The Triple Crown may not be on the line June 8, but a 4-year-old gelding will shoot for another type of triple at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia.
In conjunction with the Triple Crown races, Mountaineer scheduled starter allowance events at 1 1/4 miles May 4, 1 3/16 miles May 18, and 1 1/2 miles June 8, when the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will be run. Romance Argentino won the first two legs of the series for owner/trainer Eduardo Caramori.
Romance Argentino is one of six entered in the $16,400 starter event for horses that have competed for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2012-13. Deshawn Parker, who was aboard for his last two victories, gets the call again.
"The further he runs, the better he goes," Caramori said. "I wish there were more tracks carding races at long distances. There are a lot of 'Romance Argentinos' out there. But they have to run in five- or six-furlong races, because that's pretty much all that's offered."
Romance Argentino, by Bluegrass Cat out of the Street Cry mare Alice Belle, was bred in Kentucky by Anderson Inc. Since his career debut at 3 in January 2012 at Gulfstream Park, Romance Argentino has won nine of 13 starts.
The gelding is unusual in that he won going 2 1/8 miles and 2 1/4 miles last year as a 3-year-old. He clearly relishes long distances and prefers racing on dirt.
Romance Argentino, according to Equineline.com, has an average winning distance of 11.39 furlongs. He set the track record of 3:51.81 for 2 1/8 miles at Mountaineer in 2012.
"He's not an easy horse to handle," said Caramori, who is based at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington but regularly ships to Mountaineer. "He has got so much energy. And he leaves no middle ground. When Romance Argentino wins, he does it by 10 lengths. And when he loses, he loses by 30. It's sort of all or nothing."