05/11/2016 10:56AM

Lani pointing for Preakness and Belmont

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Barbara D. Livingston
Lani was shipped Monday to Belmont Park, where he will train for the Preakness.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Lani, the Japanese-based, Kentucky-bred son of Tapit who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby, is being pointed to both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, trainer Mikio Matsunaga said Wednesday at Belmont Park.

“At the moment we are planning for the Preakness and after that the Belmont,” Matsunaga said through an interpreter.

Lani was shipped to Belmont on Monday and he returned to the track for training on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Lani walked and jogged one lap around the 1 1/2-mile Belmont main track, galloped twice around and then walked one more lap.

“That’s his usual routine,” Matsunaga said.

In Louisville, Lani was often out on the track for more than 30 minutes.

Matsunaga said he decided to ship to Belmont because of the wider track.

“Lani is a big strider," he said. "I want to give him some training on a bigger track."

Lani broke slowly in the Derby and was 17th going into the first turn. He finished ninth, 10 3/4 lengths behind Nyquist.

Matsunaga said he was “not 100 percent satisfied” with the Derby performance but added: “There are lots of things he can improve on since then. As far as a first-time run in the U.S., it was acceptable.”

Matsunaga said he plans to give Lani an official workout at Belmont Park on Wednesday and ship to Baltimore on Thursday.

“He likes the environment here, so as long as possible I want to stay here,” Matsunaga said.

Matsunaga said thatwhile the jockey assignment is still being discussed with owner Koji Maeda, it is “highly likely” Yutaka Take will retain the mount.

Take has ridden Lani in six of his seven starts, including a victory in the Grade 2 UAE Derby in Meydan.

slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
You, Taka, take!
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
No Yutaka Take says a lot, I think