NEW YORK — Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome have joined a probable 12-horse field for the Belmont Stakes, which is still shaping up with a week to go until the last leg of the Triple Crown.
Trainer Graham Motion said Sunday that Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry will make his next start in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont on June 10. The colt finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby after prompting a fast pace and didn’t run in the Preakness.
Hollywood Handsome will make his Triple Crown debut in the Belmont. The colt finished fifth in the Illinois Derby and won an allowance race at his home base of Churchill Downs three weeks later. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Hollywood Handsome is already at Belmont Park, where he completed his last serious workout on Friday.
Joining them as probable starters in the $1.5 million race are: Classic Empire, Japan-based Epicharis, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiplier, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit and Twisted Tom.
Trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday he has a spot on a New York-bound plane booked for Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley, but no decision has yet been made whether the Southern California-based horse will run.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Triple Crown winner Justify has re-located to Del Mar where trainer Bob Baffert is keeping him under observation after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago.
Baffert says Justify will probably just walk around the stable area for the next two weeks at the track north of San Diego. The probable scenario for the colt is a return to racing sometime in the fall with the ultimate goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.
“Right now, we’re just looking to get him 100 percent,” Baffert said Monday. “We’re in a holding pattern. I’d love to run him again because he’s so much fun and exciting to watch. We should know more in a couple of weeks.”
Justify has won all six starts in his brief career that began this year. He has won four straight Grade 1 races, including a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become horse racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion.
The colt hasn’t had a workout since the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Funtastic led all the way in a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $300,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award winner the last two years as the nation’s leading trainer, got his third victory in the New Jersey’s biggest turf race. He won with Big Blue Kitten in 2013 and 2015.
The U.N. and the $1 million Haskell on July 29 are the two Grade 1 stakes at Monmouth.
Brown saddled four of the nine runners in the U.N. and ran 1-2 as Money Multiplier rallied to finish a half length behind Funtastic and jockey Antonio Gallardo.
The other two Brown horses were Silverwave (fifth) and Kurilov (eighth).
The time was 2:12.36 for 1 3/8 miles over the firm course.
Funtastic paid $48, $15.80 and $8.60. Money Multiplier, the 2-1 favorite, returned $4 and $2.80.
Bigger Picture, last year’s U.N. winner, was third, paying $5.80 to show.