NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify won’t have to further contend with Audible in pursuit of the colt’s bid for the Triple Crown.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday that Audible will be pointed toward a summer campaign, with the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 28 or the $1 million Haskel Invitational on July 29 being the top options for his next start.
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Florida. Derby winner Audible finished third in the Kentucky Derby. Both Justify and Audible are co-owned by WinStar Farm and there had been much speculation whether the owners would pit them against each other when Justify tries to complete a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont on June 9.
Elliott Walden, WinStar president and CEO, was at Belmont Park on Friday to see Audible and discussed the situation with Pletcher.
The trainer says Audible isn’t doing as well as he was leading into the May 5 Derby and he doesn’t think the colt is where he needs to be to win the 1 +-mile Belmont.
However, Noble Indy is a possibility to run in the Belmont. He finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby and is also co-owned by WinStar. Pletcher said Noble Indy put himself into the Belmont mix after completing a half-mile workout Friday.
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.