Treated with bute for lameness in his right front June 7, U. Carrot Farm's Epicharis walked the barn Thursday morning under the supervision of trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara.
Later in the morning Hagiwara released a statement saying he did expect the group 2-placed runner to start in Saturday's 1 1/2-mile classic.
"He looked a little different favoring his right front yesterday afternoon, so we treated his hoof and gave him bute," Hagiwara said through a Japan Racing Association interpreter. "It looks like it is getting better and I think there is no problem with him running in the race. We still have time so we will give him the best care we can."
The treatment records for all Belmont Stakes contenders are available via the New York Gaming Commission. According to that log, Epicharis was given two grams of phenylbutazone (bute) via IV Wednesday for "lameness right front, possible hoof."
New York has adopted the National Uniform Medication Program's list of controlled therapeutic substances. Bute is one of the therapeutics on that list and calls for a 24-hour withdrawal time before the race.
This was Epicharis' second straight day to remain in the barn, following a more traditional walk day after he breezed five furlongs June 6 in 1:06 on the Belmont Park training track.
Among the other Belmont Stakes contenders, Gormley and Senior Investment also received treatments Wednesday, according to gaming commission records. California shipper Gormley was treated for mild dehydration after traveling cross-country all day to New York, and Senior Investment—who worked four furlongs in :50.19 June 6 on the Belmont main track—was given acupuncture with B12 for a "slight muscle spasm."