GUTIERREZ TO “TEST DRIVE” BELMONT IN BROOKLYN HANDICAP;
Jun 5th, 12
From NYRA Communications Department
From NYRA Communications Department
Trainer Doug O’Neill knows his jockey, Mario Gutierrez, will face this challenge when he attempts to ride I’ll Have Another into the history books Saturday with a victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, which would complete the first Triple Crown since 1978. With his mind set on getting Gutierrez a full, live-action tour of the course, O’Neill has Gutierrez aboard 4-year-old colt Boxeur des Rues in the 124th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap on Friday.
The Brooklyn, won in the past by greats such as Discovery, Whirlaway, Kelso and Forego, is run at the
“We brought this horse with that intent,” O’Neill said of Boxeur des Rues, who, like I’ll Have Another, is owned by J. Paul Reddam. “Three or four days ago, he didn’t train as well as I’d like and we went on a mad dash to have Paul invest in a horse for [the
Boxeur des Rues, 10th in each of his past two starts – the Grade 1 Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day and the Grade 2 Dixie on Preakness Day – turned out to have a minor bruise inside his right front foot. O’Neill said the son of Smart Strike now is “looking fantastic.”
“This is a really good opportunity for Mario, and I think the horse has a chance to compete and do well,” O’Neill said of Boxeur des Rues, who is 12-1 on the morning line.
Tying the legendary Forego for most appearances in the Brooklyn will be Eldaafer, who will compete in his fourth straight edition of the race to join the Hall of Fame gelding, who won it from 1974-76 and finished second in 1977.
Eldaafer won the 2009
Owners Jim Atwell and Kevin Jacobsen purchased Eldaafer privately last August and after a sixth-place finish in the
After little success, they returned Eldaafer to Alvarado, and he has appeared to return to form in her care. In his most recent work, Sunday at
“He was on cruise control,” said Alvarado, who is thrilled to have her best horse back in the barn. “I got him in
“I’m very happy to have him back,” she said. “I wished them best of luck out there, but it was tough to have your best horse walk out of the barn. I’m happy to have him peaking at the right time. He’s really training on this track; Sunday, he worked lights out.”
Eldaafer, 12-1 on the morning line, leaves from post position 4 with Paco Lopez aboard.
Birdrun, the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, returns to the Brooklyn after winning the race last year by 3 ¾ lengths in a gate-to-wire score. The 6-year-old son of 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, has not won since, although he did finish second last November in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon.
Arthur’s Tale, who has tantalized trainer Tom Albertrani with good – but not winning – efforts since missing by a neck when second in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes last year, also will run as part of an entry with Balladry.
“He’s always been a pretty interesting horse since the time he got beat in the Wood,” Albertrani said. “He ran well in his last race [the Vanlandingham, May 17 at
Favored on the morning line at 5-2 is highweight Redeemed, a recent 9 ¾-length winner in the Milesius overnight stakes May 3 at
Hailstone, Not Abroad, Eye On Jacob, Golden Gulch, Praetereo, Balladry and Kentucky Reign complete the field.
With a strong third-place finish in the Grade 2 Commonwealth on April 14 at Keeneland, his first race in five months, Ghislaine Head’s Right One signaled he has lost none of his fire as a 6-year-old and is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Jaipur.
Right One, to be ridden by Julien Leparoux for trainer Christophe Clement, defeated Yield Bogey in the final jump last year and then finished third behind Turallure and Courageous Cat in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile before tailing off the remainder of the year.
“He’s been training well; [The Commonwealth] was a good race to bring him back,” Clement said. “I think he had a nice prep race.”
Along with Yield Bogey, making his fourth start in the Jaipur, Right One will have to contend with Bergerac, an $80,000 claim at
Bergerac immediately paid dividends, finishing second in the Commonwealth, ahead of Right One.
“He comes in off a little layoff and not by design,” Brown said. “He missed an overnight race that got rained off the turf, so he missed his prep. He’s an older horse with plenty career starts under his belt, though, so at this age (5) he maintains his fitness.”
Bergerac, the 5-2 morning-line second choice, will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post position 7.
Also set for the Jaipur are Leave of Absence, Boots Ahead, Upgrade, Shintoh and Senor Dehere. Recent stakes winner Ponzi Scheme is entered Main Track Only.
The field for the Grade 2, $200,000
The field for the Grade 3, $150,000 Jaipur:
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