In the Money

Horse racing insight that's loose on the lead

Dale Romans convincing when giving his case for Medal Count in the Belmont

May 31st, 2014
Medal Count before the Kentucky Derby

Medal Count before the Kentucky Derby

In Saturday’s Churchill Downs media notes, trainer Dale Romans gave some insight into how the decision was made to run Medal Count in the Belmont Stakes.

Medal Count, eighth after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby, was confirmed for the race earlier this week after Romans talked with Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes.

“I knew we were meeting Tuesday at Cracker Barrel,” Romans said. “I was thinking of all the reasons I wanted to run him in the Belmont and why it would work. (Hughes) is one of the most intimidating men in the game. I walked in and sat down at the table with my stuff ready to go and he said, ‘When are we shipping?’ I said, ‘Do you want to run there?’ He said, ‘Do you?’ I said ‘Yes’ and he said ‘Run.’ Then we had eggs and talked about economics!”

Medal Count, who will have Robby Albarado aboard for the Belmont, ships to New York Thursday. He worked six furlongs in 1:10.60 at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning.


General a Rod to team up with Rosie Napravnik in the Belmont Stakes

May 31st, 2014

general a rodBy J.J. Hysell

General a Rod, 11th in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness, will team up with jockey Rosie Napravnik in the Belmont Stakes, trainer Mike Maker said Saturday.

General a Rod, owned by Skychai Racing and Starlight Racing, will join Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome and Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin as the only Belmont competitors to participate in all three Triple Crown races.

Starlight Racing issued the following statement: “After a great half mile work this morning and strong gallop out, it has been decided that General a Rod will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes. His trainer, Mike Maker, feels like he’s doing too well to skip the race. Jockey Rosie Napravnik up for today’s work (in 47 and change, out the 3/4 in 1:13: and change) gave him two thumbs up and is scheduled to ride him in the Belmont Stakes.”

The field currently stands at 13 with three listed as possible: California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, General a Rod, Wicked Strong, Tonalist, Commanding Curve, Samraat, Commissioner, Matuszak, Medal Count,  Social Inclusion (possible for Woody Stephens or Belmont), Kid Cruz (decision pending), Matterhorn (decision pending).


New sire Warrior’s Reward has three winners from three starters Friday

May 30th, 2014

By J.J. Hysell

To say new sire Warrior’s Reward is off to a good start would be an understatement. He’s off to a perfect start.

The 8-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, who stands at Spendthrift Farm for $12,500, had three winners from three starters – all fillies racing on dirt – at three different tracks Friday.

The first starter for the freshman sire was Liatris. She won a five furlong, $40,000 maiden special weight over a track rated good at Pimlico by 3 3/4-lengths for trainer Jann Anderson, who co-owns the filly with Charles L. Hall, and jockey Victor Carrasco.

Unbridled Reward was the second winner. She posted an impressive 7 3/4-length victory over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in a four-and-a-half furlong, $44,000 maiden special weight for trainer Mark Casse, owner John Oxley and jockey Alan Garcia.

Strawberry Baby, who went off at 5-1 in a $20,000 maiden special weight at Lone Star Park, capped the monumental day for her sire. She won the five-furlong test over a fast track by 2 3/4-lengths for trainer J. R. Caldwell, owners Brad and Judy Miller and jockey Dakota Wood.


Video: Commanding Curve “announces” his arrival at Belmont

May 29th, 2014

Commanding Curve, second to California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby and a Belmont Stakes contender, was very vocal about his arrival to Belmont Park Thursday afternoon.

This video shows his arrival along with that of several other stakes contenders, including Ogden Phipps contender Beholder. Commanding Curve begins at 0:26.

In a national teleconference, trainer Dallas Stewart said Commanding Curve will likely have one more work at Belmont this weekend before the race on June 7.

“He came out of the race (the Derby) in better shape than (2013 runner-up) Golden Soul did weight-wise,” Stewart said. “He’s put on a lot of muscle since the race.”


Trainer Art Sherman to discuss California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid

May 29th, 2014

Art Sherman, trainer of California Chrome, is slated to be a guest on Thursday night’s Pass the Buck radio show.

Additional guests include Joel Cunningham and racing analyst Jen Jade.

The show is set to begin at 9 p.m. ET. Fans can call in at (714) 816-4628.

Here is the link to listen to the show: