05/26/2011 5:06PM

Belmont Park: Met Mile favorite Morning Line won't run


Morning Line, winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap last month at Aqueduct, will not run in Monday’s Grade 1 $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap as scheduled, due to a foot issue, trainer Nick Zito confirmed Thursday afternoon.

MEMORIAL DAY RACING: Stakes schedule, contender replays, and news updates »

Zito said that Morning Line had some tenderness in his left front foot after being shod at Churchill Downs recently and though the horse did not miss any training time, Zito said he couldn’t get a proper workout into Morning Line in time to make the Met Mile.

“After the blacksmith shod him he was a little tender,’’ Zito said by phone from Saratoga. “I can’t breeze him. I took the shoes off; in fact I just put them back on today, but we have to proceed on the side of caution.’’

Zito said he would point Morning Line to the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga with hopefully a prep race at Belmont at a mile or 1 1/16 miles.

Morning Line, who finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last fall, won the Grade 1 Carter after running second in the Grade 1 Donn and third in the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream during the winter.

Morning Line would likely have been the favorite for the Met Mile. A large field is expected for the Memorial Day feature, including Aikenite, Caixa Eletronica, Haynesfield, Ibboyee, Kensei, Rodman, Soaring Empire, Stormy’s Majesty, Tackleberry, and Tizway.

Adios Charlie eyes Pegasus

Adios Charlie, beaten a head by Alternation in the Peter Pan here on May 14, will likely make his next start in the $200,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 18, trainer Stanley Hough said.

Adios Charlie, who won the Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct in April, is not nominated to the Triple Crown so the Belmont Stakes on June 11 was never a consideration. By running in the Pegasus, Adios Charlie won’t run against any of the Belmont Stakes horses while also allowing Hough to find out how his horse handles the Monmouth strip. Monmouth hosts the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31.

On Thursday, Adios Charlie worked four furlongs in 48.40 seconds at Saratoga, the fastest of 10 moves at the distance.

Memorial race for Jack Kelly

The New York Racing Association will hold a memorial race for Jack Kelly, a racetrack veteran of nearly 30 years before his passing last September, on June 10, the day before the Belmont Stakes.

Kelly, who spent the last 12 years of his career as a chartcaller and field supervisor for Equibase, also worked for Daily Racing Form and served as a jockey agent.

The memorial race will be the sixth, after which NYRA will make a special winner’s circle presentation to Jack’s wife Nancy, who is the vice president of development for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and executive director of the Jockey Club Foundation.