A host of Belmont Stakes 2013 contenders put in their penultimate works Monday morning for the
Grade 1, $1 million race on June 8, with
Palace Malice leading
trainer Todd Pletcher’s sizeable contingent with an eye-catching
five-furlong breeze on the main track in 1:00.24 after the renovation
Pletcher, who could have five starters in the 1 ½-mile
Belmont, caught the Dogwood Stable color-bearer galloping out a mile in 1:38 3/5. Palace Malice, who was 12th in the Kentucky Derby, finished several lengths ahead of his workmate,
Micromanage (1:01.17), who was then withdrawn from consideration for the Belmont by owner Mike Repole.
Repole, who will be represented in the Belmont by Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner
Overanalyze (1:00.77) and possibly maiden winner
Midnight Taboo and the multiple graded stakes-winning filly
Unlimited Budget –the latter
two going in company (1:00.68 for each) – said Micromanage instead
would be pointed to the Easy Goer on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
“Right now I’d say
Overanalyze is 100 percent if everything stays right, Unlimited Budget
is 75 percent and Midnight Taboo 60 percent [for the Belmont],” said
Repole. “It’s a tough decision. Midnight Taboo has
done nothing to say not to run. With Unlimited Budget, do you run
against Dreaming of Julia [in the Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 22] or do
you run against the boys? We’ll do what’s right for the horse.”
Revolutionary, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner who was third in
the Kentucky Derby, went out at 6 a.m. and breezed a half-mile in 48.55
under jockey Javier Castellano.
“I thought everyone
worked very well,” said Pletcher. “I think Palace Malice worked
unbelievably well. To me, it was a monstrous gallop out.
“I thought it was a
typical work from Overanalyze [in company with Caixa Eletronica],” he
added. “He’s not an overzealous work horse. You kind of have to
encourage him a little bit. I think when Johnny encouraged
him, he responded well.
Budget], it was similar to what we saw at Churchill. She’s a little
better when she works on the outside. I thought her work last week was
particularly strong. This week wasn’t quite as strong,
but I think switching her to the outside next time you’ll see her a
continues to train really well,” he went on. “If he gives us another
breeze like he did today and last week, I think he has [worked himself
into the race]. He’s a horse you can see getting better
and better every work and every race.
“[With Revolutionary] right after the
Derby, we talked to Elliott [Walden of WinStar Farm] and we decided to skip the Preakness and go to the
said the trainer. “My gut reaction was this horse doesn’t need a lot of
training, we’ll give him two half-miles and run. Last week, he was
doing so well, I contemplated giving him three
breezes, but I decided to stick to my original plan. I’m really happy
with the way he went this morning. I think he’s maintained his fitness
really, really well.”
Pletcher said the jockey situation for the
Belmont horses remains somewhat in flux.
“We’re still in the
process of firming it up,” he said. “We’ve got Mike Smith to ride Palace
Malice, Johnny [Velazquez] is holding the race for [one of ours], we
have Javier on Revolutionary, Garrett Gomez is
riding one, and we’ll see what Rosie Napravnik’s situation is.”
Napravnik is currently named to ride the Bob Baffert-trained
Code West, winner of an allowance race at Pimlico on Preakness Day, in the