06/01/2017 2:26PM

Conquest Mo Money headed to Woody Stephens Stakes

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Conquest Mo Money will make his first one-turn start in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day.

Conquest Mo Money, who was supplemented to the final two legs of the Triple Crown for $150,000 before he finished seventh in the Preakness, has been taken out of consideration for the Belmont Stakes and will run instead in the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 10, co-owner Tom McKenna said Thursday.

The Woody Stephens, like the $1.5 million Belmont, is exclusively for 3-year-olds. But it is at seven furlongs, as opposed to the 1 1/2 miles of the Belmont. The Preakness, at 1 3/16 miles, was the farthest Conquest Mo Money has ever raced. The Woody Stephens will mark his first try in a race around one turn and at less than a mile.

McKenna, who with his wife, Sandy, races as Judge Lanier Racing, said he thought the turn-back in distance would benefit Conquest Mo Money.

“We think it’ll work,” he said when reached by telephone.

Conquest Mo Money is trained by Miguel Hernandez, who is based at Prairie Meadows, but since the Preakness the horse has been at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland in the barn of Tres Abbott. McKenna, a hands-on owner, said Conquest Mo Money was “training well” and would have one workout preceding the Woody Stephens. The work will be at Fair Hill “sometime in the next two or three days,” McKenna said.

The Woody Stephens is shaping up as a top-notch race, with the likes of American Anthem, Classic Rock, Recruiting Ready, and Wild Shot among the prospective field.

:: Belmont Stakes Clocker Report: Get in-depth workout analysis for horses running on Belmont Stakes Day + horses running the June 9 card

Conquest Mo Money began his racing career Jan. 6, when he won a one-mile maiden race at Sunland Park. He made his first four starts at Sunland, including a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, before he finished second in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby to Classic Empire.

He had enough points to be in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby, but the McKennas elected to bypass that race – for which a supplemental fee of $200,000 would have been due to be eligible for all three legs of the Triple Crown – and await the Preakness.

Conquest Mo Money was acquired by the McKennas for just $8,500 during a dispersal of the Conquest Stables bloodstock last November, when he was still unraced. He has earned $508,900. Conquest Mo Money has won three times and finished second twice in six starts, with the Preakness being the only time he has finished out of the top two.

Conquest Mo Money’s defection leaves a prospective field of 13 for the Belmont nine days out from the race. Classic Empire, who beat Conquest Mo Money in the Arkansas Derby and most recently was second in the Preakness, is the early favorite.

In addition to Classic Empire, the likely Belmont field is Epicharis, Gormley, Irish War Cry, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiplier, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber, and Twisted Tom.

Epicharis was scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park on Thursday from Japan. Assuming all goes well with the 42-hour quarantine mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he should be able to visit the track to train Saturday morning.

Saturday morning is a scheduled work day for several Belmont starters, including Gormley at Santa Anita, Irish War Cry at Fair Hill, J Boys Echo at Churchill Downs, Lookin At Lee at Belmont, and Multiplier at Keeneland.

All Belmont horses must be on the grounds by 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Belmont entries are due early that morning, and the draw will take place later that morning at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

POSSIBLE BELMONT STAKES CONTENDERS
HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY LAST RACE/FINISH
Classic Empire  Mark Casse Julien Leparoux Preakness, 2nd
Epicharis Kiyoshi Hagiwara Christophe Lemaire UAE Derby, 2nd
Gormley John Shirreffs Victor Espinoza Ky. Derby, 9th
Irish War Cry Graham Motion Rajiv Maragh Ky. Derby, 10th
J Boys Echo Dale Romans undecided Ky. Derby, 15th
Lookin At Lee Steve Asmussen Irad Ortiz, Jr. Preakness, 4th
Meantime Brian Lynch Mike Smith Peter Pan, 2nd
Multiplier Brendan Walsh Joel Rosario Preakness, 6th
Patch Todd Pletcher John Velazquez Ky. Derby, 14th
Senior Investment Kenny McPeek Channing Hill Preakness, 3rd
Tapwrit Todd Pletcher Jose Ortiz Ky. Derby, 6th
True Timber Kiaran McLaughlin Paco Lopez Sir Barton, 3rd
Twisted Tom Chad Brown Javier Castellano Tesio, 1st