ON THE HOOF
HARLEM ROCKER WORKED at Belmont this morning in 1:02.60. Sources tell Thoroughblog he is indeed headed to Woodbine for Sunday's Plate Trial.
The Trial could have a field of as few as 6.
Trainer Todd Pletcer has also nominated BEHINDATTHEBAR to the Victoria Park Stakes next month.
CRACK IN THE ARMOR?
News came about yesterday that BIG BROWN has popped a little quarter crack. Read more below. Meanwhile, the mystery colt, CASINO DRIVE, is being followed by the press.
His half-siblings JAZIL AND RAGS TO RICHES won the last 2 Belmonts
(Photo by Sarah K. Andrew, she has lots more at her site on www.flickr.com, rock and racehorses)
Big Brown's slight hoof injury shouldn't derail Triple bid
By RICHARD ROSENBLATT The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Rick Dutrow Jr. says he's concerned but confident Big Brown will be in top form for his Triple Crown attempt in the Belmont Stakes in less than two weeks.
The trainer of the unbeaten Kentucky Derby and Preakness revealed Sunday that his unbeaten colt has a slight crack on his left front hoof. He quickly added the injury is so minor it will be treated by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay in the next few days and Big Brown could return to training as early as Thursday.
"It scares us when something like this happens, but this has nothing to do with his ability to finish what he started," Dutrow said at a news conference outside barn 2 at Belmont Park. "Ian is assuring me and it's going to go down like clockwork. And he's still going to run the same race."
When it comes to Triple Crowns, only 11 3-year-olds have been able to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, with 18 others winning the first two legs but failing in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.
Two others, Burgoo King in 1932 and Bold Venture in 1936 won the Derby and Preakness but didn't even make the Belmont because of injuries, according to most accounts.
Can the same fate await Big Brown, who has won all five of his races by a combined 39 lengths?
Dutrow and McKinlay doubt it, at least they did Sunday. They said the injury was detected Friday and Big Brown has missed two days of training and will miss at least three more.
"We're all concerned because there's a big race coming up," Dutrow said. "But Ian has us pretty well relaxed. He's telling me it's nothing and he'll be fine in a few days."
On Monday, McKinlay will treat Big Brown for the five-eighths of an inch-long quarter crack on the inside of his left heel.
"This is a very, very minor crack," McKinlay said. "We will put a set of wires in, stitch it up and then patch it."
Dutrow is thankful there's three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont as opposed to two weeks between the Derby and the Belmont on June 7.
to read more...
Over at HOOF CARE, penned by Fran Jurga, there is this photo of a quarter crack that Ms. Jurga is told by Ian MacKinlay, Big Brown's farrier, is similar to that of Big Brown's.
140TH BELMONT STAKES
Probable starters from THOROUGHBRED TIMES TODAY
Horse Most recent start Finish
Anak Nakal Kentucky Derby (G1) 7th
†Behindatthebar Coolmore Lexington S. (G2) Won
Big Brown Preakness S. (G1) Won
Casino Drive Peter Pan S. (G2) Won
Denis of Cork Kentucky Derby (G1) 3rd
Icabad Carne Preakness S. (G1) 3rd
Macho Again Preakness S. (G1) 2nd
†Ready’s Echo Peter Pan S. (G2) 3rd
†Spark Candle Peter Pan S. (G2) 6th
Tale of Ekati Kentucky Derby (G1) 4th
†Tomcito Peter Pan S. (G2) 7th
† possible starter
WOODBINE SUNDAY -
JUDGING THE CONNAUGHT
Ontario-bred RAHY'S ATTORNEY, by Crown Attorney, won the Grade 3 Connaught Cup yesterday at Woodbine, the biggest win for the 4yo colt who won his only 2 stakes attempts last year at 3, both against Ontario-sired runners.
But it is a year later and after one Polytrack sprint prep in 2008 (he finished a non-descript 7th), the gelding took advantage of a dream trip stalking the slow pace (23.95, 46.81) in the 1 1/16 mile turf race, shot up the rail path into the stretch and held on over a closing Society's Chairman.
The 1:39.52 clocking was good for a 100 Beyer Figure.
Rahy's Attorney, owned and bred by Ellie Boje Stable and partners, is trained by Ian Black.
He was 16 to 1 in the race and his win was quite surprising considering the jump in class.
Slade Callaghan picked up a nice win as Robert Landry, who always rides Rahy's Attorney, was on French Beret for Sam-Son Farm.
The latter proved he is not as his best on the Woodbine turf course as he tends to flatten out through the long stretch run.
Artie Hot ran a big race as he rallied from behind the slow pace to be 4th.
Interestingly, you could claimed Rahy's Attorney for $32,000 late in 2006 when he was a maiden (he didn't even win that claiming event).
SPRINGLEDGE is 3 for 3 at the meeting as she won for $12,500 yesterday, dropping off a win for $15,000.
The 5yo Outflanker mare is 10 for 31 in her career and she has been trained by Scott Fairlie for some time.
The mare was one of 3 winners on the card for Pat Husbands.
In race 3, LADY ZIPSTER flipped badly in the gate as the doors were sprung open and she got briefly hung up in the gate. A refund was ordered on the filly.
During the race, the pace was so slow 126.96.36.199, it made the race so tough to watch.
LA GRAN EMMA held off CRITICAL PATH won win the allowance for Rainbow Stables and All Day Racing, trainer Willie Armata and Tyler Pizarro.
Scott Fairlie won again later with his claim from last year, RYE ON THE ROCKS, who won with the switch to grass, under wraps by Pat Husbands in the allowance race.
The Whiskey Wisdom gelding is out of Scarlet Chimes by Red Ransom.
Okay, the TUCCI STABLE was everywhere yesterday.
It won the 4th race with Florida-bred Bedarra, who hugged the rail on her way to an off the pace win (nice ride Jim McAleney).
The 3rd place finisher, SKYLAND, was claimed by the Tucci's and trainer Dan Vella for $60,000. Skyland was owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Steve Asmussen.
Sid Attard trains Bedarra.
The Tucci's then won the 6th race with ROVINA, a Kentucky bred gal by Mr. Henrysee that was claimed from Gulfstream. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode the filly in the allowance race for trainer Nick Gonzalez.
Stakes winner TWISTED WIT is close to $900,000 in earnings as he won yesterday for the first time in a couple of years.
The 7yo needed a class drop to $32,000 but he was very game to hold on to win under Matt Moore in 1:22.81 for 7 furlongs.
And two youngsters were all the rage in the last race, a maiden allowance, but neither (Nice Case, a firster by Gold Case) or Cold Harbor (2nd timer by Distorted Humor) could hold off the very experienced GHOSTLY CONCERTO (Stravinsky Kentucky-bred), a most unlikely winner in his 7th career start.
The grey gelding bled badly after the race and did not make it back to the winner's circle.
The one thing that can be said is that the Dave Cotey trainee was exciting the very fast maiden claiming win by Dozen Dancer, a race that has produced a couple of winners now.
The PICK 7 HAS CARRIED OVER since Day 1 of the meeting.
On Wednesday, it is up to $31,000 - races 2 through 8.
WAITING FOR THE ROCKER
The PLATE TRIAL STAKES is Sunday and it's not certain yet if HARLEM ROCKER will be in town for the race and who will ride.
The colt's last workout was May 11 (15 days ago).
With or without the grey, undefeated graded stakes winner, the race will be a small field with horses like NOT BOURBON, EAST END TAP, COOL GATOR and perhaps SEBASTIAN'S SONG in the field.
HARLEM ROCKER would be considered an odds-on favourite for the not only the Trail but the June 22 Plate itself as he is meeting a very weak crop of Canadian-bred sophomores in 2008.