After sharing a flight from Kentucky
to New York, Belmont Stakes contenders Santiva and Prime Cut reached Belmont
Park in separate vans
shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Grade 2 winner Santiva, a closing fifth in
the Kentucky Derby in his most recent start, was accompanied on the trip from
Churchill Downs by Brendan Walsh, assistant to trainer Eddie Kenneally.
“The flight went great,” Walsh
said. “As you can see, he’s taking it really well, as usual.
He’s a pretty laid-back horse. It was five hours, door-to-door, to get
here, and he hardly knows he’s out of Churchill other than a change of
colors. He’s better off just keeping into his usual routine.”
Walsh said the Giant’s
Causeway colt will get his first look at the main track with a
gallop around 6:30 a.m.Wednesday morning. Santiva is stabled in trainer Frank
Alexander’s Barn 16.
“We’re really looking forward
to the race,” Walsh said. “We think he’s got a good shot. He
ran well in the Derby,
and he’s entitled to be here. We’ll take a shot and see how it
Prime Cut, trained by Neil Howard for
Donald A. Adam, stepped off the van at 4:12 p.m. and into his temporary home
with trainer Tom Bush in Barn 27. In his last start, the bay son of Bernstein
was third, beaten 4 ½ lengths, in the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont on May 14.
“It was very smooth. The flight was
quick, right under two hours,” said Howard’s assistant, Rick
Giannini. “We came here for the Peter Pan three weeks ago and finished
third. We’re in the same stall; hopefully, he gets to win this time.
We’re hoping he runs his race. He’s training good. He breezed well
yesterday, so we’re ready to go.”
Santiva and Prime Cut join Kentucky Derby
winner Animal Kingdom, Preakness
winner Shackleford, Brilliant Speed,
Harlan’s Hello, Isn’t He Perfect, Mucho Macho Man, Nehro
and Stay Thirsty as Belmont
contenders on the grounds. Master of Hounds
arrived from Ireland
earlier on Tuesday and will remain in quarantine at Aqueduct Racetrack until
Thursday. Monzon, currently in Maryland, and
Ruler On Ice, based in New Jersey, are expected
to arrive on race day.
Also arriving on the flight was Turbulent Descent, who is aiming for her
third career Grade 1 victory in the $300,000 TVG Acorn for 3-year-old fillies
going one mile. She has won five of six lifetime starts, including two in a
row, her only loss coming to Zazu in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita on
February 5 in her seasonal debut.