ALWAYS IN A TIZ -- Trainer Dominick Schettino said on Monday that a final decision on Always in a Tiz will come by Tuesday afternoon. If not the Belmont Stakes, the $150,000 Easy Goer on Saturday’s undercard will be chosen for Always in a Tiz, most recently ninth in the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 6.
FRAC DADDY -- Trainer Ken McPeek confirmed Monday morning that Frac Daddy will run in the Belmont. McPeek said the Scat Daddy colt will fly to New York from Kentucky on Tuesday and be ridden in the third leg of the Triple Crown by Alan Garcia.
“Talking to Carter Stewart, the principal partner for Magic City, he’s game, you know?” McPeek said. “We still believe this is a really, really good horse, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened for him. Sometimes you throw deep and it goes incomplete, but you can’t score if you don’t throw. He is the ideal client to throw deep, and we won the Travers for him last year (with dead-heat winner Golden Ticket).”
Frac Daddy, who descends from the same female family as 1997 Delaware Handicap winner Power Play, has one win in seven career starts. He broke his maiden in his second start last November at Churchill Downs and then finished second in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club.
This year, he disappointed McPeek with a sixth-place finish in the Grade III Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, and then was three wide on the far turn when seventh behind Orb in the Florida Derby. Frac Daddy ran in the Kentucky Derby and finished 16th.
“I do believe the horse will run well,” McPeek said. “I think the pace in the Belmont will suit him well, too. He drew outside in the Derby and couldn’t get position, and I don’t think he handled the slop. He’s worked on a dry track a couple times recently and worked freaky good. I think he’s got a big shot at it.”
INCOGNITO -- Incognito, fifth in the Grade II Peter Pan on a sloppy track, emerged from his Sunday workout in good shape, according to Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
MIDNIGHT TABOO / OVERANALYZE / PALACE MALICE / REVOLUTIONARY / UNLIMITED BUDGET -- Trainer Todd Pletcher reported this morning that all five of his Belmont Stakes hopefuls were “A-OK” following their breezes on Sunday, and that a decision on race status for the filly Unlimited Budget and the lightly raced Midnight Taboo was still pending.
“I have not yet spoken with Mike Repole, and he will make the final decision,” said Pletcher, who definitely will saddle WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary, Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice, and Repole’s Overanalyze.
ORB -- Shug McGaughey said Kentucky Derby winner Orb was doing well the morning after the colt breezed four furlongs, his final major work for the Belmont Stakes.
“He came out of his work good, ate up good, walked this morning, seems to be fine,” said McGaughey, who trains the son of Malibu Moon for Stuart S. Janney, III and Phipps Stable.
As many as 15 horses could end up contesting the 2013 Belmont Stakes, which could force Orb, a stretch-runner, and jockey Joel Rosario to thread their way through traffic.
“It's more concerning than anything else because not all of them in there belong, but they have as much right to run as anybody else, so I do think the race will be pretty spread out,” said McGaughey. “He ran with 18 in the Derby.”
OXBOW / WILL TAKE CHARGE -- D. Wayne Lukas' contenders Oxbow and Will Take Charge were en route from Louisville via van and remain scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park on Monday evening.
VYJACK -- Monday morning rain prompted trainer Rudy Rodriguez to push back Vyjack’s scheduled breeze to Tuesday. Instead, the gelding galloped 1 1/2 mile over the Belmont main track with Rodriguez aboard.
“He jogged a bit and galloped the wrong way,” said Rodriguez. “He was acting up a little bit and I didn’t want him fighting me, so I opened him up a little bit. He seems good.”
Rodriguez said Vyjack’s Tuesday breeze will come at 8:45 a.m. The trainer also confirmed that Julien Leparoux will ride Vyjack for the first time in the Belmont Stakes.
“He’s a very good rider and has very good hands,” said Rodriguez. “So, hopefully, he’ll be able to get the horse to relax and be at the back of the pack. And, hopefully, he’ll be able to make a move.”
Vyjack – who opened his career with four victories, including the Grade III Gotham in March at Aqueduct – is looking to regain the winning thread in the Belmont after finishing third in the Grade I Wood Memorial at the Big A in April and 18th in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
SECRETARIAT POSTER GIVEAWAY -- Forty years ago, Secretariat cemented his place in history with a 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes, becoming the ninth horse to win racing’s Triple Crown.
To celebrate the anniversary of Big Red’s accomplishment, the New York Racing Association will hold a Secretariat poster giveaway on Friday. Posters will be handed out at the paddock, backyard and clubhouse gates, free with paid admission, while supplies last.