Rombauer, 'France' Ship Safely to Belmont

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Rombauer winning the Preakness | MJC/Bill Denver

Classic hero Rombauer (Twirling Candy), who races for John and Diane Fradkin, shipped in to Belmont Park around 10 a.m. Monday ahead of an intended start in the June 5 $1.5-million GI Belmont S. presented by NYRA Bets. The colt earned a 102 Beyer for his GI Preakness S. heroics at Pimlico Saturday for trainer Michael McCarthy. He will be stabled with trainer Jonathan Thomas. Groom Leonel Orantes Aguilar reported that Rombauer had vanned to New York “very well”.

“It seems like he's in good physical shape,” McCarthy said, who is back at his southern California base. “He was pretty bright and alert on Sunday morning. He's a horse that takes very good care of himself, so we sort of read the signs from him and see what he's telling us. From what I can tell, he's no worse for wear.”

Second in the GI American Pharoah S. from four starts as a juvenile, Rombauer captured the Listed El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Feb. 13 before a third in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. in early April.

Reflecting on his colt's win he added, “I got a lot of nice messages from people and there were a lot of people that reached out who I hadn't heard from in quite some time, so it was very nice.”

Also arriving at Belmont on Monday was Yuji Inaida's well-traveled France Go de Ina (Will Take Charge), who will also contest the third jewel of the Triple Crown. The chestnut colt, who was sixth in the G2 UAE Derby in March and seventh in the Preakness S., was accompanied by trainer Hideyuki Mori's traveling assistant Masaki Takano. The dual winner will resume training Friday, May 21.

“He seemed to travel really well, it was a trouble free trip,” said Takano through translator Kate Hunter. “This is a good experience for the horse because the racing here is so different. Over the course of the time that he's been here, he's been able to get used to the American style of doing things. That's helped him relax into the routine and hopefully it will lead to a better performance in the future.

“The extra length of the Belmont, and the experience he's gotten from racing once here already, it's likely we'll have a better chance to perform better based off his pedigree. We're looking forward to giving it another go.”

There is a $1-million bonus for any Japan-based horse who wins the Belmont.

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