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Sunday, May 23, 2010


BELMONT PARK NOTES: Saturday, May 22, 2010


ELMONT, N.Y. – Preakness runner-up First Dude arrived at Belmont Park early Saturday morning and at 8:30 a.m. was munching away on hay in his stall in Mike Maker’s barn. Plans call for the Stephen Got Even colt to jog Sunday, and then gallop up to next Saturday’s final tuneup for the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 5.

“He shipped in well,” said Tammy Fox, exercise rider and assistant to trainer Dale Romans. “Dale will come in Friday and watch him work on Saturday. He’ll go out sometime after the renovation break [8:45 a.m.].”


Owned by Donald R. Dizney, First Dude is one of two “Dudes” being pointed to the 1 ½-mile Belmont, the other being the Lone Star Derby winner Game On Dude. Owned by Bernard Schiappa, J. Terrence Lanni, Mercedes Stable and Diamond Pride LLC, Game On Dude is scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park on June 2, said his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert.

“He’s doing great,” said Baffert, who won the 2001 Belmont with Point Given.

* * *

Uptowncharlybrown had his penultimate work for the Belmont Stakes this morning, covering a half-mile in an easy 50.22 under exercise rider Alfredo Clemente.

Fantasy Lane Stable’s Limehouse colt went out shortly after the break and worked in company with Mill House’s Trappe Shot, who is being pointed to the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who won the 2006 Belmont with Jazil, said he was pleased with what he saw.

“He did a lot in last week’s work, so we didn’t think he needed to do that much today,” said McLaughlin. “We were looking for a half in 48 and change, 49 – I wouldn’t have minded if they had gone a touch faster, but there’s no money in the morning so we’ll wait for two Saturdays from now. Both horses are doing well.”

* * *

Straight off a flight from California, trainer Alexis Barba arrived at Belmont Park Saturday morning and was delighted with the appearance of Belmont hopeful Make Music for Me.

“I haven’t seen him for a while, and he looks great,” said Barba of the Bernstein colt, who rallied from last to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby in his most recent start. “He’s settled in very well.”

Barba said Make Music for Me will breeze over the Belmont Park oval for the first time Sunday morning after the renovation back with exercise rider Andy Durnin aboard.

* * *

The time of 131st running of the Grade 3, seven-furlong Withers Stakes has been adjusted following a review.

The final time was originally listed as 1:34.04, with fractions of 21.60, 43.82 and 1:07.45.

The adjusted, official time is now 1:35.87, with fractions of 23.42, 45.64, and 1:09.27.

Run over the main track at Aqueduct on April 24, 2010, the Withers was captured by longshot Afleet Again, owned by Cash is King Stable, trained by Robert Reid and ridden by Abel Mariano.


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