Five Key Takeaways from Belmont’s Stars & Stripes Festival

Posted 2 years ago by Patrick Munuve | posted in Uncategorized | Post RSS 2.0

IMPRESSIVE RETURN: Code of Honor, competing for the first time because he was elevated to second behind Country House when stewards disqualified Maximum Security for interference in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, claimed himself at the wide-open 3-year-old division with an effortless success in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes. “I’m excited for the remainder for the summer,” said Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. “This was our game plan and, so far, step one worked.” The next step would use the July 27 Jim Dandy Stakes as a prep for the Aug. 24 Runhappy Travers Stakes. McGaughey is cautiously optimistic that his Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes winner could emerge as portion of the class. “I think he is as good as any of these,” he said. “He’s going to need to keep improving as we go along, but I think he’ll do that.” TIMELY BREAKTHROUGH: Although Henley’s Joy had been unable to break during his first six graded-stakes begins, such as a remote 13th-place end in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, proprietor Jeffrey Bloom and trainer Mike Maker were convinced he belonged in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes. Their faith was rewarded when the Kitten’s Joy colt delivered at 20.80-1 at the opening leg of their Turf Trinity with Jose Lezcano aboard. “It’s such a big race to acquire and it is so significant,” Bloom said. “However, with this specific horse, he has had the worst racing luck and he’s been so honest, so many demanding trips. It was just so gratifying to see him be able to show everyone how talented he is.” PERFECT TIMING: Trainers. George”Rusty” Arnold was no different when he decided to stage Concrete Rose toward the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes after her strong victory in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3. He chose to forego a prep race. “She’s a slight filly. There is not a lot to her,” he clarified. “I do not have to train her down to nothing.” His willingness to back was rewarded with a powerful win at their Turf Tiara’s opening leg. The Twirling Candy filly won’t have the luxury of as much time to get the next start. Arnold is focused on the middle leg of the Turf Tiara, the $750,000 Saratoga Oaks on Aug. 2 at 1??3/16 miles at Saratoga Race Course. “We will run in the next one, if there is not an issue,” he said. “it is a fantastic series. We wish to support it.”

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