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Up next the 144th Belmont Stakes: June 9th

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
    ... but no need to drop major coin just to attend the race!
    Agreed save it for the windows, gift nick-nacks or something to eat

    It was noted before that I'll Have Another has been running with the nasal strip ("Flair Equine Nasal Strip" to be exact) in prior races. That ends when he comes to NY - the nasal strip is not allowed.

    Stewards at New York Racing Association racetracks, which includes Belmont Park, have decided not to allow nasal strips. This is not a New York State Racing and Wagering Board rule, nor even a Belmont Park house rule. It is a decision made by the stewards.

    Dr. Ted Hill, the Jockey Club steward at Belmont Park, said the nasal strip issue has been reviewed a number of times and said the problem is how to regulate its use.

    Changes for blinkers, bar shoes, and Lasix, for instance, are announced in New York. Changes regarding other equipment, such as shadow rolls, tongue ties, and bits, are not denoted. But all of those items are allowed.

    “If it’s really going to help the horse that much, to be fair and consistent, we have to regulate it,” Hill said. “That’s always been the issue.”

    Part of the issue, Hill said, is what to do with a horse who was scheduled to wear a nasal strip if the strip comes off in the paddock or at the gate, perhaps because of wet weather. Further, Hill said there has not been a clamor among New York horsemen to use it.

    “We’ve never had someone say, ‘What can we do here because we’d like to use this product?’ ” Hill said. “There’s really been no push for it.”


    • #22
      Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
      Kent Desormeaux - who due to his alcohol woes lost the mount of Dullhan to Javier Castellano -airs doubts about I'll Have Another's jockey and his chances in the Belmont:
      Ok now let me think here for a moment.... Kent.... Triple Crown bid..... Moved too Soon.....WAY tooo soon.

      Oh yea, he does have credibility to speak as a jockey who could blow a tc bid.

      But maybe he wasn't paying attention the last few years or say, specifically when Jeremy Rose waited longer than anyone expected to unleash Afleet Alex's massive afterburners and run away with the win.

      Hmmm maybe it's not so much all rookies will move to soon..... just some.

      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


      • #23
        Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
        Agreed save it for the windows, gift nick-nacks or something to eat

        Another tip for those on a budget who may not know, they allow general admission patrons to bring coolers with their own food and non-alcoholic drinks. I've never brought in a cooler, but saw many people who did. The vendors are great and I like to support them... but that can get expensive, especially if you are bringing the whole family. Only drawback is that someone has to take the cooler back to the car or stay with it while everyone goes to watch the race.


        • #24
          Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
          Just as an FYI for those who are interested in attending, but don't want to pay big bucks for tickets on the secondary market... Anyone can get in the day of general admission for $5-10. I moved from Long Island over a year ago, but prior to that, I went to Belmont every year (even on Triple Crown years) and had ZERO problem getting in general admission the day of. IIRC, last I went it was $5 general admission or $10 general admission with more access (including nice bathrooms). No, you don't get an assigned seat or box, but you DO get a fun day and every year, we were right up against the rail near the finish line for the race. Best "seat" in the house by far!

          I will say it's possible my prices are outdated by a couple years.... but no need to drop major coin just to attend the race!
          That's what I do, and will be doing this year. I wonder if I need to get there extra early to get a spot on the rail this year? Either way, I plan on being right at the finish line again.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Mirakel View Post
            That's what I do, and will be doing this year. I wonder if I need to get there extra early to get a spot on the rail this year? Either way, I plan on being right at the finish line again.
            I didn't have to the last time there was a potential Triple Crown, but I don't know if there is more hype this time around. We also usually went fairly early in the day for the early races and to hang out with friends. We also usually headed out to the track for a spot on the rail a bit early every year just to be sure.

            Have fun! I am jealous!


            • Original Poster

              Alpha is out - elevated temp (103 degrees) on Tue eve.

              Alpha’s defection leaves two-time Eclipse Award winner Ramon Dominguez without a mount for the Belmont and reduces the number of likely starters to 11.

              The three Belmont Stakes candidates that have won a graded stakes races are I’ll Have Another, Dullahan and Union Rags.

              The remainder of the field comprises Atigun, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej, Optimizer, Paynter, Street Life, Unstoppable U and Ravelo’s Boy.


              • Original Poster

                This morning's gallop (5-31/Thurs) could've had dangerous results: tweet from DRF's David Greening

                O'Neill said loose horse came within a foot of I'll Have Another this morning.
                In regards to the detention measures by NYRA for the Belmont Stakes Dale Romans (Dullahan) made this quip:

                "They're basically saying we're all a bunch of crooks and they're gonna make sure we're not gonna do anything illegal."
                The NY Times Joe "I Hate Horse Racing" Drape in an article indicates through a "confidential email obtained by him" that the newly introduced rules are aimed at O'Neill and that he'll have additional, separate requirements. e.g. all O'Neill horses running at Belmont Race Course need to be tested .. even the claimers.

                With those in support for having a Triple Crown member again the list includes Patrice Wolfson (Affirmed):

                On a national teleconference Wednesday featuring Triple Crown winners from the 1970s, Wolfson said she will be rooting for I’ll Have Another to join Affirmed and the 10 other horses who have captured the Triple Crown when he competes in the 144th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9.

                “It looks like he’ll be a good successor if it comes about,” she said. “There were times I didn’t think I was ready to relinquish it. I’m ready now. I’ve watched him gallop on television, and he sure strides out beautifully when he gallops.”
                Additionally as noted former jockey Steve Cauthen also is hoping for a TC:

                “The last thing you would want to do is root against somebody succeeding,” Cauthen said. “It’s so difficult to do.”


                • Original Poster

                  More on the loose horse that almost took out I'll Have Another this morning:

                  Video: Doug speaks of the near incident

                  And to think that Doug O'Neill got to toss out the first pitch of the Yankees-Mets game (at the request of Jessica Steinbrenner) and now this near miss

                  The incident led to O’Neill calling NYRA officials to see if they would designate a certain time solely for Belmont Stakes horses to train. P.J. Campo, vice president/director of racing for NYRA, was working out the logistics of such an arrangement late Thursday morning. Such an arrangement is in place at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.

                  The horse who got loose was 3-year-old maiden filly Isleta, bred and co-owned by the Steinbrenner family’s Kinsman Stable and recently transferred to trainer Carl Domino.


                  • #29
                    Next the NYRA will be handing out bubble wrap with instructions on how to use it--so if you by chance have a bubble bow they cannot be responsible.


                    • Original Poster

                      The DRF has gotten wise about photos being directly linked and/or down loaded so here is the best relay of that shot by Barbara Livingston:

                      It's I'll Have Another unexpectedly spooked by the charging loose, Isleta (f): Picture here - note she was charging into in a thin spot between the rail and IHA - although Calvin would've called that "generous" along the rail


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                        ... new rules on Belmont mandate ALL runners need to be on site by noon June 6th. And that is just the beginning ... .
                        Jay Hovdey voices some interesting points with regards to the new Belmont Stakes rule: "Belmont Stakes security may be over the top". excerpt -

                        .. But maybe it’s not a bad idea for the horses running in the Belmont to be sequestered three days before the race and for access to them to be highly restricted and closely monitored.

                        Then again, maybe it is. Ask Bill Mott or John Gosden about their first encounter with a detention barn at the 1987 Arlington Million, when all the runners were required to gather earlier in the day. Mott trained Theatrical, while Gosden had Sharood.

                        “The barn was hot and badly ventilated,” Gosden recalled. “We tried fans but they didn’t do much good. At one point I looked over at Theatrical and thought, ‘Well, we don’t have to worry about him.’ ”

                        Mott was beside himself.

                        “Theatrical got in there and completely fell apart,” he recalled, years after the fact. “I mean, the sweat was just pouring off him. At one point he just flat sat down in the stall. I was afraid he would colic, or tie up, or something.”
                        Friday (6/1) several would-be Belmont runners took to the track. I'll Have Another galloped 1-mile, Paynter galloped too and did gate work, and Rosie got aboard Five Sixteen for a work.

                        Image slideshow of the near miss with Isleta - loose and hell bent going towards I'll Have Another. Lava Man with the red shadow roll doesn't appear to be phased at all. On twitter someone asked "him" to step up the security next time with IHA

                        Post Belmont: There is a chance - although maybe slim - that "I'll Have Another will return to Saratoga for the Travers. He was unremarkable - with Julien Leparoux up - with his only Saratoga appearance last year and of course O'Neill is more of a Del Mar meet trainer. However they aren't ruling it out and I suspect if they relish the attention from fans and the general press then more of that level of interest will be had Upstate vs. West Coast.


                        • Original Poster

                          In advance of the Belmont - jockey Mario Gutierrez is scheduled to be a guest on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on June 7.

                          [NBC at 12:30 AM EST; 11:30 pm CST]


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
                            I didn't have to the last time there was a potential Triple Crown, but I don't know if there is more hype this time around. We also usually went fairly early in the day for the early races and to hang out with friends. We also usually headed out to the track for a spot on the rail a bit early every year just to be sure.

                            Have fun! I am jealous!
                            Okay, thanks for responding! I will plan to get there when the gates open. I'm also planning on attending breakfast at Belmont tomorrow in hopes of seeing some of the horses train. If I get any good pictures, I will post them here


                            • Original Poster

                              The success of I'll Have Another in the Belmont may depend upon Canadian Larry "Thumper" Jones - and no not the cowboy hat wearing trainer although this guy wears one too

                              Chiropractor plays big role in keeping I'll Have Another straight - excerpt

                              Jones, 53, works as an equine chiropractor, and Doug O’Neill, trainer of I’ll Have Another, said Jones has been instrumental in the success of a horse whose back problems have been so severe that he has required shock-wave therapy in the past.

                              “He’s a great horseman,” O’Neill said. “He’s a huge asset. He’s taken another member of my staff, Tyler Cerin, under his wing. He’s a great mentor.”

                              Jones – easily recognized with his signature outfit of shorts and cowboy boots on a frame that is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds – has been with I’ll Have Another throughout the Triple Crown, but started working on him in January. He said the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner has come a long ways since he first treated him Jan. 15.
                              The shock-wave therapy, administered in California, was noted prior to the Derby and get IHA on the vet list and restricted him from being run in California and Kentucky.


                              • #35
                                Dennis O'Neill, in an interview on HRTV today, when asked how his brother is doing, "he's stressed...but has so much confidence in the horse. The horse is doing so good that the other stuff really doesn't matter." Someone Dennis was talking with earlier, Mike Wolman? said, "as long as they don't come up with a rule that all chestnuts with white hooves have to run with a bag on their head, we're ok".

                                And he also feels sorry for the others with regard to the detention barn rule, as he doesn't believe it will affect this horse at all.

                                He was also appreciative of the 8:30 training time - the incident the other morning was one of the scariest things he's seen in a long time. It happened right in front of them. He said if IHA had moved an inch, or Lava Man had nudged him an inch, they would have been wiped out. The loose horse nudged the exercise rider's boot as he went by. I'll Have Another never turned a hair...
                                But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                                  He said if IHA had moved an inch, or Lava Man had nudged him an inch, they would have been wiped out. The loose horse nudged the exercise rider's boot as he went by. I'll Have Another never turned a hair...
                                  Image - the outrider catching the loose horse - pretty dramatic too

                                  By the way .... D. Wayne Lukas again being quoted in the press (although he is one noted to always give his opinion good or bad) as critical of the Belmont/NYRA detention rules for the Belmont Stakes - mixed with a nod of the cap to Doug O'Neill. The nod is a bit of a retreat from DWL's prior remarks:

                                  “We are going through this because of the flak we’re receiving. The story should be I’ll Have Another is going for the Triple Crown. It should be a wonderful story in our industry. Instead it’s the secondary story. The real story is Doug O’Neill and the (Rick) Dutrows of the world and so forth.

                                  “And yet Doug O’Neill has pretty much taken the high road,” Lukas added. “Give him credit. He has put a positive spin on his personality and program and everything he’s trying to do. But the fact remains there is a suspension that is right there in front of him.”

                                  “I’m not picking on Doug O’Neill. I think we’ve got to go across the board,” Lukas said, referring to other trainers. “... The thing that bothers me is when there is a suspension, we don’t follow through. ... We’ve got to put some teeth in it.”


                                  • Original Poster

                                    NY Post June 3rd: "Former President Clinton thinks Dullahan can spoil ‘Another’ Triple Crown bid"

                                    “It looked like [I’ll Have Another] had some juice left at the end of both those races,” Clinton said. “But the real wild card is the horse that finished third in the Derby. The Irish name? Dullahan. He didn’t run in the Preakness because they were saving him. The Belmont might be a good race for him because he closed just as strong as I’ll Have Another, and he came out of maybe more interference.

                                    “So if that horse has a race like he had in the Derby, he could give I’ll Have Another a race.”
                                    Dullahan put in a very solid work on Sunday and may be sitting on a massive effort for next Saturdya's Belmont Stakes:

                                    “The man said ‘45’ and I said no way, that can’t be right, it’s too fast,” said Castellano, who had never been on Dullahan prior to Sunday’s work and who’ll ride the Blue Grass winner for the first time in the Belmont Stakes.

                                    In actuality, Dullahan completed a half-mile in an eye-catching 45.82 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form, following an opening quarter mile in 22.20. Dullahan galloped out five-eighths in 58.91 while easily the most impressive of five prospective Belmont starters to work over a fast track on a picture-perfect morning at Belmont Park.
                                    Unstoppable U, a fringe player, might skip the Belmont:

                                    Unstoppable U worked five furlongs in 1:02.13 but took an erratic path through much of the stretch, switching leads a couple of times before finally getting over to his right lead near midstretch, after which he leveled off nicely to gallop out six furlongs in 1:14.24 under jockey Junior Alvarado.

                                    McPeek said a short while later that he was now undecided regarding Unstoppable U’s starting status for the Belmont.

                                    “He worked sloppy last time too,” said McPeek. “He wants to hang on that left lead for some reason. Maybe it’s a seasoning issue. We’re going to wait until the last minute and decide. There’s a chance he might run in an overnight stakes (Easy Goer) on Saturday instead of the Belmont.”
                                    Not at Belmont but rather Fair Hills is Union Rags who has impressed JV in his first pairing:

                                    At the five-furlong pole, Roddickton broke off about 1 1/2 lengths in front of Union Rags, who was being held snugly by Velazquez. Union Rags went in his first eighth in 11.85 seconds, the quarter in 23.41 and three furlongs in 34.68 seconds while still following Roddickton.

                                    At the quarter pole, Velazquez eased Union Rags to the outside of Roddickton and at the eighth pole Union Rags left his workmate. He got his final quarter in 23.82 seconds - finishing about four lengths in front at the wire - and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.38.

                                    “Very nice, very impressive,” Velazquez said. “Thankfully, I didn’t let him out too soon. He would’ve gone by the horse very easy. I waited with him till the quarter pole, eased out a little bit from behind him, and at the eighth pole I just gave him his head and he was gone. I didn’t have to ask him for anything. He did it by himself.”


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Curious fact regarding the TC:

                                      Of the previous Triple Crown winners, only Assault, who won the 1946 Derby at 8-to-1, left the gate in the Run for the Roses at odds of 4-1 or higher, and every other horse to win the Triple Crown was favored in the Preakness.
                                      I'll Have Another has never in his entire career gone off as the post time favorite.

                                      The comment by Dale Romans suits my own views on this Belmont Stakes:

                                      “I think we owe it to the past Triple Crown winners to make (I’ll Have Another) earn it,” Dullahan trainer Dale Romans said. “If he’s a super horse like Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Secretariat and some of our past Triple Crown winners, then he’ll win it. If not, we’ll be able to beat him.”


                                      • Original Poster

                                        No Hansen in the undercard Woody Stephens:

                                        ... will miss a scheduled start in Saturday’s Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park due to a low blood count, trainer Mike Maker said Monday.

                                        The next two significant sprint races in the 3-year-old division are the Grade 3, $150,000 Carry Back at Calder on July 7 and the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Shore at Monmouth on July 14, but both races are at six furlongs.

                                        If his connections want to run Hansen long again, options could include the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer, a one-turn 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont on June 30.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          How is our long shot, Guyana Star Dweej, who really shouldn't even be considered for the Belmont doing? Well they have Kent Desormeaux working him Monday (6/4) morning but as noted in a tweet:

                                          Guyana Star Dweej in 49.30, according to @DRFWelsch, in company with Shkespeare Shaliyah. Shkespeare going better.
                                          When your workmate outshines you its a sign just as his aborted work last time out on the track. Not sure if this is a Rick's Natural Star esq situation.