Pneumatic's camp looks beyond Belmont Stakes for Derby points

Pneumatic's camp looks beyond Belmont Stakes for Derby points
Photo: Coady Photography

There are plenty of options for Pneumatic's next race, but the June 20 Belmont Stakes isn't one of them.

David Fiske, racing manager for owner Winchell Thoroughbreds, said Tuesday that "the Belmont was going to come up a little too soon after his last race," a third-place showing behind Maxfield in Churchill Downs' May 23 Matt Winn Stakes (G3).

The homebred son of Uncle Mo, trained by Steve Asmussen, has been nominated for the Triple Crown, and Fiske said the plan is to work back from the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.

"We’ll look for another spot for him," Fiske said. "They seem to be popping up all over the place, Ohio, Indiana, Keeneland, Monmouth. There seems to be no shortage of places to run this summer."

JACK Thistledown's Ohio Derby (G3) and Indiana Grand's Indiana Derby (G3) are now Derby preps, both offering points on a 20-8-4-2 basis. The Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park and the Bluegrass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland are 100-40-20-10 qualifiers.

RELATED: Updated list of Kentucky Derby points races

Pneumatic won both his starts prior to the Matt Winn at Oaklawn Park, breaking his maiden at a mile in February before scoring in an allowance optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles in April.

He had his first workout since the Matt Winn on Monday, breezing five furlongs in 1:02.20.

Fiske said Pneumatic's "a big horse, and he kind likes to throw his weight around a little bit. The day after a work, typically, he just wants to go do some more work. He’s not hard to handle, but he is a big horse. It’s like trying to stop a freight train with a shoelace. But he’s always been a good guy. He doesn’t have any personality issues – unlike his mother.

"Teardrop was a head full of bad wiring. She tore the whole front of her face off on one of the rafters at Churchill one morning – and that was the day after she worked. The day that you would think that she would be a little tired and subdued, she decided that she would start rearing up in her stall and hit one of those rafters just right. They stapled her face back together – she looked like Frankenstein for a while.

"He’s much easier to be around than she is," Fiske said. "We’ll find a place to run him, that’s for sure."

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