Empire Maker Returns to Track for Belmont Work

(Edited Release From the New York Racing Association)

Empire Maker breezed six furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track after the mid-morning break Tuesday in a bullet 1:12 under jockey Aaron Gryder.

The son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled will try to spoil the homecoming party for Sackatoga Stable's Kentucky Derby /Preakness winner Funny Cide.

Tuesday's work was typical for Empire Maker, who recovered from a sore foot going into the 1 ΒΌ-mile Kentucky Derby on May 3rd, where he finished second by 1 3/4 lengths to Funny Cide in the 10th fastest Derby in history (2:01).

"Empire Maker did just fine this morning," said Frankel, whose charge worked his first three-eighths of a mile in :36 while sporting green blinkers. "It was just what he needed to stay fit. There is no more fooling around with him. I've taken it too easy with him. This race, we have to get much more serious. The Belmont Stakes is where I find out what he's made of."

Frankel has made two starts in the Belmont Stakes with two seconds: Aptitude (2000) and Medaglia d'Oro (2002). Funny Cide, a New York-bred gelding, will attempt to become racing's 12th Visa Triple Crown winner when he goes to post in the 135th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)