In the Money

Horse racing insight that's loose on the lead

Medal Count headed for Belmont Stakes

May 27th, 2014
Medal Count before the Kentucky Derby

Medal Count before the Kentucky Derby

By J.J. Hysell

Medal Count, eighth in the Kentucky Derby after enduring substantial traffic trouble, will be pointed to the Belmont Stakes on June 7, Spendthrift Farm said Tuesday.

Medal Count, a son of Dynaformer trained by Dale Romans, worked five furlongs in :59.40 at Churchill Downs Saturday. The decision was made to point the colt to the Belmont instead of the Belmont Derby on turf.

Medal Count won the Grade 3 Transylvania and was second to Dance With Fate in the Grade 1 Blue Grass prior to the Derby, his third race in a month.

In the Derby, Medal Count started from post No. 14 with Robby Albarado aboard. The colt was bumped by Danza when making his stretch run.


How the Belmont Stakes field is taking shape: May 27

May 27th, 2014
Wicked Strong schooling prior to the Kentucky Derby

Wicked Strong schooling prior to the Kentucky Derby

The latest on the Belmont Stakes field:

1. California Chrome (Jockey: Victor Espinoza)

Set to work on Saturday with Espinoza aboard; “All systems go,” says assistant trainer Alan Sherman

2. Ride On Curlin (Jockey: John Velazquez)

Galloping at Belmont in the mornings; likely to work this weekend  

3. Wicked Strong (Jockey: Rajiv Maragh)

Worked one mile in 1:39.59 and galloped out 1 1/8 miles in 1:55.22 on Sunday; “A nice, good stamina work,” said trainer Jimmy Jerkens; will work again next weekend, could have a blow out the week of the Belmont.

4. Tonalist (Jockey: Joel Rosario)

Worked five furlongs in 1:01.63 at Belmont Sunday; “It was a strong gallop out,” said Christophe Clement; to put in “more aggressive work” in company next weekend

5. Commanding Curve (Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan)

Worked five furlongs in :59.80 Friday at Churchill Downs; set to ship to Belmont this week.

6. Social Inclusion* (Jockey: Irad Ortiz)

Likely to work on Saturday; is possible for Belmont or Woody Stephens

7. Samraat (Jockey: Jose Ortiz)

Worked a mile in 1:41.28 Sunday; “He ran his last three-eighths in 36 flat and cooled out like he was King Kong,” trainer Rick Violette said.

8. Commissioner (Jockey: Javier Castellano)

Went five furlongs in 1:00.77 Sunday in company with Intense Holiday, who is out of the Belmont with a condylar fracture; “We’re looking forward to the distance,” Pletcher said of Commissioner.

9. Kid Cruz (Jockey: TBA)

Likely to work this weekend; will have new jockey for Belmont

10. Matuszak (Jockey: Mike Smith)

Worked five furlongs in 1:01.56 in company at Belmont Monday

11. Matterhorn* (Jockey: TBA)

Reported Monday as possible contender; fourth in Peter Pan last out

12. Medal Count (Jockey: Robby Albarado)

Announced Tuesday he will be pointed for Belmont; worked five furlongs in :59.40 at Churchill Downs

* – listed as possible starter


Intense Holiday vanned off after work Sunday; suffered condylar fracture

May 25th, 2014
Intense Holiday

Intense Holiday before the Kentucky Derby

Intense Holiday was vanned off after his work Sunday at Belmont Park after suffering an injury.

Starlight Racing reported the son of Harlan’s Holiday has suffered a condylar fracture in his right front leg and will undergo surgery.

Intense Holiday had completed his work in tandem with Commissioner when the equine ambulance was called. He was walked to the ambulance and vanned off from reports of those at the scene.

Starlight Racing said in a statement: “He has been sent to Dr. Patty Hogan at Hogan Equine in New Jersey for surgery and we will know soon, thereafter, as to what his racing prognosis will be.”

Intense Holiday, trained by Todd Pletcher and 12th in the Kentucky Derby in his last start, was preparing for the Belmont Stakes on June 7.


Video: Strong gallop for California Chrome, who averts “racing opossum” at Belmont

May 23rd, 2014

Here’s video from NYRA of California Chrome’s gallop Thursday morning. He appears more on the muscle in this gallop than he has in previous trips to the track since arriving in New York.

The Triple Crown hopeful also had an unexpected visitor on the track: an opossum, who was running on the right side of the track near the rail. At the 1:43 mark, you can catch a glimpse of California Chrome’s little “work mate” to the right.

The New York Daily News published an outstanding photo of the incident and reported that it didn’t faze the colt: