Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Trainer John Kimmel is looking forward to the return of two of his stable stars: multiple stakes winner Friend Or Foe and 3-year-old Fire On Ice, who is entered in the first race at Belmont on Thursday, a six-furlong optional claimer.
Friend Or Foe, unraced since finishing
fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney last year, had his first work at Belmont
this year on Saturday, covering three furlongs in 37.12 seconds.
“He went in 37 and out in 49,” said Kimmel
of the 2010 Empire Classic winner. “We’ll start some half-miles and
see what happens. His legs are good, he looks good on the racetrack.
We’ll look to bring him back maybe in October.”
Fire On Ice has made only a single start,
but it was an eye-catching one. Last August, he rolled to a 10 ¾-length
maiden win at the Spa, but then suffered a non-displaced condylar
fracture in his left hind leg while training for the Grade 1 Champagne.
“He’ll have to shake a year’s worth of
rust off,” said Kimmel. “He’s doing pretty good. His last few breezes
have been good. He’s getting smart, though – when he outworks his
company, he doesn’t even gallop out strong. He’s active, though; this
morning he cleared out the shedrow.”
When Bombaquia was headed by Air
Support at the wire in Saturday’s Grade 2 Bowling Green, it marked the
third consecutive time Kimmel wound up on the losing side
of a photo in a stakes.
“But on the other side of the coin, they
all ran pretty good,” said Kimmel, who saw Agilion finish second by a
head to Effie Trinket and Sailmate come up a half-length short of
Fiddlers Afleet in a pair of overnight stakes at Saratoga.
Kimmel initially had not planned on
running Bombaguia back on 13 days rest after he won an optional claimer
at the Spa, but the GoldMark Farm gelding was doing so well the owners
agreed to supplement him when the field came up small.
“He put in a good effort. He ended up being the controlling speed in the race, which gave us a bit of an edge,” said Kimmel.
The trainer said he would give Bombaguia a bit of a break and bring him back in a month or so, with the
Grade 3 Knickerbocker on October 13 or the Grade 2 Red Smith on
November 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack possible options.