Artax Too Preps for Belmont; Medaglia Gets New Rider

Edited press release from NYRA
Paraneck Stable's Artax Too, who may go off the biggest price on the toteboard in the Belmont Stakes, turned in his final workout Monday at Aqueduct. Under jockey Jose Santos, who will ride him in the Belmont Stakes, Artax Too breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5. NYRA clockers caught the Marquetry colt in fractions of :12 1/5, :24 2/5 and :36 2/5. His six-furlong time was 1:13.

"It went good," said owner Ernie Paragallo, who races under the Paraneck Stable name. "He's got the raw talent to run in the Belmont Stakes. He's a grand-looking horse."

Paragallo added he did not know who would saddle Artax Too in the Belmont. Joe Aquilino currently trains the horse, but Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen is listed as the trainer of Paraneck's Lord ofthe Thunder, who goes postward in Wednesday's ninth race.

"I'll make a decision later this week," Paragallo said.

Meanwhile, trainer Bobby Frankel said Kent Desormeaux would ride Medaglia d'Oro in the Belmont. Laffit Pincay Jr. rode the son of El Prado to a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and Jerry Bailey was aboard for Medaglia d'Oro's Preakness effort, in which he finished eighth. Bailey is riding Godolphin Racing's Essence of Dubai in the Belmont.

"Kent's got to let him do his own thing," Frankel said. "I don't want to see him pushed along through the first part. I want him to come out of the gate on his own."

Desormeaux was going to ride Medaglia d'Oro in the San Felipe, but he already had a commitment to U S S Tinosa, who finished second to Medaglia d'Oro, who had Pincay aboard that day.

"We've won a few grade 1s together this year, so I'm having good luck with him," Frankel said of Desormeaux.