“The Belmont is an option,” a non-committal Manny Azpurua, trainer of Ravelo’s Boy, said on Thursday. “But we’re not ready to say for sure that’s where we are running. So far he’s doing everything right, and he just flew over the track this morning.”
“We won’t make any official decision until after Sunday,” Azpurua indicated. “(Jockey Alex) Solis is coming down to get on him. They’ll go to the track about 7:30 a.m. and after that we’ll have a better idea where we are going. If it is the Belmont, we’ll probably just gallop him up to the race.”
Ravelo’s Boy hasn’t started since a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10.
“He had some problems after the Tampa race,” Azpurua said. “Nothing too bad, but he needed some time off. And that time off has been good for him.”
FAIR WHIT SEEKS SECOND STRAIGHT STARTER SERIES SCORE
The final leg of the Calder Starter Series will be contested over 1 1/16 miles of turf on Saturday and Shivananda Parbhoo, son of trainer Bisnath Parboo, will send out third-leg winner Fair Whit, who was claimed for $15,000 at Aqueduct three starts ago and enters the race on a two-race winning streak.
“If he takes to the turf, I think he’s got a pretty good shot to win,” Parbhoo said. “I think he’s a pretty nice horse, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being a stakes winner.”
Expectations were likely quite high for Fair Whit when the son of Birdstone passed through the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale in 2009 and was purchased for $400,000 by Darley bloodstock advisor John Ferguson. But after failing to do much of anything in his first six starts, all maiden special weight events at Saratoga or Belmont, the colt was entered in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Aqueduct on November 18, 2011.
The colt responded to the class drop with a hard-fought victory, and just two races later, on January 12, the one-time $400,000 purchase was entered with a $15,000 price tag attached. That is when Parbhoo dropped his claim.
“I wasn’t sure what kind of a claim he was going to be,” Parbhoo said. “He got beat 20 lengths the day we took him. But when he won his next start, his first start for us, I knew he was going to be a good claim.”
The victory Parbhoo mentioned was a 6 ½-length win at Aqueduct on March 1. The colt then returned to post his 3 ½-length third-leg triumph at Calder on May 12.
Fair Whit has tried turf once in his 10-race career. That outing resulted in an eighth-place finish where he was beaten four lengths over the Saratoga turf course in July of last year.
MEMORIAL DAY RACING AT CALDER
Calder will celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with a special Monday afternoon of live racing, headlined by the 38th running of the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile main track test is expected to include Grade 3 winner Where’s Sterling, along with Miami Mile winner Imperial Czar, that race’s runner- up Numb Lips, and recent Sumter Stakes hero Cash Rules.
Entries for the holiday card will be taken Friday.