Thoroughbred Daily News
Gone West - Silken Cat, by Storm Cat - WinStar Farm
WinStar Farm - Versailles, KY | 1998 | Entered Stud 2005 | 2019 Fee $80,000 S&N

Belmont Stakes Updates

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Intrepid Heart | Coady 

The Todd Pletcher-trained Spinoff (Hard Spun) will aim for the June 8 GI Belmont S. Finishing 18th in a sloppy renewal of the GI Kentucky Derby May 4, the Wertheimer and Frere homebred has been training well since, most recently breezing a half-mile in :48.72 (5/49) over the Belmont training track Sunday morning.

“He worked well and seems to be training forwardly,” Pletcher said. “He didn’t seem to care for the surface on Derby day. He put himself in a decent tracking position, but when it was time for him to turn his head he just kind of spun the wheels a bit.”

A debut winner at Gulfstream in June of 2018, Spinoff was third in the GII Saratoga Special S. last August and was shelved for the season. Kicking off 2019 with a Tampa optional claimer win Feb. 22, he was second in the GII Louisiana Derby Mar. 23.

Joining him in the Belmont will be stablemate and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Intrepid Heart (Tapit), who was last seen finishing third in the GIII Peter Pan S. May 11. A first out winner at Oaklawn Feb. 18, the gray colt captured an Apr. 5 optional claimer at Keeneland prior to the Peter Pan.

“He stumbled coming out of the gate but he’s still lightly raced,” Pletcher said. “I thought he galloped out well. He’s bred top and bottom for the distance and I’m optimistic that his pedigree will allow him to get the distance.”

In other Belmont news, Bob Baffert said champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) is under consideration for the Triple Crown’s final leg after finishing fifth in the Derby.

“He’s continuing to do well coming out of the Derby,” said Baffert. “We’ve given him a little bit of a break, but we should make a decision on if we’ll definitely run in the Belmont or not by the end of this week.”

The Hall of Famer will likely have a string of runners on Belmont Day with recent GII Alysheba S. winner McKinzie (Street Sense) pointing for the GI Met Mile S.; Saturday’s GIII Lazaro Barrera S. victor Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) aiming for the GI Woody Stephens or the Easy Goer S.; and GISW Marley’s Freedom (Blame) heading to the GIII Bed o’ Roses S. June 7.

Trainer Brendan Walsh said Plus Que Parfait (Point of Entry) will pass on the Belmont.

“I had to back off of him a little bit. We’re looking for another spot for him but nothing is decided yet,” said Walsh.

 

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