05/21/2012 11:15AM

Belmont 2012: Mark Valeski 'doubtful' to start; Dwyer a possibility


Mark Valeski, who won the Peter Pan Stakes on May 12 and has been considered a top contender for the Belmont Stakes on June 9, is now “doubtful” for the final leg of the Triple Crown, trainer Larry Jones said Monday, citing the colt’s lack of energy since the Peter Pan.

“Mark’s actually doing OK, but he got a little tired after the race,” Jones said Monday from Churchill Downs, where Mark Valeski was sent after the Peter Pan. “He doesn’t have the same energy level. It’s looking like the Belmont is more and more doubtful. He’s not showing a lot of sparkle.

“I’m not saying he’s 100 percent out. But we may end up bypassing the Belmont and just waiting for the Dwyer.”

The Dwyer, at 1 1/16 miles, is June 30.

Jones said he had not worked Mark Valeski since the Peter Pan, and had no plans to do so until he perks up in his training.

“He’s acting like he’s a little knocked out,” Jones said.

Katie Ferraro More than 1 year ago
Bodemeister is a great horse! You nay sayers are right that he didn't win the derby and preakness. But I believe that Bode was installed too soon for these races. NEXT YEAR, we'll see who's the greatest.
DrSmoke120 More than 1 year ago
Smart move Larry. This colt wants no part of 12f. Most of the contenders don't. Ironic in this era of bred for speed milers the Belmont fills like it does. MV will do well in the Dwyer and be a good Haskell or Jim Dandy candidate off do that.
Pat Lyons More than 1 year ago
ok folks ..i bet on CC to win the derby ..left out IHA becuz of the post ..no horse wins from 19 post in a 20 horse field.etc..he overcame that history ...bode over came almost as much to place in the derby ...now the preakness bias bode was trying to make IHA have to overcome he did..yes IHA will win the triple crown..believe me ..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still can'Funny how prior to the Kentucky Derby, many racing fans were hailing this year's crop of three-year-olds as the deepest in years and talking in hallowed terms about Union Rags was the second-coming of Spectacular Bid. And now, instead of hailing IHA as a potential bright spot on the horse-racing industry's otherwise-gloomy horizon, people seem intent to diminish this budding superstar's accomplishments. Now, all of a sudden, this one deep crop is being denigrated as somehow lacking in quality. Why? After the Derby, one could have set one's watch to the drumbeat of the refrain about how this horse and that horse and the other horse were compromised by their bad trip and unfair racing luck. It was as if 19 horses were somehow dealt an unfair blow from the racing Gods and IHA was somehow the sole beneficiary of this inequity! And now, after the Preakness, in which he decimated the field, his Triple Crown competitors are suddenly being lambasted as somehow being weaker than those in a typical year, less devoid of talent than those running in a claiming cheap claiming race. Well, he's now four-for-four in the winner's circle this year and the casualty list is rather daunting, as just one of his Preakness competitors seems willing to re-enage him (Optimizer) in the Belmont. Meanwhile, Kentucky Derby contestants who skip the Preakness and re-emerge in Belmont historically have a very weak batting average when trying to win the Belmont. If the best of the combatants are Union Rags (who seems to bomb in his biggest races; he's afforded respect in a measure of respect that's at an inverse level to his accomplishments) and Dullahan (whose come-from-behind running style won't, counter-intuitively, flattered by the 1-12 miles of the race), Reddam and company seem to have little to worry about. IHA may be the best horse of all time, but it says here that he's going to be remembered as the best of his generation after the Belmont is run and he's alone in the winner's circle on June 9, joining history's other 11 Triple Crown immortals.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Smart move ,Larry. You can tell when a horse is out of sync. It has many negatives, and is usually easy to spot. Good horseman are always vigilant. A good rest is in order for Mark.
John Kern More than 1 year ago
I may be an idiot, however, Union Rags was buried inside his last two starts. When he finally got to the outside, he leveled off and opened his stride. I belive the Belmont is made to order for him. I'm looking forward to cashing a ticket............
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks more and more like if IHA does win the Belmont, a huge asterisk will go next to the accomplishment. With the greatest horse of all time, Bodemeister, not running, and others unwilling.....
Mark Waggoner More than 1 year ago
no offense, but you're an idiot
Donald More than 1 year ago
Yes, I agree with you Mark. The greatest horse of all time who never won the Derby, or the Preakness. The greatest horse of all time who, at the time of this writing, is still eligible for a "non-winners of two other then" allowance race. In fact, I may be wrong, but I think the greatest horse of all time is also eligible for a non winners of two lifetime!!
Donald More than 1 year ago
Actually, that should be non-winners of three lifetime. The greatest horse of all time has two wins, his maiden and the Arkansas Derby, which I think contained the worst field of 3 year olds assembled this year. Seriously, Lukas' Optimizer was about 5-1 to Bode in Arkansas. That tells you what the quality of the rest of the field was.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Hi Anonymous. You must be new to racing, if you make a statement, that Bodemeister is the greatest horse of all time. Wow.Incredible. I will start with Carry Back,Forego,Secretariat, Sham,Foolish Pleasure, Honest Pleasure. Just to name a few. I purposely left many great ones out. Perhaps, my fellow commentators can chime in with their favorites.
Dan Meyer More than 1 year ago
throw John Henry into the mix, as well as Go for Wand, true champions no matter who the "greatest" is
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
Swaps was best i ever saw on the grass-lolk-DS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seattle Slew by this way of thinking should have an asterisk next to his Triple Crown, since no one recalls Run Dusty Run or Sanhedrin. Secretariat had Sham in his Belmont but little else, so he should have one as well. Affirmed's only big rivals were Alydar and Darby Creek Road, so maybe he doesn't earn an asterisk as much as a ^ next to his Crown. I won't call you an idiot, since I suspect you are probably a bit new to the game. But the fact that you put Bodemeister as the greatest horse of all time doesn't help your credibility much. You should go and watch the last three Triple Crown winners in their Crown races, then come back and rethink your opinion.
Richard Manny More than 1 year ago
I remember Run Dusty Run and that also reminds me of Arts and Letters! Two great not so known horses, kinda like I'll have another.
Mac Wendel More than 1 year ago
I'd want to be anonymous too -- your best bet yet! Bode isn't even the best horse beginning with B -- I'll take Bold Ruler. Anyway, I believe Mr. Ed is even greater than Bodemister, er...meister!
Mr 6 More than 1 year ago
when its all said and done it will be 6 starters max come post time. Only a idiot will try to ruin their horse to stop an unstoppable winner.
IHAnother More than 1 year ago
I have huge respect for Larry Jones as a trainer. Mark Valeski looked very ordinary winning the Peter Pan and if that knocked him out, running in the Belmont could ruin him. Larry's right the Belmont is no place for MV.
Gerald Sabo More than 1 year ago
I agree with you on LJ and the horse. Larry is a smart trainer, run them where they can win. Good horse caretaker too.
Felton Suthon More than 1 year ago
Looks like the rest is key for Mark Valeski - 4 weeks from Risen Star to Louisiana Derby and he was not at his best. 6 weeks from LD to Peter Pan and he was OK. 7 weeks from PP to Dwyer and he should be OK. After that, you can try 5 weeks to WVa Derby if all is OK. MV can still get a lot done this year.
Peter Sipari More than 1 year ago
He doesn't belong with the top 3 year olds. Dullahan will be the factor in the Belmont. Sabrecat may also if allowed to run.