Pletcher's Mo Donegal, Nest work in company for the Belmont

Pletcher's Mo Donegal, Nest work in company for the Belmont
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Saturday morning was a busy one for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, who breezed a handful of his heavy hitters at Belmont Park, including Mo Donegal and Nest for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.

Mo Donegal, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, and Nest, piloted by Jose Ortiz, went to the Belmont training track around 9:30 a.m. EDT and went a half-mile over a fast track in 49.9 seconds. Pletcher caught the pair in splits of 24.8 for the quarter-mile before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:27.20.

“I thought it was good. I liked the way they finished and galloped out,” Pletcher said. “Those horses seem to be in good form. This was more of a maintenance work. They had a strong work last week with a big, long gallop out. This week we wanted just a maintenance type of work, which they were able to execute properly.”

Donegal Racing and Repole Stable’s Mo Donegal, a son of Uncle Mo, arrives at the Belmont off a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby where he was ten wide at the top of the stretch and made a valiant run to finish only 3 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Rich Strike.

Nest, owned by Repole, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, is the lone filly in this year’s Belmont coming off a runner-up to Secret Oath in the  Kentucky Oaks. A triumph from the daughter of Curlin would make Pletcher, who saddled Rags to Riches to beat the boys in the 2007 Belmont, the only trainer to win dual Triple Crown races with a filly.

2022 Belmont Stakes (G1)

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