10/25/2012 4:44PM

Belmont Park notes: No luck for Manuka Honey


ELMONT, N.Y. - All dressed up with no place to run.

When Manuka Honey wound up three-deep on the preference list for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, trainer John Terranova thought he had a good back-up plan in Sunday’s $85,000 Chelsea Flower Stakes at Belmont.

Unfortunately, Manuka Honey ended up second on the also-eligible list for that race as well.

Manuka Honey, a daughter of Borrego, is still a maiden, having finished second to Juvenile Fillies Turf candidate Sustained in a maiden race at Saratoga and third behind Watsdachances and Sustained in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo here on Oct. 8.

“I think she’s got a lot of quality,” said Terranova, who will wait to hear if there any defections in either race before heading back to the condition book to find another spot.

Coa a backside visitor

Jockey Eibar Coa, whose career came to an end when he fractured his C-4 vertebra in a spill in February 2011, is spending some time at Belmont Park to watch his 20-year-old son, Keiber Coa, ride.

The younger Coa, who began riding 10 months ago, has ridden 15 winners from 205 mounts, including 31-1 shot Northern Tripp here on Wednesday.

“It’s exciting for sure but always concerned, always worried, but that’s normal,” Eibar Coa said when asked about watching his son ride. “But as long as I know that that makes him happy, I’m happy for him.”

Eibar Coa was the leading rider on the New York Racing Association circuit in 2006 and 2007.

The elder Coa, based in Florida, said he is doing physical and occupational therapy two hours a day, four days a week.

“Balance and coordination, that’s my biggest concern right now,” Coa said. “I lost a lot of balance. I’m working on that. I’m working with a trainer trying to get some of my muscles to work.”

Eibar Coa said his son would ride in New York this winter and that he hopes to be able to stick on a year-round basis. If Keiber Coa does stay in New York, Eibar said he and his wife may move to New York.

“I’m glad I kept my house here, so he’s got a place to be,” Coa said. “If he stays here we’re actually thinking of coming to stay with him next year. I’m thinking of selling my house in Florida. It’s a little too big for me and my wife.”