05/31/2011 11:16AM

Belmont Stakes: Neil Howard works Prime Cut; still iffy for race, as is Wilkinson

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Neil Howard is considering running either Prime Cut or Wilkinson (above) in the Belmont Stakes.

Prime Cut, who finished third in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in his last start, worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning, but trainer Neil Howard said he was still not sure whether Prime Cut would run in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

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“He worked very nice, but we haven’t moved to making that decision yet,” Howard said by phone. “He’s training as nice as you’d want him to.
“But those top two or three are holding their form pretty good,” Howard said, referring to Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford. “Some people say, ‘Those horses should be tired,’ but I didn’t see that.”

Howard said Prime Cut would work a half-mile early next week at Churchill Downs, then would travel to New York on Tuesday, June 7, if the decision is made to run in the Belmont.

Howard also said that his colt Wilkinson is a possibility for the Belmont. He said he would not have a decision on Wilkinson’s participation until speaking with owner Ed Gaylord, whom Howard said is currently out of the country.

Regardless, Howard said he would not have two entrants in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

“If I run, I’d only run one,” he said.