06/04/2012 3:23PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Guyana Star Dweej fails to impress in final workout

Barbara D. Livingston
Dullahan, with jockey Javier Castellano up, was very impressive working four furlongs in 45.82 seconds on Sunday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Guyana Star Dweej became the final prospective Belmont Stakes starter to work prior to the race when breezing an uninspiring half-mile in 49.30 seconds with new rider Kent Desormeaux aboard immediately after the renovation break Monday at Belmont Park.

Guyana Star Dweej worked in company with Shkspeare Shaliyah, his stablemate from the barn of trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal. The team broke off at the half-mile pole, with Guyana Star Dweej nearest the rail, and sizzled through an opening quarter in 22.42. But both horses tired badly once settling into the stretch, completing their final two furlongs in a dismal 26.88, with Shkspeare Shaliyah appearing the stronger of the pair at the end. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.36.

Although Guyana Star Dweej’s work was obviously better than his aborted try here five days earlier, it hardly suggests that this is a horse is sitting on the type of effort needed to compete with the likes of I’ll Have Another or most of the others eyeing Saturday’s Belmont.

I’ll Have Another had what was another routine morning for him on Monday when jogging a half-mile alongside stable pony Lava Man before breaking away midway down the backstretch to gallop another mile with a strong finish from the wire into the clubhouse turn. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was not on his toes quite as much Monday as he had been the previous morning when he barreled down the stretch before completing his final two furlongs to the 1 1/4-mile pole in an eye-catching 25.07.

Trainer Dale Romans was still beaming Monday when talking about Dullahan’s half-mile work in 45.82 the previous morning, especially at the notion that his new rider, Javier Castellano, compared the horse to no less a superstar than Ghostzapper.

Dullahan, with Castellano aboard for the first time, posted sizzling splits of 11.13 and 22.20 for the opening eighth and quarter miles of his work and still finished strong down the stretch with his rider sitting chilly the entire way.

“I loved the work and when Javier made the comparison to Ghostzapper was even happier,” Romans said. “Not only was Ghostzapper a great horse, he was always one of my personal favorites.”

Even I’ll Have Another’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, was impressed with Dullahan’s work.

[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]

“I thought of the works I saw on Sunday, Dullahan looked the best,” O’Neill said. “He didn’t look like he went that fast. That’s a good sign.”

Two members of the Belmont field who appear to be live longshots in the race, Paynter and Street Life, worked simultaneously while in company with stablemates from their respective barns.

Paynter began his work at the 6 1/2-furlong pole along with Brigand and went seven panels in 1:24.57, although he was hard used from the top of the stretch until finishing a sixteenth of a mile past the wire. Paynter is a lightly raced, improving, and very dangerous-looking 3-year-old who should have been able to complete his final half-mile a little faster than 50.30, considering he was being asked to do so.

Street Life began a length behind his partner Zivo, a New York-bred maiden from trainer Chad Brown’s vast stable, and was under some urging to finish about a neck in front after completing five furlongs in 1:01.16. Street Life actually may have done his best running during the gallop out, completing six furlongs in 1:13.53.

Atigun was easily the more impressive of trainer Ken McPeek’s two potential Belmont starters to work here Sunday along with the undefeated Unstoppable U.

Atigun, with jockey Julien Leparoux, looked good going an easy maintenance half-mile in 48.44 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:01.32. Unstoppable U., who also breezed by himself, left his status for the Belmont in doubt after switching leads a couple of times and taking an erratic path through much of the stretch while working five furlongs in 1:02.13 with jockey Junior Alvarado aboard.

Union Rags, like Dullahan, skipped the Preakness to await the Belmont and also will have a new rider with John Velazquez taking the call for trainer Michael Matz. Velazquez made the journey down to Fair Hill to work Union Rags for the first time Sunday and as was the case with Castellano was duly impressed after breezing five furlongs in 58.50 according to Daily Racing Form ’s David Grening.

[BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds]

“Very nice, very impressive,” Velazquez said immediately after the work. “I didn’t have to ask him for anything. He did it all himself.”

At Calder on Sunday, Ravelo’s Boy worked five furlongs in 58.20 before galloping out in 1:11.40 under jockey Ameth Gonzalez. He boarded a van Monday morning for the 24-hour ride to Belmont Park.

“I was so pleased with the way he did it,” trainer Manny Azpurua said. “He just galloped the whole way. He never made any strong move. He did it by himself very easily. He is just getting better and better, week by week.”

Alex Solis will have the mount on Ravelo’s Boy in the Belmont.

ALEJANDRO ANZA More than 1 year ago
i think GSD trainer hate baffert , i have a feeling they will go with paynter......
Stephen Hewlett More than 1 year ago
GSD simply doesn't belong in the Belmont Stakes. Just another case of misguided trainer/owner wanting to be part of the big dance without a suitable partner.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
I truly expect GSD will scratch. The horse would be a bigger shocker than D'Tara and Sarava. I think this trainer and connections just like seeing their name in print. If he goes maybe Belmont ought to consider this one running for purse money only to protect the thousands of newbies who will go to the track for the first time. Betfair probably has it less than even money he makes it around the track. Over/under 2:37 what would you take? I want the over.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
AGAIN.............D'Tara was the lone speed. Learn pace, my firend.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Steve - I agree lone speed is very dangerous. But class is a factor too. D'Tara was over matched IMO regardless of trip. Others agreed hence the 38-1. He was beaten 23L by Big Brown in the Florida Derby. I think BB was the speed that day. In the Derby Trial D'Tara finished 5th. In his Belmont Prep, the ungraded Barbaro, he finished second. Never won another race after the Belmont. Was such a hit at stud he now stands in Carabobo, Venezuela. Outliers happen and even being a strong contrarian I will miss them. You can put Trinniberg in Belmont (or KY Derby) and he will be speed of speed or possibly lone speed depending on rider tactics. Will he win, I say no, regardless of any tote price, your theory says yes. I bet Dennis of Cork to win in the Belmont that year. Anyone seen Dennis in last 3-4 years?
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Datara is a Tiznow colt, he doesn't belong in the same sentence as Trinniberg as far as route races. Tiznow won 3 races at 10f seemingly with plenty left in at least one of them. Besides Datara, he has also sired other 10f G1 winners like Well-Armed and Colonel John.
Tinaz Omar More than 1 year ago
"Roy Hobbs" More than 1 year ago
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Let's not get too excited with the Dullahan - Ghostzapper comparisons just yet. If I'm not mistaken, Castellano made a similar comparison after riding Contested for the first time in her Acorn victory last week.
Nick More than 1 year ago
Bad workout for GSD. I'm having second thoughts about my GSD/Five Sixteen/Optimizer trifecta.
"Roy Hobbs" More than 1 year ago
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
I looked over the past performances for the first time today and have the following as the ONLY ones who can be in the top three: Dullahan, I'll Have Another, Paynter, Ravelo's Boy and union Rags. Breaking it down further: I can't see union Rags winning. I don't see a closer like Dullahan winning. That leaves I'll Have Another/Paynter/Revalo's Boy as the logical three who can win. Paynter would have been 2 lengths clear of IHA's Preakness time had his race been 1 3/16m. But IHA is the grinding type who can put himself in the position to run Paynter down late. Plus, with the total lack of pace, i am expecting Unstoppable, Paynter and I'll have another to be 1-2-3 down the backstretch in 1:14 or maybe slightly faster. One could make a case that Union Rags ran a nice race in that GII FOY Stakes that went 24 2/5 & 48, but he beat nothing and hasn't won at 2 turns in his other 3 attempts. (will hang) Ravelo's boy has matured judging by his works since his Tampa Bay races. Add to that the 24 second mid-race splits in his last 4 routes and he should be in striking distance with 1/2 mile to go. I will be putting IHA, Paynter & Ravelo's Boy in the #1 spot with Dullahan and Unnion Rags in the 2-3-4 spot along with the same 3 horses. There it is - a $72 superfecta key. And in closing - Baffert is running the wrong horse. Bodemeidter would C-R-U-S-H this field when the first 6f had him loose on a 1;13. Looooooooong Gone!!
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Very interesting comment, Steve. I am not to familiar with Ravelo's Boy, and will have to box,IHA,Paynter,Street Life,and Dullahan. As you know, the mile and a half is one grueling trip, and anything is possible. Look forward to good race, and good luck to all.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
If you're concerned about the 12f, then you should know that Street Life and Dullahan both have similarly low Distance Tomlinson Figure as Union Rags, and while Dullahan and Union Rags both came home fast in their 9f and 10f races, Street Life came home slowly in his 9f races.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
I see a s-l-o-w pace, which makes the race rather easy to handicap.
Dustin More than 1 year ago
I completly agree with those four horses being in the mix with the Super....that is the four i am going to box, though i believe that Street Life will run a great race and pick up IHA and Dullahan at the wire to win!!!!
ALEJANDRO ANZA More than 1 year ago
go to get reading glasses!!! you can't see anything!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mike, Please clarify your final 1/2 mile split of 50.3 for Paynter's 6/3/12 workout. Your video says Paynter went the first 3/8 in 37.0 and 7/8 in 124.6 which would equate to 47.6 final half. NYRA states that Paynter went 49.2 for the 1st half and finished in 1:25 for seven. This equates to 35.8 final 3/8's which is much better than a 50.3 final half. Which times are correct?
Ange More than 1 year ago
I hope Doug O'Neill gives IHA a day off this week. He's been galloping for 11 days straight now. And from the reports, they've been strong gallops. IMHO
Jan Larroche More than 1 year ago
Four more strong gallops and we will have the first TC in over 30 years, the horse is happy, GO IHA!
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
I agree,Jan. Saw Slew take it all, in 1977. One hell of a day, and huge crowd. Kept the $2.00, win ticket and program. Great memory for a historical racing event.