Preakness runner-up First Dude arrived at Belmont Park
early Saturday morning and at 8:30 a.m. was munching away on hay in his stall
in Mike Maker’s barn. Plans call for the Stephen Got Even colt to jog Sunday,
and then gallop up to next Saturday’s final tuneup for the 142nd
running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 5.
“He shipped in well,” said Tammy Fox, exercise rider and
assistant to trainer Dale Romans. “Dale will come in Friday and watch him work
on Saturday. He’ll go out sometime after the renovation break [8:45 a.m.].”
Owned by Donald R. Dizney, First Dude is one of two “Dudes”
being pointed to the 1 ½-mile Belmont, the other being the Lone Star Derby
winner Game On Dude. Owned by Bernard Schiappa, J. Terrence Lanni, Mercedes
Stable and Diamond Pride LLC, Game On Dude is scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park
on June 2, said his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert.
“He’s doing great,” said Baffert, who won the 2001 Belmont
with Point Given.