09/23/2012 2:39PM

Belmont: Hymn Book sharpens for Jockey Club Gold Cup

Tom Keyser
Hymn Book is among eight or nine horses probable for Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Club.

ELMONT, N.Y. - While some horsemen postponed scheduled workouts Sunday for their horses pointing to next Saturday’s stakes smorgasbord at Belmont Park, trainer Shug McGaughey went ahead as scheduled with drills for Hymn Book and Point of Entry.

Hymn Book, scheduled to run in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, breezed four furlongs in 46.87 seconds in company with the maiden Gloat. With exercise rider Jennifer Patterson barely asking Hymn Book to run, the Donn Handicap winner zipped his first quarter in 23.00 seconds, his second quarter in 23.87, and galloped out five furlongs in 59.99.

The move was done following the 8:30 a.m. renovation break over a drying out track labeled good. Heavy rains hit the New York area Saturday night

“I figure the track was probably a second fast,” McGaughey said. “I thought he breezed good.”

Hymn Book, who is 2-2-0 from 4 starts at Belmont and 4 for 5 over wet surfaces, is coming off a fourth-place finish behind Fort Larned in the Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

 “I wanted to give him a little break between his races. He likes it here. Obviously he loves it when there’s a little bit of water in the track, which he got this morning,” McGaughey said. “I think this [cooler] weather is suiting him too. I know it’s a big task, but we’ll see what he can do.”

Fort Larned breezed five furlongs in 1:00.79 over the Belmont main track, getting his last three furlongs in 34.82 seconds.

 “I wanted him to go off in about 26 for the first quarter and I wanted him to stretch his legs and finish up strong,” said trainer Ian Wilkes. “I was very pleased.”

 A field of eight or nine is expected for the Jockey Club including Atigun, Fast Falcon, Flat Out, Hymn Book, Fort Larned, Ron the Greek, San Pablo, and Stay Thirsty. Ruler On Ice, last year’s Belmont Stakes winner, is possible.

 San Pablo and Stay Thirsty, both trained by Todd Pletcher, had their planned works pushed back to Monday due to track condition.

 Point of Entry finishes fast

 About 45 minutes after Hymn Book breezed, McGaughey sent out dual Grade 1 winner Point of Entry for a half-mile breeze that went in 50.22 seconds over a good inner turf course. He is preparing for Saturday’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.

 Thunderous Lady, a horse trained by Michael Trombetta, broke off about a dozen lengths in front of Point of Entry, but it wasn’t a designed in-company work. Patterson let Point of Entry go a half-mile in 27.48 seconds but the horse wanted to run in the stretch and seemed eager to have something to run at through the lane.

 “I like that he had a little bit of a target,” McGaughey said. “I thought it was an excellent work … He had that horse in his sights. I told [Patterson] I wanted something fairly sharp with him, but I didn’t want to over-do it. She let him go off the right way and finish up the right way.”

Point of Entry has won four in a row including the Man o’ War and Sword Dance - both Grade 1’s - to put him among the leaders in the male turf division.

In the Joe Hirsch, Point of Entry is expected to face Finnegans Wake, Game Ball, Hailstone, Little Mike, and Treasure Beach.

 Hit it Rich to Flower Bowl

 McGaughey will also be represented Saturday by Glens Falls Handicap winner Hit It Rich in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational. She is expected to work Monday morning over the dirt.

 “I thought Hit it Rich ran a really good race in Saratoga,” McGaughey said. “She had been freshened up a little bit to run that. I thought it was time to take a big chance with her and see what happens.”

 The Flower Bowl should draw a solid field with European shippers I’m a Dreamer, the Beverly D. winner, and Nahrain, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf runner-up, coming. I’m a Dreamer arrived in New York on Saturday and is in quarantine at Aqueduct.

 Others expected to run include graded winners Dream Pace and Zagora, Yellow Ribbon winner Halo Dolly, multiple New York-bred stakes winner Hessonite, and Bizzy Caroline, runner-up to Hit It Rich in the Glens Falls.

 Dream Peace and Zagora, both trained by Chad Brown, five furlongs in 1:01.65 Sunday over the Belmont turf with a final quarter of 22.95 seconds.

Mystical Star, the New York Stakes winner, will run in either the Flower Bowl or the Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 7, trainer Christophe Clement said.

 Mystical Star worked five furlongs in 1:02.21 Sunday over the Belmont inner turf.


soroka More than 1 year ago
I noticed your am tweet of Paynter's work. Is this the same animal that was on death's door with Laminitis, possible founder and colon distress ?
DRFInsidePost More than 1 year ago
The tweet was confusing but it was a reference to Stay Thirsty's work, in reply to a question from someone who has the Twitter handle "@ZayatPaynter"
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Hymm book is a throw out
Graz I. Greener More than 1 year ago
All stakes pick 6 at Belmont including five G1: - Kelso: To Honor and Serve, running down Shackleford in deep stretch - Vosburgh: Sean Avery, demolishing another weak Vosburgh field. Weak field 2 years in a row now, NYRA must be vary of a downgrade as they push for the Kelso to be upgraded to make an unprecedented all G1 Pick 6 (besides BC day). - Flower Bowl: I'm a Dreamer just holding on against both Dream Peace and Zagora as Chad Brown continues to struggle at the G1 level. - Joe Hirsh: Treasure Beach in an upset as he rounds back into form. - Beldame: It's Tricky proving that she's best at one turn. - JCGC: Flat Out outfinishes stablemate Ron The Greek on his favorite track
Five More than 1 year ago
Graz, I see, we agree on 2, Flat Out and It's Tricky. I don't see, I'm a Dreamer repeating. I had $win on her at Arlington. Improving Dream Peace. Improving San Pablo. Sean Avery ran too much a comeback race, maybe, a little bounce. Pt of Entry is a steal.
Graz I. Greener More than 1 year ago
Let's see: - Joe Hirsh: Ever since I started following since the days of Manila and Theatrical, favorites have won the Turf Classic so many times that I think the times are changing. Gio Ponti and Paddy O'Prado lost at odds on, and Cape Blanco almost lost. The smart money is to take a shot in this race for the next few years. - Flower Bowl: I'm a Dreamer is better on firm turf and Dream Peace is better on soft turf. Yet I'm a Dreamer beat her in last year's EP Taylor on very soft turf, she should get the jump and finish in front of her again on firmer ground. Plus the price will be a lot more attractive. I am more worried about Zagora than Dream Peace. - Vosburgh: Sean Avery actually did not run that hard in his comeback race, it was a very confident ride delivered by Bravo, 92 beyer. Including his maiden, this horse has had 3 prior layoff lines in his career, and he improved in his second start every time. He has only bounced once, that's after he cracked 110 beyer for the first time at Monmouth. This is a weak Vosburgh field and Sean Avery will actually go off at a very good price. I am very high on him. Kelso: I believe Pletcher is running San Pablo in the JCGC instead of the Kelso.To Honor and Serve is doing so well that Bill Mott called an audible and ran Lunar Victory yesterday and target the Empire Classic with that horse instead because he is confident that To Honor and Serve will romp in the Kelso. This is my best bet of the day. He will go off at a good price thanks to Shackleford.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I believe Shug is going to have a very good weekend.
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
yep..point of entry is a monster(pine islands sister)..
Five More than 1 year ago
Thomas, Shug is one of my all-time favorite trainers, since the Easy Goer days. I would love to see him having a multiple stakes winning day. But, I see only Point of Entry as a winner for him, Saturday. Here's my take : Gold Cup = Flat Out Flower Bowl = Dream Peace Joe Hirsch = Pt of Entry Kelso = San Pablo Vosburgh = ? Beldame = ? It's Tricky How do you see different ?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Five. I haven't wagered since Charismatic broke dwon in The Belmont. Some thoughts though for you. This time of year the top guys are peeking for The BC races. So Watch out for Hymm Book. Shug is sneaky good in this race and the horse is doing super and loves Belmont. However, Fort Larned is still improving and Ron The Greek got caught very wide in His Whitney loss. I like Zagora and Nahrain in Flower Bowl but have a bias towards one who may not win here...Vosburgh.. throw a dart.. maybe Fort Loudon.. also Lumber Guy doing well as is Poseiden Warrior from rumors. Kelso- Shackleford. Joe Hirsch. Point of entry for fun. Beldame I agree. But remember please that I spend most of my time in the shedrow under our horses and helping grooms and vets and whole mess of stuff that keeps me busy with our business. Don't have much time to worry about others horses. Best of luck to you though.