BELMONT STAKES NOW WIDE OPEN
The scratch of Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another leaves the Test of Champions wide open with a deep field. Dullahan inherits the favorite role (9-5), making the hunter now the hunted. The Bluegrass Stakes winner will be ridden by Javier Castellano taking over from Kent Desormeaux. Recognized as a closer, the third place finisher will likely be tracking Paynter in the early stages of the race. Paynter is sired by route runner Awesome Again is hopes to win in the format of his Bob Baffert stablemate, Bodemeister. Union Rags had the roughest of Derby trips at Churchill Downs five weeks ago and is looking for this win to cement his three-year old campaign. Street Life sired by another route runner, 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and rallied on at a mile and an eighth four weeks ago in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont.
Virginia-bred Redeemed won the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (G3), the finale on Friday's Belmont Stakes card. Ramon Dominquez navigated the frontrunning score for Redeemed who was bred Morgan's Ford Farm who now has 7 wins in 12 starts. The Front Royal, VA farm is owned by Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor. Redeemed is a four-year old colt sired by Include out of Early Mass by Pleasant Tap. Redeemed is owned by Jay Em Ess Stables and trained by Richard Dutrow.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Optimism is a horse in the starting gate."
I would like to see the stakes program at Colonial adjusted slightly (more later) but based on the nominations making the Colonial Turf Cup available for older horses has been fruitful. Nominations include last year's winner, RAHYSTRADA, Virginia Derby winner AIR SUPPORT, CASINO HOST and opening day winner DANNHAUSER.