Trainer Ken McPeek was pleased with the performances of his two
long-shot runners Saturday in the Belmont Stakes and already has begun plotting
ambitious plans for them.
Magdalena Racing and Mojallali Stables’ Unstoppable U made noise in the 1 ½-mile
race early before tiring to finish sixth, and Shortleaf Stable’s Atigun rallied from mid-pack to finish a
close-up third, just 1 ¾ lengths behind winner Union Rags and runner-up Paynter.
At 12-1 for Unstoppable U and 20-1 for Atigun, both outran their odds.
“Our horses came out of the race fine,” McPeek said on
Sunday. “We asked a lot out of Unstoppable U,” who tracked the pace
of Paynter for a mile in only the third start of his career. “He ran a
great race. We'll look for a Grade 2 or Grade 3 for him, [or] possibly the
Atigun, McPeek said, is headed for Saratoga Race Course this summer.
“Atigun came out fine, too,” he said. “We’ll
probably go to the Jim Dandy and the ultimate goal will be the Travers.”