AP

Holy Lute wins $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Holy Lute won the second division of the $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Friday on opening day of Santa Anita’s fall meet.

Ridden by Jamie Theriot, Holy Lute ran 6 1/2 furlongs on the revamped hillside turf course in 1:11.23 and paid $23.40, $9 and $7.60 at 10-1 odds in the Grade 3 race.

Boozer returned $6.80 and $4, while 3-1 favorite Guns Loaded was another head back in third and paid $4.60 to show. Those two horses survived a claim of foul interference in mid-stretch by Brice Blanc, who was aboard fifth-place finisher Ohio. The stewards ruled there would be no change to the order of finish.

Trained by Jim Cassidy, Holy Lute earned his sixth win in 27 career starts and second in a row. The victory, worth $60,000, increased Holy Lute’s career earnings to $507,332.

“He ran phenomenal,” Theriot said. “I told Jim he would run big.”

Cassidy said Holy Lute would be pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

In the race’s first division, Ambitious Brew won by 1 3/4 lengths under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Ambitious Brew ran the distance in 1:11.57 and paid $13.20, $5.40 and $4.20.

Richard’s Boy returned $6.40 and $4.60, while Ireland-bred Hunt was another length back in third and returned $2.40.

Lone Shipman, a filly who shipped in from New York, finished sixth as the 8-5 favorite.

Trained by Marty Jones, Ambitious Brew had finished second by a nose two years ago in the race named for retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who presented the trophy.

Ambitious Brew has four wins in eight career starts and earnings of $499,225. He’s also headed to the BC Turf Sprint.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming to skip Belmont Stakes

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NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes next month after finishing eighth in the Preakness.

Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Trainer Chad Brown says he will wait until after the Memorial Day weekend to announce where Preakness winner Cloud Computing will run next. However, it appears unlikely he will run in the Belmont.

The Belmont field is limited to 16 starters. Besides Classic Empire, who came in second at the Preakness Stakes, other horses expected to run are Conquest Mo Money, Japan-based Epicharis, Gormley, Irap, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiple, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom. Other possibilities are Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome.

With no Triple Crown in play, Belmont lacks a singular buzz

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BALTIMORE — Cloud Computing stole the Preakness, and any hope of a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

The 13-1 shot did it on six weeks’ rest, having skipped the 20-horse roughhouse that is the Kentucky Derby even though he had enough points to get in that race. With another three weeks until the Belmont in New York, Cloud Computing could return to run on his home track.

“We haven’t ruled it out,” trainer Chad Brown said Sunday. “We’re just going to evaluate the horse this week and probably by next weekend we may have a decision.”

Cloud Computing didn’t race as a 2-year-old because of injury, so he is among the freshest horses out there.

Brown prefers to give his horses a month or more between starts. Trainer Todd Pletcher also favors long layoffs, although he made an exception to run Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming back in two weeks. The colt responded with an eighth-place finish – the worst of his career – on Saturday.

“He looks good, bright, alert, sound, healthy, happy,” Pletcher said. “We’ll head to Belmont and regroup.”

If the Derby and Preakness winners skip the Belmont on June 10, the likely favorite would be Classic Empire, who was runner-up Saturday after finishing fourth in the Derby.

It would be the first time since 2010 that neither the Derby nor Preakness winner run in the Belmont. That year, Derby winner Super Saver, trained by Pletcher, and Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky sat out the third leg.

Trainer Mark Casse said Classic Empire is being pointed toward the Belmont, barring any unforeseen developments.

“He was a better horse yesterday than he was two weeks ago for the Kentucky Derby,” he said.

Among other horses likely for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont – the longest of the Triple Crown races – are: Senior Investment (third in Preakness), Lookin At Lee (fourth in Preakness) and Japanese invader Epicharis.

Lookin At Lee finished second in the Derby, when Classic Empire was fourth.

Classic Empire and Lookin At Lee would face off for the sixth time in the Belmont, and they could be the only horses to run in all three Triple Crown races. Classic Empire has three victories against Lookin At Lee, including this year’s Arkansas Derby.

“You’re looking at horses that traveled at 2, ran at as high a level as we have, so you’re not surprised,” said Steve Asmussen, who trains Lookin At Lee and won last year’s Belmont with Creator.

“They’ve been able to maintain themselves physically. That puts them in a different position than horses who have not consistently run on that stage.”

Possible Belmont starters are Multiplier (sixth in Preakness) and Conquest Mo Money (seventh in Preakness). Gunnevera (fifth in Preakness) and Hence (ninth in Preakness) won’t run in the Belmont.

Epicharis, one of the top 3-year-olds in Japan, will make his North American debut in the $1.5 million Belmont. That would make him eligible for a new $1 million bonus offered by the New York Racing Association to any Japan-based winner of the race. The winner’s share of the purse is $800,000.

Epicharis would be the second Japanese horse to run in the Belmont. Last year, Lani finished third after running in all three legs of the Triple Crown.