Trainer Rudy Rodriguez shipped
Vyjack to Belmont
Park this morning from his base at Aqueduct Racetrack and said the gelding will remain at
Belmont as he trains up to a possible start in Belmont Stakes 2013.
“He was looking around a little bit, more than I wanted, but it was his first day at
Belmont,” said Rodriguez.
After winning the Grade 3 Gotham in March, Vyjack was third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and 18th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.
“We’ve been very, very happy for the last two weeks with how
he’s coming up,” said Rodriguez. “He looks very good, he’s filling up
nice, and I think he was growing a
little [coming into the Kentucky Derby] and it took a little more out
of him than we were expecting, but he seems pretty good right now. He’s
happy, and he’s enjoying himself.”
Rodriguez said he and owner David Wilkenfeld will make a final
decision on Vyjack’s status for the Belmont Stakes after the gelding
Belmont on Monday or Tuesday.
Joel Rosario, who rode Vyjack in the
Gotham and Wood Memorial, could ride
Vyjack in the Belmont Stakes if Orb’s connections opt out of the Belmont
Stakes. If Orb does run, then Jose Lezcano or Cornelio Velasquez could
ride Vyjack, Rodriguez said.
“We’re still hoping that maybe they won’t run Orb,” said Rodriguez. “That’s pretty much what we’re waiting for.”
* * *
Oxbow and stablemate Will Take Charge
will van to Belmont Park on Monday to compete in the Grade 1, $1
million Belmont Stakes on June 8, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne
Lukas said by telephone on Friday.
Lukas said the duo will depart Churchill Downs at 4 a.m. on Monday and are scheduled to arrive at
Park at approximately 6 p.m.
Yesterday, Brad Kelley’s Oxbow breezed six furlongs at Churchill
in 1:14 3/5 and Willis D. Horton’s Will Take Charge, seventh in the
Preakness, traveled the same distance
in 1:15 4/5.
“They’re both doing great, or else I wouldn’t be putting them on a van,” said Lukas. “After they arrive at
Belmont they’ll gallop up to the race. All of their major work is done.”
* * *
Also confirmed for the Belmont Stakes is
Incognito, most recently fifth, beaten less than a half-length for third, in the Grade 2 Peter Pan on May 11.
“Mainly, he wants the distance,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin of the colt, a son of 1992
winner A.P. Indy and multiple Grade 1 winner Octave. “It’s a big step up
in class, but the 1 ½ miles is a big factor if you can’t get it. We’ll
take a page out of our ex-boss’s [D. Wayne
Lukas] book from the Preakness; we feel he deserves a chance.”
Incognito put together back-to-back victories at Aqueduct
Racetrack in a maiden race and an optional claimer, both at a mile,
before checking in 15 lengths behind Freedom
Child, who won by 13 ¼ lengths.
“His last race was a throwout,” said McLaughlin. “He doesn’t
face kickback well, and he got a lot of it in that race. We’ve got
everything to gain, and nothing to lose,
McLaughlin said Incognito will race in the Godolphin silks and have the services of Irad Ortiz, Jr. for the
Belmont, replacing injured jockey Mike Luzzi.
“Irad had good luck with [multiple Grade 1 winner] Questing in those silks,” he said. “We won the
Belmont with a 19-year-old jockey [Fernando Jara aboard Jazil in 2006], we’re hoping we can win with a 20-year-old jockey.”