Updated on 09/17/2011 10:33AM

Best Minister supplemented to Belmont


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Ken McPeek said Thursday that he and the Lexington-based syndicate that owns Best Minister have decided to run the colt in the Belmont.

The decision will be a costly one: Best Minister was not nominated to the Triple Crown and therefore will have to be supplemented for $100,000, in addition to the standard $20,000 entry fee.

Best Minister, by Deputy Minister, was an easy winner of his last two starts, an April maiden race at Keeneland and the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico last weekend. Last year, McPeek won the Sir Barton with Sarava, who at 70-1 became the longest-priced winner in Belmont history.

Edgar Prado rode Best Minister in the colt's two wins but is committed to Dynever for the Belmont. McPeek said he is leaning toward giving Shane Sellers the mount for the Belmont.

McPeek said Best Minister is scheduled to ship Tuesday to Belmont, where the trainer has a string of horses.

"It's the same schedule we used last year with Sarava," he said.

Best Minister races under the name of Phillips Racing Partnership, a group headed by Darby Dan Farm owner John Phillips. Other members of the partnership are John Henderson, Dan Issel, Frances Whitman, and Don Blevins.

McPeek said an announcement was delayed on whether to run Best Minister in the race because he and his wife, Sue, had been in Brazil since late last week.

McPeek said he bought three young horses at a sale "equivalent to our July sales at Keeneland."

The McPeeks returned to Louisville early Thursday.

The field for the Belmont currently stands at eight, with four additional horses possible. The field includes Atswhatimtalknbout, Best Minister, Colita, Dynever, Empire Maker, Funny Cide, Scrimshaw, and Ten Most Wanted. Midway Road and Outta Here as well as Peter Pan starters Alysweep and Christine's Outlaw are considered possible runners.