Sloppy Track Delays Plans for Belmont Workers
With the main track listed as sloppy following overnight rain, no Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender worked out at Belmont Park June 2. Instead, the majority of the field will have their final breezes the following morning.
Romans is confident his colt can be the spoiler. ``I think we're the horse to beat,'' he said.
Dullahan will have a new rider in Javier Castellano, who replaces Kent Desormeaux. The Hall of Famer lost the mount after he failed a breath test May 18.
Trainer Chad Brown said Street Life will also have his final pre-Belmont workout on Sunday. On Saturday, Street Life galloped 1 ½ miles.
“I’ve had a wet track in the morning a couple of other times this month,” said Brown. “I thought he went very well over it. It really wouldn’t matter to me if the track came up wet, from what I’ve been seeing.”
Ken McPeek pushed back breezes for Atigun and Unstoppable U until Sunday or Monday, with the former the more likely option. The pair galloped 1 ½ miles using the same routine McPeek used in 2002 with Sarava, who upset the Belmont Stakes at 70-1.
“I call it the ‘Belmont gallop,’” said McPeek.“We jog to the quarter pole, then we jog back to the wire, and then they take off and make a loop and finish up the last part of it. It’s a nice mile-and-half gallop with a gallop out past the gap.”
The connections of Paynter initially were undecided as to whether th colt would breeze Sunday or Monday, but Jim Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, revealed Saturday they are leaning in favor of Sunday. On Saturday, Paynter galloped 1 5/8 miles.
Guyana Star Dweej, who galloped 1 ¼ miles on Saturday, will breeze Monday or Tuesday, according to trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal.
“We normally jog on an off track, but today we galloped him,” said Shivmangal.“We want to get him a little more fit and we don’t want him to be idle because he had a break last week after the breeze. He went out easy and came back pretty good. We are looking to breeze him Monday or Tuesday. We have until Wednesday to decide [whether he’ll race in the Belmont Stakes or Easy Goer overnight stakes], but right now we are heading towards the Belmont.”
At Fair Hill, Union Rags galloped 1 ¼ miles and will breeze on Sunday, Michael Matz said. Optimizer and Ravelo's Boy continued their preparations at Churchill Downs and Calder Casino & Race Course, respectively.
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