Arcangelo Tunes Up for Belmont

Arcangelo | Susie Raisher

Blue Rose Farm's Arcangelo (Arrogate), last-out winner of the GIII Peter Pan S., worked five furlongs in 1:02.81 (2/5) at Belmont Park Wednesday in preparation for the June 10 GI Belmont S. New York Racing Association clockers caught the grey galloping out six-furlongs in 1:15 4/5 and seven-furlongs in 1:28 4/5. Javier Castellano was in the irons.

“He's a nice, beautiful-moving horse and he did it easy. He's a good work horse. In the morning, you can work him :59 if you wanted,” Castellano said. “We all know that [the Belmont is] a mile and a half and you don't want to go crazy with a bullet work. We just give him a good foundation and I think we both agree we let him do what he wants to do in the morning and be happy. You can see he's a very happy horse and he goes to the post nice–very relaxed, comfortable rhythm. I let him gallop out and in the turn I asked him a little bit and he took off and had a good open gallop. He's a big horse, long beautiful stride. He likes to reach for more ground. The farther he can go, the more he's comfortable.”

Trained by Jena Antonucci, Arcangelo broke his maiden going one mile at Gulfstream in March and was making his stakes debut when getting his head in front on the line in the nine-furlong Peter Pan. The Belmont will be the ridgling's first start around two turns.

“It's not a secret he hasn't gone two turns yet and that's the obvious conversation and we talked a lot about that,” Antonucci said. “The second half of the work was more important for me than the first half. Going off, he was super relaxed and that's what we were looking for–I didn't want him dragging Javier to the pole and him having to take any natural ability momentum away from him. He did that perfectly and Javier was a statue aboard the horse. We wanted to get that second turn around him and Javier was concerned to smooch at him too much.”

Antonucci will be starting her first horse in a Triple Crown race as Arcangelo looks to become the first Peter Pan winner since Tonalist won the Belmont in 2014.

“They're all special, and not the be cliche, but my job is to stay out of his way,” Antonucci said. “It [the opportunity] doesn't fall on deaf ears. It's special–if it's 10 in the gate or 11 in the gate of that entire foal crop, that's a very small percentage. So, I definitely don't lose sight of that and I'm very blessed to have the opportunity and for the team to have the opportunity. They've put in a lot of work and they deserve it.”

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