If Dullahan were to spoil
the Triple Crown bid, would trainer Dale Romans feel any remorse?
“Absolutely not,” Romans said without hesitation during a
Wednesday teleconference. “I think we owe it to the past Triple Crown
winners to make [I’ll Have Another] earn it. If he’s a super horse,
like Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Secretariat, and some of our past Triple Crown winners,
then he’ll win it. If not, we’ll be able to beat him.”
Dullahan, who is trained by Romans for Donegal Racing, will not have to
make up much ground in order to defeat I’ll Have Another as he finished
third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, in the Kentucky Derby.
Romans said he recently received advice on how to prepare Dullahan for
1 ½-mile distance from an 80-year-old retired groom who used to work for his
father, Jerry Romans.
“He told me, ‘Just remember, nature will take a horse a
mile and an eighth, but you have teach one to go a mile and a half,’”
Romans shared. “We’ve been changing the small things. Like instead
of a mile-and-half, we go on two-and-a-half-mile gallops with him and galloping
him before we breeze, just little things to try to teach him to go a little
further, mentally and physically.”
While Dullahan has never competed at Belmont Park
and has yet to win on dirt, Romans believes the colt will deliver a top
performance in the Belmont Stakes.
“I’m going to try to get him [to Belmont] early next week
to gallop a few days, breeze him over the racetrack,” said Romans.
“We’ll be able to get a little better feel, but so far he’s a
horse who has run over Polytrack, grass, dirt….I don’t think it
matters to him.”