Gettysburg to Belmont Stakes
By Dick Downey
Steve Asmussen informed New York Racing Association officials Monday that Gettysburg will be entered in the Belmont Stakes.
The colt is owned by WinStar Farm. He was formerly trained by Todd Pletcher.
Gettysburg has one win from seven starts going 1 1/8 mile at Gulfstream Park over the winter. Asmussen also trains Creator, a closer, for WinStar. The move hints that Gettysburg could be used as a rabbit for his new stablemate. Pletcher could not be put in that position, and thus the transition to Asmussen.
Pletcher has two starters in the Belmont Stakes for connections other than WinStar, Destin and Stradivari. Those horses look likely to play a role in the early pace of the Belmont.
Likely Belmont Stakes favorite Exaggerator, another horse who is expected to come from off the pace, also has a connection to WinStar - he will stand stud at the Kentucky farm upon the conclusion of his racing career.
Paco Lopez is scheduled to ride Gettysburg. The colt most recently finished third as the favorite to Gift Box in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont Park on May 26. He attended or pressed a pace of 23.88, 47.29 and 1:11.49.
Elliott Walden, the president/CEO and racing manager at WinStar, told Daily Racing Form Monday: "When you start talking strategies and a trainer has multiple horses in the race, it can get a little confusing sometimes. The fact Steve has Gettysburg and Creator and we're his only owner takes out the conflict of having multiple horses in the race for different owners, and Todd was 100 percent behind it."
Creator's stable said it was happy with his four-furlong breeze today in 50.93.
"We're very happy, he worked nice and steady with a good rhythm," said Toby Sheets, assistant to Asmussen. "He actually loves it here," Sheets said. "It's much quieter than Churchill, so that makes a big difference. His antics are a little less here."
Sheets said Creator will walk on Tuesday.
With content from NYRA release