05/26/2012 9:59AM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Having Dullahan fresh for Belmont looks good to Romans now

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
In order to avoid the heat, Dullahan and exercise rider Tammy Fox went out for a one-mile gallop at dawn Saturday at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dale Romans might have felt a little disappointed when owner Jerry Crawford told him they were bypassing the Preakness with Dullahan. Romans felt the colt belonged in the Pimlico classic off his rousing third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, but Crawford wanted to take a more prudent route, saving Dullahan for the Belmont Stakes after his chance to win the Triple Crown was gone.

“I did want to run in the Preakness,” Romans said Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, a couple hours after calling an audible by sending out Dullahan for a one-mile workout as dawn was breaking. “But Jerry said no, and in hindsight, I think he made the right call. We’ve got a fresh horse for the Belmont, and I couldn’t be happier with how he’s doing.”

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

An oppressive heat wave began hovering over the Louisville area Friday, with the heat index set to soar into triple digits, and Romans, having said repeatedly he would work Dullahan after the regularly scheduled harrow break, decided late the prior evening not to expose the colt to such conditions. So it was up and out early. “It was the right move,” said Romans.

With Tammy Fox aboard, Dullahan went through splits of 26 seconds, 38.60, 51.40, 1:04.60, and 1:17.40 when passing under the wire a second time in 1:43, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols. His out time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:57.

“I loved the way he went,” said Fox.

Dullahan, owned by the Donegal Racing partnership headed by Crawford, will be one of the top wagering choices in the June 9 Belmont in New York after I’ll Have Another, who will be bidding to become the 12th winner of the Triple Crown.

Romans said he was not concerned with the slow workout time over what has been a relatively slow Churchill main track.

“All I care about is how he’s feeling and how strong he’s going,” said Romans. “He’s been eating up and doing everything right. Tammy’s happy, I’m happy.”

Romans ran seventh-place finisher Cozzetti as a longshot in the May 19 Preakness, but in the back of his mind, he was wondering how Dullahan would fare after the colt came streaking home to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths by I’ll Have Another in the May 5 Derby.

“The way the [Preakness] set up, we probably would’ve been at a big disadvantage,” said Romans. “So it’s worked out for us so far. Now all we have to do is go up there and win.”

Dullahan was scheduled to leave Churchill by van Sunday evening and join the Romans string of runners at Belmont around 10 a.m. Monday morning. A Saturday work at Belmont will complete the colt’s serious preparations for the race.


Robert More than 1 year ago
i think the horse dullaham has a good chance to win the belmont
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
Dullahan. 2012 Belmont Stakes winner. Will send I'll have another packing back to California.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
The Belmont Stakes will have a confirmed frontrunner in Unstoppable U. Tracking behind him will be IHA, Union Rags and Paynter jockeying for position, and wonder which one will take it into their hands to keep the pace honest. I bet it will be Mike Smith with Paynter because he has nothing to lose. After all is said and done, don't count on this horse or the jockey losing the race due to something stupid. He's not unbeatable but if he goes down, someone will have to earn it fair and square. It will take a really nice horse to beat a formidable runner like I'll Have Another. It ain't gonna be a horse who had never won on dirt like Dullahan, with a suspect pedigree no less. I really don't see him getting beat by runners that are coming into the race with a severe class hike. These are the only ones that could upset: 1) Union Rags. The class of the field together with the favorite. Throw out the last two races, and we are looking at 3.5 months of potential improvement from a 3yo. 2) Paynter. Co-highest speed figure. Highest distance Tomlinson Figure together with Alpha for this race. Paid his due in a G1 when he finished 4th after stumbling at the start and endured a mediocre ride from Martin Garcia. 3) Alpha. Joint 3rd classiest runner together with Dullahan. Highest distance Tomlinson Figure. Sitting on a big one, 3rd start of the form cycle. This horse is a play based strictly on the New York home track angle. He could be a horse that will only run his best races in New York, like Stay Thirsty 4) Atigun. Paid his due in the G2 Rebel and G1 Arkansas Derby. He is the only longshot in this field that could surprise but not as likely to be the winner as the 3 above. This horse could sweep by them all if the race falls apart. Atigun is a much better horse than Street Life. These are the sucker bets in this year's Belmont: Dullahan (he will finish up the track as the 2nd or 3rd choice) and Street Life (late running 5th or 6th at best and he could be 5th choice in front of Alpha, simply unfathomable like how Master of Hounds and Santiva were preferred over Stay Thirsty last year). The play is (based on 25 units): 6 units exacta IHA to Union Rags 3 units exacta Union Rags to IHA 5 units exacta IHA to Paynter and Alpha, 10 units total 2 units exacta Paynter and Alpha to IHA, 4 units total 1 unit exacta box IHA and Atigun, 2 units total Based on $10 per unit or $250 total investment, the return should be $1000-$2000.
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
I will be betting my "entry" of Union Rags, Dullahan and Alpha against IHA whom I feel is overated, just like Facebook in its IPO. That 3 horse "entry" should work out to a blended 7/1. I would love to get such a great betting opportunity every day until my death and burial in Degenerate Gamblers cemetery.
Tim More than 1 year ago
haha...any of those horse mght win but you better have IHA in the exacta or you are pissing away more of your money ...
Paul F More than 1 year ago
agree....iha is special............
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
Tim: My "Martin Entry" is to WIN only. I estimate Union Rags at 6/1 so 200.00 gets you 1,400.00 back. Another 200.00 to win on Dullahan at 9/1 would get you 2,000.00 back. Finally, 200.00 bet on Alpha at 19/1 gets you 4,000.00 back if he is the winner. I estimate my "blended" win odds to be plus or minus 7/1 as a Win Bet Only "made-up-entry",---the Martin Win Special. Worst case: you blow 600.00 if IHA wins OR some other horse, NOT Union Rags, Dullahan, or Alpha wins. That is better than 4/5 on what I consider a possible false/fraud favorite. Time will tell if I'll win or lose BUT I'm only concerned with the WIN slot.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
Dont for a minute discredit IHA. He is the superior horse here. It's the 3 races in five weeks that are the serious concern.
chuck More than 1 year ago
IHA is the "now" horse. Last year it was "Rags." I believe IHA has more than enough left in the tank for the Belmont. In the Derby, he ran a hard quarter of a mile. His Preakness maybe another hard quarter of a mile. He was not under pressure all the way. He is a more athletic horse than Rags or Dullahan. I believe the naysayers were saying Mario was inexperienced before both the Derby and Preakness. Think Mario will be riding at Belmont before the big race to get the lay of the land. As I did in the Preakness, I will sit and watch the race and root for IHA. Let's just hope it is a cleanly run race with all participants safe from harm's way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Give Mario and the horse some credit.Mario rode two brillant races.You non-believers,take Bodemeister out you have I'll have another and dullahan,go to the window,exata time.
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
Smart decision by the owner of Dullahan to pass the Preakness. I think he is the only one in the race that could stop IHA from wining the triple crown, with one of the top rider in the country J. Velasquez up he will be very tough.
The Baron More than 1 year ago
J. Velasquez I believe is riding Union Rags!
raymond More than 1 year ago
I have to disagree about Dullahan finishing the Belmont. As I see it, Dullahan will not be making an impact in the later stages of this one. Good luck.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
as you "see" it. May I recomend a good optholmologist?
The Baron More than 1 year ago
Owner smarter and making better calls than the trainer?? might be time to look for some else who is more like minded than the owner. BTW I totally agree with the owners desicion to pass on the Preakness - why didn't Romans get it??
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
Dullahan and the other deep closers in the Derby had a set-up, I bet Dullahan and he had no excuses, they were just backing up to him and Went the day Well
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
LOL. Dont you read charts? Dullahan had tons of trouble in the KD. He was pinched, steadied, went 5 wide throughout and came 7 wide into the strech. How much ground do you think he lost with all of that? Think before you post, please.
Sean Ali More than 1 year ago
I believe it was calculated that Dullahan ran 14 feet further than the winner.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
According to Trakus, Dullahan traveled 6ft more than IHA. That's about 3/4L. He lost by 1.5L fair and square.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Sorry I was wrong. Dullahan traveled 6ft less than IHA, not more. That's because IHA broke from post 19, that's like 19 wide! Dullahan was 8W into the stretch.
bill More than 1 year ago
Hoping IHA really goes off at 3-5. I will be putting both Mcpeek horses on top, Street Life, Dullahan and Union Rags on top with Dullahan, Union Rags, Street Life and yes Optimizer for third. Only way to make money
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
If IHA does go off as 3/5 ( which I doubt) it will prove that you can fool all ot the people all of the time. Last quarter of the Derby in nearly 27 seconds on a fast track is hardly Triple Crown territory. My "Martin entry" is Union Rags, Alpha and Dullahan all to Win at a blended 7/1, I estimate. IHA should be NO LESS than 8/5 and even that price is a monstrous Underlaid price in my view. As strictly an aside, had I bought a 2 year old in training which I felt was a meritorious Triple Crown challenger I most certainly WOULD NOT have named him I'll Have Another. Compare that unclassy name to SECRETERIAT. What a joke of a name! I would have named him "Speedy Red's Goofy Gamble" instead.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
So let me get this straight, einstein. IHA and Bode are 8 1/2 lengths in front of the 3rd horse in the Preakness and you think thats not triple crown material? Moreover, you think Alpha and UR can beat IHA when he has beaten them both handily already? Your logic that IHA can not win because of his last quarter time is skewed. If IHA is not good enough to win, you think a horse who ran his last quarter in 30 seconds is? Wake up. Have a cup of cappuccino.
Sean Ali More than 1 year ago
A word to the misinformed - Any horseman will tell you that the Derby is a crapshoot won by horses who get the best trip and not necessarily by the best horses. To hang your hat on IHA as being the best horse because he won the Derby and claiming he 'handily' beat a horse whose race was over 2 jumps out of the gate in their only meeting is a little premature, don't you think? ...Not to mention illogical !