- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Good-feeling Dullahan goes right back to the track Monday
The connections of the horses who turned in their final pre-race breezes on Sunday reported their Belmont Stakes contenders came out of their workouts in good shape.
One morning after earning a bullet for his :45 4/5 four-furlong breeze, Dullahan was already back on the track Monday "to stretch his legs."
"He mostly walked, jogged a little bit," trainer Dale Romans said. "He was bouncing around, jumping around his stall, so I thought it'd be good for him to get out and do something."
The other Sunday breezers based at Belmont -- Street Life, Paynter, Atigun, and Unstoppable U -- all walked.
Trainer Chad Brown said Street Life will now gallop into the race and will travel to the track through the paddock. In addition, Street Life could school in the paddock Thursday afternoon.
Paynter will jog Tuesday and resume galloping on Wednesday, according to assistant trainer Jim Barnes, who added that Hall of Famer Bob Baffert was scheduled to arrive in New York Wednesday night.
Lars Becdelamotte, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek, said the tandem of Atigun and Unstoppable U will have an "easy gallop" on Tuesday and proceed to gallop every day after that.
No final decision on Unstoppable U, who is now listed only as possible for the Belmont, has been made.
Speaking via telephone from Fair Hill in Maryland, trainer Michael Matz said Union Rags came out of his Sunday work in good shape. With new rider John Velazquez aboard, the Grade 1 winner zipped five furlongs in :59, the best of seven works over the dirt track.
At first report, there were only six works at the distance. Later, fellow Matz trainee And Why Not was added to the Fair Hill tab, and the Grade 1-placed filly turned in the second best move in 1:01 2/5.
"He came out good, thank you," Matz said Monday morning. "I think he worked pretty well yesterday. (Velazquez) liked him and we asked him (for a strong work), so hopefully we can come up (for the Belmont) and work out a trip."
In other Belmont news:
The Belmont Stakes post position draw will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. (EDT) and streamed live on the Belmont Stakes website.
NYRA TV analyst Andy Serling will emcee the draw and will interview the connections of horses participating in the 144th running of the Belmont.
On Thursday, more than a half-dozen jockeys from Belmont Park will ride into the hearts of families at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island as part of the annual Jockey Day event.
Jockeys will travel to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park at 10 a.m. to mingle with children at the House. Clad in their colorful silks, the riders will pose for photographs and distribute gifts of personally autographed riding goggles and hats.
"This is a great event for our children and their families," Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Executive Director Matthew Campo said. "Meeting the jockeys is always a wonderful time for everyone. We wish them the best of luck on Saturday."
Many of the visiting jockeys will have mounts in the Belmont.
"NYRA is proud to partner with the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island for their annual Jockey visit," NYRA Director of Community Relations Joanne K. Adams said. "We're committed to providing support to organizations that have a positive impact on our local communities."
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. It is a 'home-away-from home' for families who are caring for seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment in area hospitals. Located on the campus of the Cohen Children's Medical Center, the House accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment. Since opening in 1986, approximately 17,000 families from the United States and more than 80 countries around the world have been served. Many of the families are from Queens, Suffolk and Nassau Counties, as well as the surrounding metropolitan area.
For more information, go to www.rmhlongisland.org.