Belmont Park debut. Because he will only have two weeks between races, Rice said she might not work Supervisor before the Belmont Stakes.

"I might give him a sharp blow out this week. Right now, I don't know," Rice said. "He just ran. He's pretty fit."

Supervisor will need a new jockey for the Belmont. Jose Santos rode the colt in the Peter Pan, but had already committed to a New York-bred gelding named Funny Cide. Rice said she was hoping to secure jockey John Velazquez, but had not heard back from Velazquez's agent, Angel Cordero Jr.

"Johnny is our first choice, but if he doesn't want the mount we've got a few other good riders in mind," Rice said.