Hofburg exits a seventh-place finish in the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Hofburg exits a seventh-place finish in the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

Hofburg Breezes at Saratoga in Preparation for Belmont

Son of Tapit will be making just his fifth career start.

Juddmonte Farms' homebred Hofburg continued to tune up for an expected run in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (G1), putting in a six-furlong breeze May 25 at Saratoga Race Course.

With Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott looking on, Hofburg worked on the Oklahoma training track, officially going in 1:13.43 after the track was harrowed, making it a little bit deeper, according to Mott.

"I thought it was a very good work on the training track," he said. "The best part about it was he looked like he was moving very well. We went six furlongs with him, and from the half-mile pole he was 48 1/5, 1:00 3/5, 1:13 3/5. Galloped out good and came home in good order. It looked like he took a couple of deep breaths and caught his breath in a hurry."

Forge joined Hofburg in the stretch during the breeze.

"Forge joined him for a short ways in the stretch to just make sure he completed his work in good order," he said. "He didn't quite get up on equal terms with him, but Forge did his job and ensured a good work for Hofburg."

Hofburg exits a seventh-place finish in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). That outing marked just the fourth career start and second stakes try for the son of Tapit  who ran second to Audible in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) March 31.

Friday was Hofburg's second breeze in as many weeks in Saratoga, with one more scheduled there before being shipped to Belmont Park, where Mott said he would arrive no later than June 5.

"I'm pleased with what I'm seeing. He came out of the Derby in good order. We gave him an easy week after the Derby. After two weeks, we gave him his first work, and today he had his second one," Mott said. "He'll have another one next weekend and then go on down to Belmont and get familiar with his surroundings."

Mott said he decided to skip last week's Preakness Stakes (G1) with no chance to win the Triple Crown. That distinction belongs to Justify, who will look to become the 13th horse to earn that distinction.

"Justify is a very good horse, and I would have been one of the first skeptics when he came into the Derby, being a horse who hadn't run as a 2-year-old," Mott said. "I've always been a believer that horses need to run as 2-year-olds in order to the win the Derby.

"You have him to give him credit. We have a lot of respect for Justify, but on the same token, we don't want to hand him the Belmont on a silver platter. If he wins it, we're going to make him work for it."