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Monday, May 25, 2009

Four Belmont contenders breeze Saturday

Mike Curry, Thoroughbred Times

Peter Pan Stakes (G2) winner Charitable Man pleased trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Saturday with a strong breeze in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 6 at Belmont Park.

The Lemon Drop Kid colt was one of four hopefuls who worked on Saturday in preparation for the 1 1/2-mile classic.

Charitable Man, Arkansas Derby (G2) third-place finisher Summer Bird, and Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Dunkirk each breezed at the Elmont, New York track. Illinois Derby (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G3) fourth-place finisher Nowhere to Hide worked on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Nick Zito.

Charitable Man breezed four furlongs in :47.88 on the main track at Belmont under exercise rider Renzo Morales. The move ranked second of 39 timed workouts at the distance.

"He went very smoothly," McLaughlin said. "He went off a little quick, but that's a good sign."

Charitable Man is unbeaten in three starts on dirt, with two wins in as many starts at Belmont Park. He won the Futurity Stakes (G2) at Belmont last year and enters the Belmont Stakes off a 3 3/4-length score in the Peter Pan on May 9.

"It's great to think he's by Lemon Drop Kid, who won a mile-and-a-half race here," said McLaughlin, who trained 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil. "We'll keep our fingers crossed for the next two weeks. We've always had a lot of confidence in this colt; it's a shame we weren't ready for the first Saturday in May, but he'll be ready for the first Saturday in June.”

Summer Bird breezed seven furlongs at Belmont under Edgar Prado. He covered the distance in 1:26.47 in the only timed workout at the distance.

"I was happy with it," trainer Tim Ice said of the Birdstone colt’s breeze. "It looked like he wasn't handling it 100%, but that's why we're here early, to let him get a feel for it. It looked like he was spinning his wheels a little bit through the lane, but he came back in great shape."

Dunkirk, working toward his first start since he finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on May 2, breezed five furlongs in company with stablemate Munnings in 1:00.77. The move under Angel Cordero Jr. ranked seventh of 23 timed workouts at the distance.

"He went very well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He's a solid work horse. He's enthusiastic, but not overly aggressive. Angel said he went very well and handled the surface well.

"The forecast calls for a chance of rain [Sunday and Monday], and I didn't want to get into a situation where I was backed up. This was his most important breeze leading up the Belmont.”

Nowhere to Hide breezed four furlongs on the training track at Saratoga in :49.84, which ranked fourth of 24 timed workouts at the distance.

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird galloped two miles at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa. Kentucky Oaks (G1) and BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Rachel Alexandra also galloped at Churchill under exercise rider Dominic Terry.

Both Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra are slated to breeze on Monday.

Possible Belmont Stakes starters:

Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird, Flying Private, Luv Gov, Brave Victory, Charitable Man, Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, Miner’s Escape, Mr. Hot Stuff, Nowhere to Hide, Summer Bird.
Peter Pan Stakes (G2) winner Charitable Man pleased trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Saturday with a strong breeze in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 6 at Belmont Park.

The Lemon Drop Kid colt was one of four hopefuls who worked on Saturday in preparation for the 1 1/2-mile classic.

Charitable Man, Arkansas Derby (G2) third-place finisher Summer Bird, and Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Dunkirk each breezed at the Elmont, New York track. Illinois Derby (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G3) fourth-place finisher Nowhere to Hide worked on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Nick Zito.

Charitable Man breezed four furlongs in :47.88 on the main track at Belmont under exercise rider Renzo Morales. The move ranked second of 39 timed workouts at the distance.

"He went very smoothly," McLaughlin said. "He went off a little quick, but that's a good sign."

Charitable Man is unbeaten in three starts on dirt, with two wins in as many starts at Belmont Park. He won the Futurity Stakes (G2) at Belmont last year and enters the Belmont Stakes off a 3 3/4-length score in the Peter Pan on May 9.

"It's great to think he's by Lemon Drop Kid, who won a mile-and-a-half race here," said McLaughlin, who trained 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil. "We'll keep our fingers crossed for the next two weeks. We've always had a lot of confidence in this colt; it's a shame we weren't ready for the first Saturday in May, but he'll be ready for the first Saturday in June.”

Summer Bird breezed seven furlongs at Belmont under Edgar Prado. He covered the distance in 1:26.47 in the only timed workout at the distance.

"I was happy with it," trainer Tim Ice said of the Birdstone colt’s breeze. "It looked like he wasn't handling it 100%, but that's why we're here early, to let him get a feel for it. It looked like he was spinning his wheels a little bit through the lane, but he came back in great shape."

Dunkirk, working toward his first start since he finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on May 2, breezed five furlongs in company with stablemate Munnings in 1:00.77. The move under Angel Cordero Jr. ranked seventh of 23 timed workouts at the distance.

"He went very well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He's a solid work horse. He's enthusiastic, but not overly aggressive. Angel said he went very well and handled the surface well.

"The forecast calls for a chance of rain [Sunday and Monday], and I didn't want to get into a situation where I was backed up. This was his most important breeze leading up the Belmont.”

Nowhere to Hide breezed four furlongs on the training track at Saratoga in :49.84, which ranked fourth of 24 timed workouts at the distance.

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird galloped two miles at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa. Kentucky Oaks (G1) and BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Rachel Alexandra also galloped at Churchill under exercise rider Dominic Terry.

Both Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra are slated to breeze on Monday.

Possible Belmont Stakes starters:

Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird, Flying Private, Luv Gov, Brave Victory, Charitable Man, Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, Miner’s Escape, Mr. Hot Stuff, Nowhere to Hide, Summer Bird.

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