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Whata Brainstorm's season over
ELMONT, N.Y. - Whata Brainstorm, winner of the Grade 2 Pan American Handicap in March, sustained a small fracture of the sesamoid bone in his left hind leg and will be out the remainder of the year, trainer Jimmy Picou said.
Whata Brainstorm, who was being pointed to Saturday's Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard, was scheduled for surgery Tuesday at the Equine Clinic Sterling Brook in Pittstown, N.J. Dr. Dennis Milne was to perform the surgery.
"``It's a good spot to have it,'' Picou said. "``It's a favorable break.''
Whata Brainstorm, who was beaten a neck in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, worked a slow half-mile in 49.12 seconds on dirt on May 29. Not pleased with the move, Picou brought him back two days later to gallop over a soft turf course and Whata Brainstorm was timed for a six-furlong move in 1:19.25.
"I just wanted to let him gallop over it fast rather than a work,'' Picou said. "I felt he needed more than a slow half-mile, let him go a two-minute lick and that'll be fine.''
Picou hopes to bring Whata Brainstorm back to the races next year.
Traditionally aims at Brooklyn
Traditionally, who flopped as the favorite in the May 28 Metropolitan Handicap, will be wheeled back in Sunday's Grade 2 $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap, trainer Shug McGaughey said Monday.
McGaughey said Traditionally got nothing out of his ninth-place finish in the Met, a race run over a muddy track that Traditionally did not appear to handle.
"``Pat [Day] said he never got out of a two-minute lick,'' McGaughey said.
Monday, Traditionally breezed five furlongs in 59.04 seconds over a dry and fast Belmont main track that yielded quick times all morning. It was the fastest of 34 moves at the distance.
"He went 59 pretty easy I thought,'' McGaughey said. "``He's been a little bit keen since [the Met] because he didn't run the other day. But this will settle him back down.''
Weights for the Brooklyn were due out Tuesday. Among those expected to run are Albert the Great, Country Be Gold, Gander, Graeme Hall, Justification, Perfect Cat, Pleasant Breeze, State Shinto, and Top Official.
At Belmont on Monday, Graeme Hall breezed five furlongs in 1:01.45 while Perfect Cat went four furlongs in 48.01. At Saratoga, Pleasant Breeze went five furlongs in 1:00.94.
Arnold looks for a Victory Ride
Victory Ride will put her unblemished record and her gaudy pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures to the test in Friday's Grade 1 Acorn. Sunday, she worked a half-mile in 47.51 seconds over a Belmont training track rated good.
Victory Ride, a daughter of Seeking the Gold, missed her 2-year-old season because of sore shins and a pulled muscle in her back end. Her debut was worth the wait as she won an April 13 maiden race at Keeneland by 14 1/4 lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 114. A month later at Belmont, she won her preliminary allowance race by seven, earning a 101.
"The talent had always been there, but I couldn't have told you she was going to win by 14 lengths first time out,'' trainer Rusty Arnold said. "I was thrilled with her second race. I hope I got enough out of it.''
Edgar Prado will ride Victory Ride for the first time in the Acorn, which is living up to its Grade 1 billing. Among the other expected starters in the race Caressing, Cat Chat, Forest Secrets, Latour, Real Cozzy, Starrer, Unbridled Elaine, and With Ability.
Meanwhile, Arnold said he was happy with Lady Melesi's second-place finish in Sunday's Grade 1 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park. Arnold said if all goes well, he would point her to the Hempstead Handicap here on June 23.
Hook and Ladder tries to rebound
Hook and Ladder, who won three straight races last winter at Gulfstream Park, will be looking to start another win streak when he faces older sprinters in Saturday's True North Handicap.
In his last start, Hook and Ladder finished third in the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.
"I don't think he handled the track at Aqueduct," trainer John Kimmel said Monday morning at Belmont Park, after Hook and Ladder worked a half-mile in 47.14 seconds. "It was deep and sandy that day. He went 23, 46. He's a 44-second horse. He had legitimate closers a length or two behind him. It became a three-eighths of a mile sprint home, and that's not his style."
Hook and Ladder faded after setting the early pace and wound up three lengths behind the victorious Peeping Tom, who came back to run second in the Metropolitan Handicap last week. Say Florida Sandy finished second in the Carter and is expected to again face Hook and Ladder in the True North.
California invader Men's Exclusive, with 118 pounds, is the highweight among those expected to run in the True North. Hook and Ladder got in with 117, and Say Florida Sandy has been assigned 116 pounds. Others expected for the six-furlong, Grade 2 race include Explicit, Here's Zealous, Istintaj, Kashatreya, Valiant Halory, and Wake at Noon.
Kimmel believes that his 3-year-old filly Latour will do better in the one-turn mile of the Acorn than she did going two turns in the Kentucky Oaks last time out.
"That's exactly what she wants, with her tactical speed," Kimmel said.
Another Kimmel trainee, Windrush, who won the Stymie Handicap in March, worked five furlongs Monday in 59.44 seconds. He is nominated to Sunday's Brooklyn Handicap, but likely will pass that race to go instead in the $200,000 Baltimore Ravens Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 16 at Pimlico.
"The race might be too tough for him," Kimmel said of the Brooklyn, whose field is expected to include Albert the Great, Perfect Cat, Pleasant Breeze, and Traditionally.
"I can run a week later at Pimlico and not run against Albert the Great. I can run against a field half as good for 80 percent of the money."
Lake Pontchartrain euthanized
Lake Pontchartrain, who pulled up after fracturing his right front sesamoid in Saturday's James B. Moseley Breeders Cup Handicap at Suffolk, had to be euthanized, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said.
"``He was the second horse Sandy [Goldfarb] and I claimed,'' Dutrow said. ``"He was a nice one. 'e was one of my favorites.''
Dutrow and Goldfarb claimed Lake Pontchartrain from D. Wayne Lukas for $60,000 on Aug. 27, 1998. He banked more than $240,000 for his new connections and was third the Bold Ruler and Gravesend handicaps, both Grade 3 events.
While it won't make up for the loss of Lake Pontchartain, Dutrow does appear to have a budding sprint star in the barn with Here's Zealous. A son of Dehere owned and bred by Jan, Mace, and Samantha Seigel, Here's Zealous has won both his starts for Dutrow and is being pointed to Saturday's True North Handicap here.
* Minutes before post for Sunday's fourth race, the stewards decided that Adverse would run for purse money only. That's because the horse appeared as a scratch on a couple of display boards at Belmont. A total of $330,997 was refunded to bettors nationwide. Bettors who used Adverse in the pick six were given the post-time favorite, Prince Monty, who finished third. There were two consolation pick three payoffs. Adverse finished second.
* Aqueduct clocker Joe Wolyniec was due to be released from Nassau Medical Center after being admitted Sunday with an irregular heartbeat. According Wolyniec, he had a reaction to some medication. Wolyniec was due back at his post on Wednesday.- additional reporting by Jay Privman