05/19/2010 12:00AM

Make Music for Me settling in for Belmont start


ELMONT, N.Y - Make Music for Me, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby who arrived at Belmont Park on Monday from Kentucky, galloped 1 1/4 miles over the sloppy Belmont main track Wednesday morning as he continues preparations for the Belmont Stakes on June 5.

Andy Durnin, a longtime employee of trainer Alexis Barba and the exercise rider of Make Music for Me, said the colt has settled in to his New York surroundings "great."

"He takes everything in stride," Durnin said. "Today was his first day galloping around the track, and he handled that slop fine. We'll gradually lengthen [his gallops] up to his next work."

Make Music for Me is expected to breeze Sunday morning.

Make Music for Me breezed a slow five furlongs in 1:03.20 at Keeneland on Sunday before shipping here.

"A little bit too slow, but that's my error," Durnin said. "The last time I breezed on the Keeneland track before the Derby, I went in 46-and-change, and that was an error as well, so I was just being a bit conservative with him."

Durnin, 42, was extremely happy to be back in New York. He has traveled here in years past with horses such as Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 Kentucky Derby winner; Manndar, the 2000 Manhattan winner; and Borrego, the 2005 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner.

"It's been too long since I've been back in my favorite city," Durnin said. "If it wasn't for the winters, I'd live here."