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Monday, June 05, 2006

Belmont News - June 5

- Bob and John worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5, fastest time of the day among the dozen horses working that distance at Santa Anita. Garrett Gomez, winning at a 24% clip at Belmont, continues to talk up his chances and excusing his 17th place finish in the Derby.

"He's a horse that doesn't want to be jostled. He's got a nice, long, fluid stride, and once you get him into a rhythm, it's beautiful. But once you get him knocked off stride, it takes him too long to get going again."

The smaller field for the Belmont and the track's wide, sweeping turns "will do him a world of good," Gomez said. "I think it will help his chances a lot. [NY Post]
Sunriver, who, at this moment, I still love in the race, went five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 in company with the filly Adieu.
"Sunriver I was a little afraid to work by himself for this big of a race because he's always worked in company," Pletcher said. "We got a little more solid work, which you would expect in a company situation. I thought his Peter Pan was the perfect prep for the Belmont." [Thoroughbred Times]
Derby runner-up Bluegrass Cat worked a bit slower than his stablemate, getting the distance in 1:01.72.

The training track at Belmont was labeled “good,” but it was wet enough both there and at Aqueduct to cause some trainers to change their plans. Sacred Light will work on Tuesday instead, and David Hofmans said "The horse looks great. This is the best he's looked in a long time." [Brisnet]. High Finance ‘s scheduled work at Aqueduct was also postponed until Tuesday. Jazil’s was cancelled altogether. "We're not going to work," [Kiaran McLaughlin said. "He's a light-framed horse and he never blows out a match anyway."

- A bit late for this, but I didn’t want to forget to mention the coverage of the Preakness in the May 27 print edition of Bloodhorse. We like to pick on Haskin, but give credit where it’s due, and he was seemingly all over the track and backstretch before and after the race, and it’s an excellent piece of reporting. (And it’s available on their website too.) The photos accompanying the piece are particularly excellent; there’s a heart-wrenching full page shot of Prado looking around desperately for help as he tries to comfort the frightened horse; and another of Michael Matz reaching the scene on the track as Jockeys' Guild head Darrell Haire looks on with Prado. And there are the usual stage-by-stage photos of the Preakness itself. I look at the first photo after the break, and can just picture Barbaro accelerating into a perfect spot on the rail behind Like Now and inside of Sweetnorthernsaint and Bernardidni....

- Kiaran McLaughlin is pointing to a July 1 stakes at Monmouth for the return of Henny Hughes. Brother Derek will take some time off and return at Del Mar.