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Cogito Arrives at Belmont Park for Jamaica

Cogito, a listed stakes winner in England, has arrived at Belmont Park along with trainer Brian Meehan, who hopes the 3-year-old can give him his fifth Grade 1 win in North America and third at Belmont when he competes in Saturday’s $400,000 Jamaica Handicap.

“He went to the track this morning, and we’re both really happy,” said Meehan. “He’s fresh and well, just leg-stretching and schooling in the gate and the paddock. We have a good post position, and after two nice days the track should be in reasonable condition. He couldn’t be better. His form is good, and we’ll try to maintain our excellent strike rate in this country.”

Meehan, who is based at the Manton training center near Marlborough, England, has competed in 23 races in the United States, winning the 2003 Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap with Buy the Sport and the 2008 Grade 1 Man o’ War with Red Rocks at Belmont. He has captured the Breeders’ Cup Turf twice, first in 2007 with Red Rocks and again in 2010 with Dangerous Midge.

Owned by J. Paul Reddam, who campaigned Red Rocks, Cogito was under consideration for the Grade 1 Travers in August at Saratoga Race Course but bypassed the race after a pulled muscle forced him to miss training. In his most recent start, he was second, beaten 1 ½ lengths, in the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam on July 22 at Maisons-Laffitte in France.

“He pulled a muscle [before the Travers] and it was taking too long to bring him back,” said Meehan. “He was back, but he wasn’t back 100 percent, so it was a shame, really. I would have loved to have gone to the Travers, but this will do. I’ll take a Grade 1 if we’re lucky enough to win it.”

Frankie Dettori, who is named to ride Cogito in the Jamaica, Roveing Patrol in the Grade 1 Frizette, and maiden Telegraph Hill on Saturday at Belmont, will arrive in New York Friday night, Meehan said. On Sunday, Dettori is scheduled to compete in five Group 1 stakes, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, at Longchamp in France.

“It’s what Frankie is conditioned to do and what he’s best,” said Meehan of Dettori’s itinerary. “Belmont for a Grade 1, Paris for an Arc. It’s what he thrives on. He’s a wonderful professional. We have a great record together, and we hope we can keep that up, too.”

Dettori’s most recent appearance at Belmont came in 2005 when he rode in five Breeders’ Cup races. Previously at Belmont, he won the 2001 Breeders’ Turf aboard Fantastic Light and the 1991 Grade 2 Long Island Handicap with Shaima.


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