Tacitus 'went smoothly' in first work toward the Belmont Stakes

NYRA Press Office
May 18, 2019 09:27am
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was trackside at Belmont Park early Saturday morning to oversee Juddmonte Farms homebred Tacitus making his first breeze back since a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Mott is pointing the son of Tapit, out of multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches, toward the June 8 Belmont Stakes.

Tacitus, who captured the Wood Memorial (G2) in April at Aqueduct,, breezed over the main track just after 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, working in company with graded stakes winner Multiplier.

Tacitus settled a length back of Multiplier, the 2017 Illinois Derby (G3) winner, through a quarter mile in 24.3 seconds and edged along outside Multiplier down the lane with both grays officially clocked in 48.57 for the half-mile drill. Tacitus galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.44 as he began to pull away from his workmate.

"It all went smoothly. It was his first breeze back and exactly what we wanted," Mott said. "It's what I expected. They look like a good team together."
Tacitus, piloted by Jose Ortiz in the Kentucky Derby, rallied from 16th to finish fourth, defeated less than four lengths, over a sloppy Churchill main track. He was elevated to third when Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first, was disqualified for an infraction at the top of the stretch that saw the Mott-trained Country House declared the winner of the 145th Run for the Roses.

"We were very happy with Tacitus' effort in the Derby. We always suspected he'd do well at a mile and a quarter," said Mott.

Country House, who provided Mott with his first Kentucky Derby winner, developed a cough after his historic win and was forced to skip Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Country House was examined at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington and returned to Churchill Downs on Wednesday. 
Mott said he will take his time with Country House before deciding on where the Derby winner will make his next start.

"Country House is back at the barn in Kentucky," Mott said. "He's just been walking under tack. I'll leave him there for a couple weeks. I want to make sure that he's healthy before we move him and make sure everything is good as it should be."


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