06/06/2011 4:40PM

Belmont Park: Get Stormy to pass Manhattan

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Barbara D. Livingston
Get Stormy will run in Sunday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Monmouth Stakes at 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Though trainer Tom Bush sounded as if he were tempted to give the 1 1/4 miles of Saturday’s Grade 1 Manhattan a try with Get Stormy, he confirmed Monday that he would skip the race with his multiple Grade 1 winner. Instead, Bush said he would likely run Get Stormy in Sunday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Monmouth Stakes at 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth Park.

“I can’t deal with that mile and a quarter,” Bush said. “There’s nothing more than a mile in that horse’s pedigree.”

Get Stormy won the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland and then the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, at 1 1/8 miles at Churchill on May 7. Though the Churchill course was labeled firm that day, Bush said that could not have possibly been the case, which aided his front-runner’s cause.

“It was real soft,” he said. “There were green stains on all four of his legs, the horse was going down in that stuff, that’s why nobody could close.”

Get Stormy was one of three horses assigned high weight of 122 pounds for the Manhattan. Of the other two, only Gio Ponti is expected to run. Gio Ponti, a three-time Eclipse champion and six-time Grade 1 winner, will face a field that is expected to include Prince Will I Am (119 pounds), Al Khali (117), Viscount Nelson (117), Mission Approved (114), and Center Divider (113). Windward Islands (117), Bold Hawk (115), and Boisterous (114) are possible.

Dominguez enjoys record-setting Sunday

Sunday was a good day for Ramon Dominguez. In the morning, he got acquainted with his Belmont Stakes mount, Mucho Macho Man, whom he guided through a bullet five-furlong workout in 59.57 seconds over the main track.

In the afternoon, Dominguez won six races, equaling a New York Racing Association record for wins on a single card. It marked the 16th time a jockey won six races on a NYRA card, but just the second time that it happened in the 106-year history of Belmont Park. Jorge Velasquez went 6 for 6 on July 9, 1981.

“It feels great to have your name next to somebody like that,” Dominguez said. “It’s an accomplishment I don’t take a whole of credit for; I was riding a lot of good horses. Still, things have to fall into place, and you have to get very lucky. I’m happy that it happened.”

Dominguez won three of the four stakes run Sunday, including both division of the New York Stallion Stakes – the Spectacular Bid with Darrin’s Dilemma and the Cupecoy’s Joy with Hessonite. He also won the Xtra Heat Stakes aboard Bellamy Star. His other wins came aboard Saginaw, Little Larky, and Show Trial.

Dominguez said he was impressed with the long stride that Mucho Macho Man displayed during his Sunday morning workout, which deceived the rider somewhat in terms of how fast the horse worked.

“I didn’t feel like he was going that fast,” Dominguez said. “He’s got a long stride on him, it’s a little deceiving really.”

The six-win day gave Dominguez 35 victories, one shy of Javier Castellano at exactly the halfway point of the 56-day meet that runs through July 17.

Dominguez, last year’s Eclipse Award-winning jockey, leads the nation in wins (158) and his $6,812,620 in mount earnings puts him second nationally, $134,532 behind John Velazquez.