Godolphin Quartet Work Ahead of Belmont Festival

Rebel's Romance (Ire) | Coady

A quartet of Godolphin-owned Belmont Stakes Racing Festival starters–Rebel's Romance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), Desert Peace (Curlin), Summer Romance (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) and Althiqa (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire})–breezed at Belmont Saturday morning.

G2 UAE Derby-winner Rebel's Romance, who is pointed to the GI Belmont S., breezed on the fast main track in company with GII True North S. contender Desert Peace. Hitting the track at 5:30 a.m. with Michael Metcalfe aboard Rebel's Romance and Patrice Pot on Desert Peace, the pair was caught by NYRA clockers in 1:01.05, galloping out in 1:14.

“They went out early at 5:30 to try and get a good track,” said trainer Charlie Appleby's traveling assistant, Sophie Chretien. “They worked six furlongs and the time was good. They're getting better in their fitness. Rebel stayed at the back of Desert Peace, we didn't want to ask him too hard. But he traveled much better than last time and went out seven-eighths.”

The breeze was a follow-up to the pair's half-mile work in :50.54 Wednesday over the Belmont main track.

“It's normal for them,” said Chretien of the quick return. “It was an easy first breeze and we need to carry on with the race in two weeks. They will go again Wednesday and after that we'll see where we are.”

Summer Romance and Althiqa breezed six furlongs in company on the firm inner turf with the former tracking outside of the latter and finishing up very strong in 1:14.20.

“The fillies went to the grass for the first time today and had a good, strong piece of work,” said Chretien. “They had a good blow. They needed it. I liked the way they moved on the grass. It's been a dry week and the grass is good. They will go again next Saturday.”

Summer Romance and Althiqa finished first and third, respectively, last out in the nine-furlong G2 Balanchine S. Feb. 18 at Meydan and are expected to make their next starts in the GI Longines Just a Game S. June 5.

Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith will have the call aboard Rebel's Romance, Althiqa and Desert Peace, while Luis Saez will ride Summer Romance.

The festival, which runs from June 3 through June 5, will encompass 17 stakes, including eight Grade Is on Belmont S. Day.

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