Updated on 09/15/2011 12:18PM

Monarchos breezes in 49.17 at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. - Monarchos, the Kentucky Derby winner, breezed a half-mile in 49.17 seconds Sunday morning over a sloppy, sealed Belmont main track in preparation for the June 9 Belmont Stakes. The move was done around a single set of dogs, or cones, used to protect the inside part of the track.

With exercise rider Bryan Beccia aboard, Monarchos went his first quarter in 25.26 seconds and his second quarter in 23.91. He was timed galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.13. Trainer John Ward caught the last eighth in 11.40 seconds in a move that was a tad faster than Ward was expecting. It equaled the second fastest of 10 moves at the distance.

Still, Ward was pleased with the work, which came eight days after Monarchos finished sixth behind Point Given in the Preakness. Ward believes the workout was less strenuous on Monarchos than the previous day when he galloped a strong 1 1/2-miles."It's less pressure on him," Ward said. "What I did was let him gallop a controlled half instead of him galloping a big mile and a half like [Saturday]. ... He got a little blow out of it because he used his lungs a little bit more. We made him break a sweat."

According to Ward, Monarchos galloped at a pretty strong clip on Saturday, getting several eighths in under 14 seconds. Ward said he would come back with another five- or six-furlong workout next weekend.

Ward also reported that Hero's Tribute came out of his victory in Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes "a little tender in his shoulder which you'd expect from an animal that ran on that kind of racetrack."

Ward didn't view the tenderness as a major problem and still plans to point Hero's Tribute to the $500,000, Grade 1 Swaps on July 15 at Hollywood Park. Ward was uncertain whether Hero's Tribute would run before then or not.