Report: Pletcher confirms second Belmont Stakes contender

May 20, 2019 03:25pm
Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed Spinoff as a probable contender for the Belmont Stakes after the colt, last seen in the Kentucky Derby, worked a half mile in 48.72 seconds on Belmont Park's training track.

Pletcher told the Daily Racing Form's David Grening that he's discounting Spinoff's 18th-place finish in the Derby.

"We didn’t feel like he handled the sloppy track and kind of got a little hint of that early in the week when he galloped over a sloppy track and didn’t seem to be real enthusiastic about it," Pletcher told Grening. Pletcher has won two of his three Belmont Stakes, with Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017, with colts that ran in the Derby, skipped the Preakness Stakes and re-appeared in the final leg of the Triple Crown series. The trainer will go into this year's race with two runners now, as Spinoff adds to Intrepid Heart, who finished third in his local prep, the recent Peter Pan Stakes (G3). Spinoff, by Hard Spun, opened his season with a dominant allowance optional claiming score at Tampa Bay Downs before finishing second after leading in the stretch of the Louisiana Derby (G2). Intrepid Heart, a Tapit colt who's a half-brother to former Belmont runner-up Commissioner, went into the Peter Pan 2-for-2 with a maiden win at Oaklawn Park and allowance victory at Keeneland. The Belmont Stakes runs June 8 with other probable contenders the 1-2 Preakness Stakes finishers War of Will and Everfast; Sir Winston, second in the Peter Pan; and also exiting the Kentucky Derby, Tacitus and Master Fencer.

 

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