Racing News

I'll Have Another jogs at Big Sandy

  • I'll Have Another (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another returned to the track for the first time since Saturday's Preakness Stakes victory, jogging around Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile oval Wednesday morning shortly after the renovation break with exercise rider Hector Ramos aboard.

"We took him to the track and jogged him once around, and he looked absolutely super," said Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill. "The way he looked was everything and more I'd want to see in him. Energy level was high, got over the ground well, ate up everything last night. Just looks super.

"He came out of the Derby in the exact same shape, and came out of the Preakness, if not the same, probably better."

Sisterson said the Flower Alley colt would likely jog again Thursday morning, and have his first gallop on Friday as he prepares for the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9.

"We'll probably do the same thing at the same time tomorrow, right after the break," he said. "He's cooling out great right there; there's no reason we shouldn't do the same thing tomorrow, (and gallop) possibly Friday. We'll take each day as it comes."

Sisterson said the morale of "Team O'Neill" is sky-high as I'll Have Another tries to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

"I think it hasn't quite sunk in, the position that we're in," he admitted. "We go out to dinner and lunch, and we always pull out our phones and watch the replays. It sends shivers down our spines. It's just super."

O'Neill will likely arrive in New York sometime this weekend, according to Sisterson.

Also returning to the track for light work on Wednesday was Paynter, whose connections are considering a start in the Belmont Stakes.

On Saturday, Paynter easily won a Pimlico allowance by 5 3/4 lengths as the 1-10 favorite. Paynter, like Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister, is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for owner Zayat Stables.

"(Paynter) looks good and has a good energy level," Jim Barnes, assistant to Baffert, reported from Belmont on Wednesday.

The Awesome Again colt was fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, won by I'll Have Another, on April 7. He entered Saturday's allowance race off a second in the Grade 3 Derby Trial on April 28 at Churchill Downs.

Stablemate Bodemeister will bypass the Belmont, his connections have said.

In other Belmont news:

Trainer Michael Matz said that Union Rags will work either Thursday or Friday at Fair Hill Training Center in preparation for the Belmont, in which he will have the services of new jockey John Velazquez.

"He's doing very well," Matz said during a Wednesday teleconference. "He might work tomorrow, maybe Friday. (Owner) Mrs. (Phyllis) Wyeth is on her way back from Maine, and if she wants to see him work we'll do it tomorrow or Friday. We're hoping John Velazquez will work him in his last work (the following weekend)."

Union Rags was 3-1-0 from four starts as a two-year-old, including a score in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, and won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth by four lengths in his 2012 debut. After he ran into traffic problems in both the Grade 1 Florida Derby, in which he was third, and the Kentucky Derby, in which he was seventh, Velazquez was named aboard the Dixie Union colt.

"It's been frustrating, I don't think in either of his last two races he got a chance to really run," Matz said of Union Rags. "I just hope he gets a clean trip. Whether he's good enough to beat (I'll Have Another), I don't know. I just want him to get a clean trip and show what he can do.

"I wouldn't be going in (the Belmont) if I didn't think he could beat I'll Have Another," he added. "He's a big horse, and once he gets into a nice rhythm...that's why we went with John Velazquez. He knows New York."

Matz said travel plans for Union Rags were still undetermined.

Rosie Napravnik, who on May 4 became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks when she guided Believe You Can to a three-quarter-length victory, has been named to ride MeB Racing Stables' Five Sixteen in the Belmont Stakes, her agent, Matt Muzikar, confirmed on Wednesday.

Napravnik will attempt to emulate Julie Krone, who in 1993 became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race when she captured the Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair. Krone remains the only female jockey to have competed in the Belmont or to have won a Triple Crown event.

Five Sixteen, an Invasor colt, broke his maiden in his fifth try on March 14 at Aqueduct and was last seen finishing fourth by 11 3/4 in a nine-furlong allowance at the Big A on April 18.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.