Daily Belmont Update: Sunday, May 25

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5/25/2014
5:39 pm EDT

COMMISSIONER/INTENSE HOLIDAY -- Intense Holiday, most recently 12th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the June 7 Belmont Stakes after being pulled up with an injury following a five-furlong breeze this morning in company with Commissioner.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Intense Holiday suffered a condylar fracture of the right foreleg and will undergo surgery to repair the injury.

"It's not life-threatening, and I don't think it's career-ending," said Pletcher. "It's particularly frustrating because after the Derby we ran (tests) and everything indicated he was healthy and ready to move forward. It's unfortunate."

Both Intense Holiday and Commissioner, who had Javier Castellano aboard, were timed in 1:00.77 for five furlongs.

"I thought Commissioner breezed very well," said Pletcher of the Grade 2 Peter Pan runner-up. "He was traveling well throughout and was willing; he seemed to be getting over the surface well and wrapped up good. He did everything you hoped he would do."

Pletcher said he thought Commissioner would not have difficulty negotiating the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.

"I think the longer he goes, the better he will get," he said. "We've always felt he was all A.P. Indy and the further he goes, the better. We're looking forward to the distance."


SAMRAAT -- Samraat, fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, logged a solid one-mile move of 1:41.28 for afor trainer Rick Violette. The son of Noble Causeway was undefeated through his first five starts before finishing second to Wicked Strong in the Wood Memorial. Samraat shipped from his base at Aqueduct for the breeze.

"It was terrific, exactly what we wanted," said Violette. "He made a long sustained run around the turn and straight through the wire. He ran his last three-eighths in 36 flat and cooled out like he was King Kong."

The breeze was intended to be his final serious piece of work before the June 7 Belmont Stakes, according to Violette.

"Saturday would be the right day, or Sunday, we'll watch the weather next week," said the trainer. "It will just be an exercise to blow off a little steam and let him feel really good."


SOCIAL INCLUSION -- Social Inclusion was scheduled to arrive at barn 5 at Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon, with his connections eyeing a start in either the Belmont Stakes on a race on the undercard.

The Met Mile had been a possible target, but that is off the radar now.

Social Inclusion easily won his first two starts at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Wood Memorial. Making only his fourth start in the Preakness, he raced in midpack early and tired in the stretch but battled to the wire to finish third, eight lengths behind the winner California Chrome and a head in front of fourth-place finisher General a Rod.


TONALIST -- He put in his penultimate work for the Belmont Stakes. Trained by Christophe Clement, the colt went an easy five furlongs in 1:01.63. The son of Tapit broke from the half pole, commencing the breeze at a leisurely :25.19 for the opening quarter-mile. Entering the stretch, the Clement trainee picked up the pace, finishing in 36.44 for his final three furlongs and galloped out well.

"Nice work," said Clement. "He looked good, was willing, and came back in good order. It was not the most aggressive work, but it was what we wanted. He galloped out in :13 and 3/5 this morning, so it was a strong gallop out.

"The plan is to bring him back this coming Saturday or Sunday and work him in company with Life In Shambles," said Clement. "It will probably be a touch more aggressive. I just hope we can keep him sound, and life is good."


WICKED STRONG -- Looking to put additional stamina into Wicked Strong, trainer Jimmy Jerkens had the colt breeze one mile on Sunday with exercise rider Kelvin Pahal aboard.

Wicked Strong, who started and finished at the half-mile pole on the Belmont training track, completed one mile in 1:39.59 and galloped out 1 1/8 miles in 1:55.22. His splits were :13.44, :25.41, :49.87, 1:02.41, 1:14.30, 1:26.59.

"I thought it was good. A nice, good stamina work," said Jerkens.

Jerkens had Wicked Strong breeze seven furlongs 10 days before the Wood Memorial and eight days before his fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. The colt also blew out two days before the Wood and two days before the Derby. He returned to the worktab last week for the first time since the Derby by turning in a 1:01.84 five-furlong breeze on the training track.

The trainer said that Wicked Strong will work again next weekend and then could have a blow out the week of the Belmont Stakes.

"It's what got him here, so we figured we wouldn't change the format," said Jerkens. "He worked last week; he worked faster than I wanted. He was a little too edgy, so we decided we'd keep him (on the training track) and work him two turns just to simmer him down a little bit. He worked here last week, but he was really on the muscle. If you're on the muscle here, you'll be doubly on the muscle (on the main track). He went nice and easy the first part and finished up nicely, I thought."