Here's this week's headlines in horse racing in the lead up to the Belmont.
Bolo is Back
Going into the $500,000 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1T) at Santa Anita on May 27th at 32-1, the 7 year old gelding made his second start since February 2017. BOLO and jockey Florent Geroux went straight to the lead and never looked back. Leading all the way, the pair earned a spot into the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) in November at Santa Anita.
BOLO is trained by Carla Gaines. The gelding took her to the 2015 Kentucky Derby, and although they did not do so well, she is grateful for him simply getting her there. His first start in nearly two years was a fifth place finish in April, where he ran a 1 1/8th mile allowance optional claiming race. However, this time around, he showed that he had dusted off the cobwebs and maintained a length advantage over the field.
Enable To Skip Royal Ascot
ENABLE has been training with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as the goal, but it was announced Wednesday that the Breeders' Cup Turf winner will wait for the July 6th Eclipse at Sandown Park in England. The decision was made that the Royal Ascot would "come to soon for her."
Leofric Retires to Stud in Chile
The six-year-old trained by Brad Cox last raced in the Grade 1 $500k Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Brad Cox and owner, Steve Landers, announced Wednesday that LEOFRIC has retired from racing and is currently standing stud in Chile. "It was the wrong time of year to put him as a stud here in the U.S. So that's why he went over. Some people in Chile asked about him and we sold him to them. We still have rights to a couple of services with him."
Senator Dianne Feinstein Calls for Moratorium on Racing at Santa Anita
Following a 26th death at Santa Anita, an opinion piece in the LA Times called for a halt to racing after "no good explanation" has been provided. The most recent death was 9-year-old gelding, KOCHEES, who was euthanized after suffering an injury. On Monday, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) also called for "an immediate moratorium on racing at Santa Anita," stating "We need a more thorough investigation of practices and conditions at the track before any more races are held."
The response from The Stronach Group board stated, "The fact that horses running in America are five more times likely to suffer a catastrophic injury than horses running at international venues in unacceptable and must immediately change."
There are twelve days left in Santa Anita"s season, which ends June 23rd. The Breeders' Cup is scheduled for November 1-2.
The Belmont Takes Shape
Trainer Danny Gargan worked TAX alone on the Belmont training track determined that the gelding would be pointed towards the June 8th Belmont Stakes.
Brad Cox announced that OWENDALE would skip the Belmont after placing third in the Preakness and will instead be pointed towards the $500k Ohio Derby.
TACITUS prepared for the Belmont on the 26th by breezing over the main track with MULTIPLIER. Both horses covered five furlongs in 1:00.16.
MASTER FENCER also jogged over the Belmont track for the first time Sunday morning. However, on his Wednesday breeze he stumbled at the eighth pole and was pulled up by his exercise rider. He had some slight inflammation in his front left ankle and will be seen by the vets. No major issues are anticipated.
WAR OF WILL, EVERFAST, SIR WINSTON, INTREPID HEART and SPINOFF are all still probable starters.