Pletcher and owner Alain Wertheimer had originally planned to send Interactif to Friday’s Grade 3 Hill Prince on the turf, but began to consider the Belmont following a promising workout on May 22 when the son of Broken Vow covered six furlongs on the main track in 1:14.29.
Javier Castellano will have the mount aboard Interactif, who will be making his first start on conventional dirt since an eighth in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga in July. He closed his juvenile campaign with victories in the Grade 3 With Anticipation and Grade 3 Bourbon on the grass before finishing a close third in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Second by a nose in the Hallandale Beach on the turf at Gulfstream in his sophomore debut, Interactif has competed over synthetic surfaces in his last two starts, finishing second to Sidney’s Candy in the Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita and fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland.
“His second to Sidney’s Candy in the San Felipe was very good, although we were a little disappointed with his performance in the Blue Grass,” said Pletcher. “We had the Derby in mind after [the Blue Grass], but thought the three weeks might be a little fast back.”