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Belmont Park notes: Redeemed will go long in Brooklyn Handicap
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. believes Redeemed is probably a cut below the best in the handicap division.
In seeking spots for the multiple stakes winner, Dutrow has landed on next Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap at 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park.
Redeemed, a son of Include, has won three stakes at 1 1/8 miles, including last year’s Grade 3 Discovery at Aqueduct and the off-the-turf Milesius Stakes by 9 3/4 lengths here May 3.
“We just want to see if he’ll go that far,” Dutrow said Thursday. “In the Suburban, you’ll run into some horses that are faster and better, so why bang your head up against the wall.”
Dutrow, who may run Trickmeister in the Suburban, said owner Samantha Siegel and jockey Ramon Dominguez like the idea of trying the 1 1/2 miles with Redeemed.
“Now, we need one other thing to like it – Redeemed himself,” Dutrow said. “If he likes it, it could open up some other doors like the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.”
On Wednesday, Redeemed worked six furlongs in 1:14.20 at Aqueduct.
Dutrow also plans to run Kentucky Reign in the Brooklyn. A son of Distorted Humor out of Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly, Kentucky Reign has disappointed in two starts on turf since Dutrow received the horse from owner Dennis Narlinger.
“Everybody who gets on him loves him, but he couldn’t have run any [worse] for us,” Dutrow said. “He wants to run all day, he’s bred to run all day, we’re going to try it.”
Others pointing to the Brooklyn include 2009 Brooklyn winner Eldaafer, 2011 Brooklyn winner Birdrun, Balladry, Eye on Jacob, Golden Gulch, Hailstone, and possibly Arthur’s Tale.
Boxeur Des Rues to skip Brooklyn
Doug O’Neill, trainer of Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another, was planning to run Boxeur Des Rues in the Brooklyn, but said Thursday he has not been happy with the way that horse has trained at Belmont and likely will skip the race.
By running Boxeur Des Rues in the Brooklyn, O’Neill was hoping to give jockey Mario Gutierrez a ride going 1 1/2 miles the day before he rides I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes.
Now, O’Neill is hoping that another trainer will allow Gutierrez to ride their horse in the Brooklyn and even suggested that Paul Reddam, owner of I’ll Have Another, would buy into the horse if it was a legitimate contender.
“It would be great to have Mario get a chance to ride a mile and a half the day before the Belmont,” O’Neill said. “It’s been talked about, but we’re kind of running out of time. Hopefully, there’s a trainer out there with a horse that’s got a chance that still needs a pilot and will give Mario a chance.”
O’Neill does have a couple of horses for Gutierrez to ride, though both horses are running on the turf.
Unex Dali and Four Better worked four furlongs in company Thursday morning at Belmont. Unex Dali, who was credited with a time of 49.37 seconds, is being pointed to a first-level allowance on turf Friday, while Four Better, a horse who is 3 for 6 in Europe, will make her North American debut in an overnight stakes here Thursday. Four Better was given a time of 49.23.
“They both finished up with good energy and cooled out really well,” O’Neill said. “Hopefully, those are good spots for the horses and good spots for Mario to gain some knowledge of the track, even though they’re both on turf. If they switch the Belmont over to the turf course, he’ll have an edge.”
Mission Approved may defend Manhattan title
Mission Approved, who upset the Grade 1 Manhattan at 21-1 last year off an 11-month layoff, may attempt a similar feat in next Saturday’s $500,000 Manhattan.
Mission Approved has not run since finishing 14th in the Japan Cup on Nov. 27. Trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul said the horse came back to his barn about six weeks ago and has just one work since coming back.
Chatterpaul said he plans to work Mission Approved this weekend before making a decision. Chatterpaul also is considering running Top Surprize in the Manhattan. Top Surprize is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy.
Others pointing to the Manhattan include Al Khali, Boisterous, Brilliant Speed, Desert Blanc, Hudson Steele, Omayad, and Papaw Bodie. Possible runners include Humble and Hungry and Little Mike.
Winter Memories tops Just a Game
Winter Memories and Hungry Island head the expected field for the Grade 1, $500,000 Just a Game for fillies and mares going a mile.
Winter Memories won the Grade 3 Beaugay to begin the year, while Hungry Island is coming off a victory in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on May 5.
Others pointing to the Just a Game include Dancinginherdreams, La Reine Lionne, and Up in Time. Possible starters include Roxy Gap, Sylvestris, Tapitsfly, and Wallis.
Hansen tops Woody Stephens field
Hansen, last year’s 2-year-old champion who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby, heads a solid field shaping up for the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Trinniberg, who finished 17th in the Derby after prompting Bodemeister through quick early fractions, is among the contenders for the Woody Stephens.
Others expected to run include Bourbon Courage, Brian, Currency Swap, Hardened Wildcat, Hierro, Laurie’s Rocket, and Power World.
Crossbow pointing to True North
With the announcement that Alpha will miss the Belmont Stakes, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s only stakes entrant next weekend may be Crossbow in the Grade 2, $400,000 True North Handicap for older sprinters.
Crossbow, a son of Bernardini, has won his last two starts – both allowance races – but has not run since Feb. 23. He has been working steadily at the Greentree Training Center in Saratoga.
Others pointing to the True North include Hamazing Destiny, Justin Phillip, Pacific Ocean, and Royal Currier. Possible starters include Alma d’Oro, Caixa Eletronica, Diski Dance, and Smiling Tiger.
◗ Flat Out, last year’s Suburban and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, worked five furlongs in 1:01.85 on Thursday morning at Saratoga.
It was his fourth breeze since May 11 and fourth since joining trainer Bill Mott. Mott has previously said he would like to try and make the Suburban on July 7.
McNamara, Simmons win NYRA awards
Ed McNamara of Newsday and Todd Simmons, who freelances for the Staten Island Advance, are the winners of the third annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Awards, presented by the New York Racing Association.
McNamara won in the follow/wrap-up division for his story that appeared in the June 12 edition of Newsday and ran under the headline: “Classic Race Has New ‘Ruler.’ ” The article recounted how unheralded Ruler On Ice, a 24-1 shot, became “Monarch of the Muck” as he held off Stay Thirsty in the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes.
Simmons won top honors in the feature/advance division for his story that appeared in the June 9 edition of the Staten Island Advance entitled: “Days Before Belmont, Mucho Macho Man, Trainer Kathy Ritvo Ready For Challenge.” The article chronicled one morning in the life of Ritvo, a heart transplant recipient, and the colt Mucho Macho Man as they prepared for the Belmont Stakes.
The awards will be presented at Wednesday’s Belmont Stakes post position draw.