this time last year, trainer Dallas Stewart brought Golden Soul to
Belmont Park with eyes on the track's biggest prize, the Grade 1 Belmont
Stakes. Runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, Golden Soul didn't show the
same closing kick and wound up a well-beaten ninth.
On Saturday, Stewart and Golden Soul will take another crack at the 1 ½-mile distance over Belmont's main track in the 126th renewal of the Grade 2, $500,000 Brooklyn Invitational for older horses.
third of 13 races on a Belmont Stakes Day program worth $8 million in
purses, the Brooklyn is the first of the afternoon's nine graded stakes
and the third leg of the $500,000 guaranteed Pick 5 that kicks off with
the 11:35 a.m. opener.
the winner of the race has won a graded stakes at a distance of 1 3/16
miles or longer, they will be eligible to collect the $175,000 Brooklyn
Bonus, offered by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
training really good," said Stewart, who trains Golden Soul for
breeder-owner Charles Fipke. "We kind of picked the race because it is a
mile and a half. He has the pedigree and he's got great stamina, so we
thought we'd give it a shot. There's some nice horses in there, but we
think he can stay the distance."
chestnut son of Grade 1 winner Perfect Soul, Golden Soul went winless
in eight starts last year, finishing second in both the 1 ¼-mile Derby
and the Grade 3 LeComte, run at Fair Grounds at a mile and 70 yards.
year, Golden Soul has been off the board in both the Grade 2 New
Orleans Handicap in March, run at 1 1/8 miles, and the Grade 2 Alysheba
at 1 1/16 miles on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
has been a frequent training partner with stablemate Commanding Curve,
who is among 10 contenders attempting to deny Kentucky Derby and
Preakness winner California Chrome in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont
loves his job. He loves to go out and train. He just loves to get out
there and go," Stewart said. "He's competitive. He loves to work. He's
worked a lot with Commanding Curve. He's still got that competitive
streak in him; we've just got to get him in the right spot at the right
distance. We're hoping that the distance will maybe get us a win with
Golden Soul, 15-1 in the program, will break from post six in the eight-horse Brooklyn under new rider Shaun Bridgmohan.
looking to take advantage of the distance is Mike Repole's Micromanage,
whose sire is 2002 Belmont Stakes runner-up Medaglia d'Oro and whose
dam, Catnip, is a half-sister to 1996 Belmont winner Editor's Note.
by Todd Pletcher, Micromanage captured the Grade 3, 1 3/16-mile Skip
Away at Gulfstream Park on March 29 in his second start of 2014, and
most recently was a closing third in the 12-furlong Drosselmeyer Stakes
at Belmont on May 4.
kind of been looking at this race for a while and looking to get him
stretched out to a mile and a half," Pletcher said. "He's closely
related to Editor's Note, and we've always felt like the mile and a half
should suit him well."
a 3-year-old, Micromanage was off the board only twice in nine starts,
winning the Long Branch at Monmouth Park last July. He was third in both
the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational and Grade 3 Discovery Handicap, and
fourth by 2 ½ lengths in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
always been kind of mature and well-developed, physically," Pletcher
said. "We put the blinkers on in the Skip Away, and he seemed to respond
well with a big race. In the Drosselmeyer, he kept grinding it out, so
the mile and a half should help him. He's been a little inconsistent at
times, but at the same time he never runs a bad race. We're just hoping
that's what he's been looking to do. He's eligible for the bonus the way
the purse is structured, so it's a big race for him."
Listed at 7-2 on the morning line, Micromanage will carry jockey Javier Castellano and 119 pounds from post three.
out the Brooklyn field are Drosselmeyer winner Ground Transport and
runner-up Ever Rider, who has two wins and two seconds in four career
tries at 1 ½ miles; Norumbega, second to Micromanage in the Skip Away;
5-2 morning line favorite Cat Burglar, third in the Grade 3 Pimlico
Special last time out; Irish-bred Eriugena, winner of his last two
starts; and Bigger Is Bettor, making his first start since ending his
5-year-old campaign by winning the Slew O' Gold in mid-November at