"You certainly don't want to see that, but if he does it on his own, you'll take it," Zito said. "I was very impressed with his work. I never expected it. This horse has got so much desire. Anyone who saw this horse work today knows what we've been talking about for the last year. This horse has a lot of talent. Good horses train themselves. Jamie has been with me for 13 years, she knows what I want and knows the horses. That's the beautiful part of it; AP Valentine and 'Albert' (Albert the Great) train themselves."Zito also will be attempting to end a hard-luck streak in the Belmont, having finished second in the race four times and third once.
"Both A P Valentine and Albert the Great have had good experiences at Belmont Park," Zito said. "These two horses do a lot of traveling, but this is home. They train better here than anywhere else. These horses are no slouches. They will represent New York pretty good."To complete the big three, D. Wayne Lukas finally will get his chance to nail down a Triple Crown race this year following Buckle Down Ben's gutsy victory in a mile allowance race at Churchill Downs Sunday. Buckle Down Ben, making his first start since the Spiral Stakes, came again after being passed to win by a neck in a sharp 1:34 3/5."Pat (Day) never hit him and we still got a solid race," Lukas said. "This should set us up good for the Belmont. I won't do a lot with him. That was a mile in 1:34. I'm pretty well set. He's fresh and he's doing good right now. I think he'll be able to get the mile and a half. I don't believe that's too far a stretch."
Buckle Down Ben likely will not be taken too lightly after Lukas' surprising score in last year's Belmont with Commendable.