Tuesday, June 6, 2017
POST POSTION DRAW - According to NYRA, the post position draws for the Met Mile, Manhattan and Belmont Stakes will streamed live on http://nyra.com and the NYRA Now app on iOS, Android, Roku TV and Chromecast at noon ET on Wednesday.
CLASSIC EMPIRE - Arrived at Belmont Park from Louisville.
“Everything is good. When he’s happy, he ships well,” assistant trainer Norm Casse said. “The only time he didn’t ship well was the time he ran bad in the Holy Bull.”
EPICHARIS - Epicharis started slow in his training track work and finishesd better, going five furlongs in 1:06.06 with the last three furlongs in 37.00, per NYRA clockers.
“He went good early,” trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said through interpreters, who perhaps misinterpreted what he said. “He was good down the backstretch. I think it might be better to get some position behind some horses. He’s recovered from the long flight well, better than Dubai. So, he’s in good form.
"The track here is firmer than in Japan," said Hagiwara. "Back there we have much softer. The climate is much better here than over in Japan."
Epicharis was a narrowly beaten second to Thunder Snow in the U.A.E. Derby when last seen racing in late March.
GORMLEY - After several days without an announcement, Gormley was declared definite for the Belmont late yesterday afternoon. He'll be flown in from California on Wednesday, the deadline for being on the grounds.
HOLLYWOOD HANDSOME - Arrived at Belmont Park from Louisville.
J BOYS ECHO - Arrived at Belmont Park from Louisville.
MEANTIME - Peter Pan runner-up Meantime galloped on the Belmont main track early Tuesday morning, with trainer Brian Lynch noting a potential pace flow that might work in his horse’s favor.
"Not going to win anything jogging around here," Lynch said referring to his shedrow. "We galloped the hell out of him. He's doing real good. The weather was still good then. The track was still perfect, so we got lucky."
Lynch is saddling his first Belmont Stakes runner on Saturday. With a victory, the 58-year-old Australian would become the 18th trainer to win the race first time out. He is joined by Mark Casse, Hiyoshi Hagiwara and Brendan Walsh - all making their first start in this year's Belmont. Looking at how the race is shaping up, Lynch likes what he sees.
"A win would be nice," he said. "Real nice. Just to get a piece of it I'd be happy. My main thing is there is not a lot of speed in the race. He could be left alone, and lone speed is always dangerous."
MULTIPLIER - Arrived at Belmont Park from Louisville.
SENIOR INVESTMENT - Also working for the Belmont was Lexington winner and Preakness third-place finisher Senior Investment, who covered a half-mile on the main track in 50.19 for trainer Kenny McPeek. Senior Investment got his opening quarter in :25.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.80.
"It was a simple half-mile, nothing complicated, just let him stretch his legs over the track," McPeek said. "I think that horses need a little work over this racetrack before they run here and he handled it fine. What I call a 'happy half' - just keep him happy, switch his leads, give him a peek at the scenery, all that. Dylan said he was a little conservative with him, just kind of went easy and finished up well."
Saturday will be McPeek's sixth start in the Belmont after he saddled Pineaff in an attempt to dethrone Charismatic's bid for a Triple Crown in 1999. The former hotwalker for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey changed his training tactics after Pineaff was a well-beaten ninth.
"The first horse I ran in the Belmont was in 1999 and he never trained over it, and it was a disaster; the horse got beat like 50 lengths," McPeek said. "When I came back, I decided that I'd have a horse that trained here and that's what it is. He just needed a little work over the track and he got it and handled it great. He cooled out good."
OTHER - No notes on other Belmont contenders today.