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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Preakness winner National Treasure not a lock to run in Belmont – Orange County Register


Through Thursday


Juan Hernandez / 19

Hector Berrios / 12

Umberto Rispoli / 12

Ramon Vazquez / 12

Two tied / 9


Philip D’Amato / 12

Peter Eurton / 8

Mark Glatt / 8

Bob Baffert / 7

Two tied / 6



• $200,000 Grade II Triple Bend Stakes, 4-year-olds and up, 7 furlongs

• $100,000 Grade III Daytona Stakes, 4-year-olds and up, 6½ furlongs downhill turf course


• $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes, 3-year-olds bred in California, 1-1/8 miles (turf)

• $150,000 Melair Stakes, 3-year-old fillies bred in California, 1-1/16 miles

• $100,000 Thor’s Echo Stakes, 3-year-olds and up bred in California, 6 furlongs

• $100,000 Crystal Waters Stakes, 3-year-olds and up bred in California, 1 mile (turf)

• $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up bred in California, 1 mile (turf)


• $500,000 Grade I Shoemaker Mile, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile (turf)

• $400,000 Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup, 3-year-olds and up, 1¼ miles

• $400,000 Grade I Gamely Stakes, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1-1/8 miles (turf)


• Trainer Dan Blacker said he had concerns when he shipped his standout sprinter, Straight No Chaser, for the first time out of state to run in a race at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. “He shipped well, but in a new place, a new track, a new environment, he certainly was a little hot, a little stronger to be around than he is at home,” he said. “It took a little more TLC, a little more thought into his day-to-day routine. But that’s just his personality. He’s just a high-energy horse and I think that’s partly why he’s so good in his races as well. When those gates open, he flies out of there.” He won the optional claimer by 7¼ lengths.

• In addition to Straight No Chaser, there are at least two other top sprinters – Spirit of Makena and Forbidden Kingdom – roaming the grounds locally. Both will run in Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita. Spirit of Makena beat Forbidden Kingdom in the Grade III San Carlos Stakes by 1½ lengths on March 1. The former has won four of five starts. “He’s doing good,” trainer George Papaprodromou told Santa Anita publicity’s Victor Ryan. “We’re very happy with him. He’s already proven he’s a good horse, but there still may be more there.”

• Preakness Stakes winner National Treasure is at Belmont Park and will have one work at the track before trainer Bob Baffert decides whether to run the son of Quality Road in the 1½-mile Belmont Stakes on June 10. “When he breezes, he’s going to have to show me he’s up for it,” Baffert told Santa Anita publicity. Baffert has two other potential Belmont starters – Arabian Lion, winner of the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, and Reincarnate, who finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby on May 6.

— Art Wilson

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