05/25/2014 11:54AM

Intense Holiday out of Belmont Stakes with injury

Barbara Livingston
Intense Holiday is out of the Belmont Stakes after suffering an injury, which was discovered after a Sunday morning workout with Commissioner at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – On a morning when California Chrome had a routine two-mile gallop, five of his would-be challengers for the June 7 Belmont Stakes put in timed workouts at Belmont over tracks that had finally dried out after several days of rain. Unfortunately, one of those horses was injured and will not make the race.

Intense Holiday, winner of the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes this winter, suffered a condylar fracture to his right foreleg while galloping out at the end of an in-company workout with Commissioner, also being pointed to the Belmont Stakes. Shortly before 11 a.m., Intense Holiday left Belmont by van to head to a New Jersey clinic where he will be operated on by noted equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan.

Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Intense Holiday, said the injury is not life-threatening, and after viewing the radiographs, he believes it will not be career-ending.

“On initial surveying of the radiographs I saw, I think it carries a good prognosis,” Pletcher said. “It’s premature until we have the surgery, but it’s non-life threatening, and I don’t think it’s career-threatening either.”

At 8:45 a.m., over a Belmont main track that had quickened considerably from earlier in the morning, Intense Holiday, under exercise rider Patti Krotenko, had worked a half-mile in 48.36 seconds, finishing about a half-length behind Commissioner, under Javier Castellano. The pair galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.77.

Just before Intense Holiday got off the track, Krotenko got off Intense Holiday, who then was walked onto an equine ambulance and vanned back to Pletcher’s barn. Pletcher said it was “particularly frustrating” since after Intense Holiday finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, he underwent a thorough examination at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and was given a clean bill of health.

“We did all the due diligence, ran all the tests, [which] indicated everything was ready to move forward. That’s why we chose to proceed to keep the Belmont in mind, which is frustrating,” said Pletcher, who actually gave brief consideration to running him in the Preakness.

Meanwhile, Pletcher said he was happy with Commissioner’s work. Commissioner, runner-up to Tonalist in the Peter Pan, galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.25 and seven furlongs in 1:28.30.

“I thought Commissioner breezed very well, traveled well throughout, was willing, seemed to get over the surface good,” Pletcher said.

Also working Sunday were Peter Pan winner Tonalist and Wood Memorial one-two finishers Wicked Strong and Samraat.

At 6 a.m., when the track was slower, Tonalist worked five furlongs in 1:01.94, breaking off at the half-mile pole and working a furlong past the wire. Tonalist worked in bar shoes on both front feet. Trainer Christophe Clement said that Tonalist shed the frogs on both front feet after his win May 10 in the Peter Pan Stakes.

“In the Peter Pan, he ran with Queens plates. He did not have bar shoes to protect him,” Clement said. “We’ll keep the bar shoes on until the Belmont Stakes. It’s not that big of a deal.”

Clement said Tonalist had some foot issues in Florida this winter and trained in bar shoes leading up to the Peter Pan, which he won over a sloppy track. He will wear regular shoes in the Belmont Stakes.

Wicked Strong, fourth in the Derby, breezed a mile over the Belmont training track in 1:39.57, going his first half-mile in 49.97 and his last half-mile in 49.60. He worked from the half-mile pole to the half-mile pole. Exercise rider Kelvin Pahal had Wicked Strong under mild encouragement during the final part of the work.

“I thought it was a good, nice stamina work for him. That’s what got him here so we figured we won’t change the format,” trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. “He worked last week [five furlongs in 1:01.80]. He worked faster than I wanted, and I thought he was too edgy, so I figured I’d keep him over here and work him around two turns just to simmer him down a little bit.”

Jerkens was referring to the fact he kept him on the training track as opposed to bringing him over to the main track, where he feared the horse might work too fast with the longer straightaways.

Samraat vanned over to Belmont from Aqueduct and worked a mile in 1:41.28, getting his final quarter in 24.11. He broke off from the 7 1/2-furlong pole.

“I wanted him to get on his belly down the lane,” trainer Rick Violette said. “He’s going to have to do that in two weeks.”

Earlier in the day, California Chrome galloped two miles over the main track, which finally dried out after several days of rain. Though visually it appeared as though he was going easy, assistant trainer Alan Sherman said, “He trained like a monster today, just keeps getting stronger.”

Ride On Curlin had a strong 1 1/2-mile gallop Sunday morning over the main track.

– additional reporting by Mike Vesce

sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Scott More than 1 year ago
Some Mensa made a SA remark on my earlier post. Just so nobody rewrites history here. Yes Yes I bet CC on top of all my Superfectas problem was General A Rod was my $$$ horse in the Preakness. If the Mensa who criticized me would actually watch the Preakness I HAD THE LIVE HORSE @ 20-1, can't help that Ria Antonia cost the General about 10 lengths around the turn. Thanks Calvin!!!!
Rich Sesny More than 1 year ago
there is no logic to picking Tonalist - he is a toss. And a rather easy one.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Somebody needs to explain the logic behind picking Tonalist.. Feel free to correct me but can any of you seriously tout a colt who will making only his 4th start after beating a weak field in the SLOP who is now stretching out another 3/8ths of a mile while picking up 9lbs. from 117 to 126lbs. REALLY???? 2 weeks ago it was Social Inclusion, you know the colt that set a new track record @ GP, he was the Dragon Slayer remember. How do you think CC would have done against that field of mediocrity in the Peter Pan?
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
Same order as the Preakness ......CC first ROC second. Should be a nice exactor as a lot of people playing the derby horses that missed the Preakness.
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
I should give Commanding Curve some respect instead of just referring to him as the 2nd place finisher in the Derby. My bad and my amends. I originally missed his affinity for Churchill Downs in the Derby and he has some A.P. Indy in his DNA. He may like this distance.
Mike Falleur More than 1 year ago
Jack. You are right. AP Indy on top. Easy Goer (Relaxing) on the dam side. Not unlike Chrome, where the actual dam and sire won't blow you away but the horse has nice bloodlines directly thereafter. Secretariat on 3 of 4 lines.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
I challenge you or anyone else to find me horses at the highest levels of racing that do NOT have some AP Indy in them.
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of racing and Cali Chrome but Tonalist looked really good winning the Peter Pan. This should be pretty simple to "save" if I play CC as a Key in the Super's with Wicked Strong, Tonalist, and the 2nd place finisher in the Derby. This is going to be a great day... that's all I can say.
robert More than 1 year ago
no horse that didnt run at belmont has ever won the triple crown . so CC wont get my money in the Belmont . on the other hand todd steal everyones owners pletcher.should never get a big money owner to break all there horses down . he is a meat grinder at everyones expense . and to steal all the other trainers horses how does he look at himself in the morning . dude everyones got to eat . now why do most trainers run there horse every year at gulfstream . and have no horses for the triple crown . that track is so hard on horses feet and legs . same story every year .
Ann More than 1 year ago
Just because something hasn't happened for a long time or YET, doesn't mean it cannot happen. The Mets won the Series in '69, for example. Back when Triple Crowns were being won, the horses winning them were from New York or East Coast-based stables. Since most talented youngsters raced at 2 then, of course they raced at Belmont sometime in their careers before the Belmont. Now California Chrome is from a West Coast-based stable, and although he had an extensive 2yo campaign, he hasn't raced at Belmont, because it was 3000 miles away, not just a van ride up the coast. Don't confuse correlation with causation. Start with this question - have horses won the Belmont (not the Triple Crown, just the Belmont) without having raced at Belmont before?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I wonder how many pletcher horses have been tested out of competition under nyra...I WOULD BET NONE...And what are the odds that COMMISSIONER will be tested pre race I would speculate 1000000/1. now California chrome they will bother anytime soon.
Anne Baxter More than 1 year ago
Barring injury cc wins tc and we find out how good he is in the bc classic.
Walter More than 1 year ago
I feel bad for the horse, I hope he has no pain. But this is karma for Pletcher. Today, he is on HRTV talking about how racing needs good publicity to help the sport. Too bad that Pletcher has contributed so much bad publicity all by himself. You don't need to believe me, just watch this week's episode of Real Sports on HBO. I'm no PETA lover, just a horseplayer tired of getting cheated.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
That HBO show was shocking. The Coronado Heights episode (name sp?) has a lot of questions to be answered.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Also, I wondered if that show would be even mentioned on DRF or BH or elsewhere. I can't see in good conscience how ANY one can treat horses like that, and have the nads to leg up a jock..