Belmont Stakes contender Tenfold works at Churchill Downs

Belmont Stakes contender Tenfold works at Churchill Downs

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Justify Gallops, Tenfold Breezes for Belmont

Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner galloped 1 1/2 miles.

WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing's undefeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Justify galloped 1 1/2 miles June 2 under regular exercise rider Humberto Gomez as the colt continued his preparations for the June 9 Belmont Stakes (G1) presented by NYRA Bets (G1).

"Every day he's been training well," said Jimmy Barnes, top assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. "He's just full of energy and happy. We went 1 1/2 miles today and it was pretty quiet, with just a few horses on the track. He was really professional today."

Justify is scheduled to gallop June 3 and could breeze June 4 with Baffert in town.

"He'll have one more gallop day tomorrow, and I'll let Bob take over and do his thing," Barnes said.

Baffert's other Belmont hope, Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) third Restoring Hope, galloped about 1 1/2 miles under Gomez.

"Restoring Hope is also doing good," Barnes said. "He galloped well this morning and has been training forwardly."

While Justify was training at 7:30 a.m. EDT, Preakness third-place finisher Tenfold breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 for trainer Steve Asmussen as he prepares to run in the Belmont.

Owned by Ron Winchell's Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tenfold worked under regular exercise rider Angel Garcia through splits of :12 3/5, :25 1/5, :37 1/5, and :49 1/5 before he galloped out to six furlongs in 1:15 and to seven furlongs in 1:28 4/5, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

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"We were three-quarters of a length from where we needed to be in the Preakness," Asmussen said. "He's lightly raced, and his best races are ahead of him. I think he deserves the opportunity in the Belmont Stakes. I have nothing but respect for the field, not just Justify. It's a very respectable field with a lot of ability."

The 3-year-old son of Curlin  out of the Tapit  mare Temptress won his first two starts at Oaklawn Park but finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) prior to his Preakness third.

"(The) distance is well within his capabilities," Winchell said. "We've got it on both sides of his pedigree."

"I've had a lot of success with Curlin and Tapit offspring," Asmussen said. "They've also done very well in the last four or five runnings of the Belmont Stakes. Even though he's lightly raced, I think Tenfold is very talented and getting better at the right time."

In other Belmont Stakes news on Kentucky-based contenders Saturday, Albaugh Family Stables' Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner Free Drop Billy galloped 1 1/2 miles for trainer Dale Romans, and Calumet Farm's Preakness runner-up Bravazo jogged two miles for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.