by New York Racing Association Press Release
May 26, 2019
ELMONT, N.Y. - Grade 2 Wood Memorial winner Tacitus breezed over the main track at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday at Belmont Park, working in company with Multiplier.
Both horses covered five furlongs in 1:01.16 with Tacitus, piloted by Jose Ortiz, galloping out strong in front of his graded stakes winning stablemate in preparation for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, slated for Saturday, June 8.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms, Tacitus rallied from 16th at the half-mile call in the Kentucky Derby to finish fourth and was elevated to third with the disqualification of Maximum Security.
Mott said he was pleased with the breeze from the regally-bred son of Tapit and multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches.
"It was very good, very even; I liked the rhythm of it - 12, 12, 12, 12. Each furlong was in about 12 seconds and he went out six furlongs in about 1:12, so I thought it was a very steady, solid work," said Mott.
Country House, who provided Mott with his first Kentucky Derby winner, developed a cough after his historic win and was forced to skip the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Preakness.
Mott said the Lookin At Lucky chestnut is in good order at Churchill Downs and will be pointed to a summer campaign at the lucrative Saratoga meet which kicks off on Thursday, July 11 featuring 76 stakes worth $20.85 million across 40 racing days, highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers set for August 24.
"Country House is back on the track at Churchill - he's jogging. He's doing fine," said Mott, who trains the Derby winner, bred by the late Joseph V. Shields Jr., for owners Mrs. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden, and LNJ Foxwoods. "He's a horse you'd look at for the Jim Dandy [Grade 2, $600,000 - July 27] with the Travers as the [longer term] goal."
Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's Channel Maker earned a lofty 106 Beyer Speed Figure in his Grade 1 Man o' War score. The talented 5-year-old son of English Channel, bred in Ontario at the Tall Oaks Farm of Ivan Dalos, worked four furlongs in 48.33 on the Belmont dirt training track on Sunday morning.
Mott said Channel Maker is tentatively pointed to the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, a 1 1/4-mile turf test for 4-year-olds and up set for Belmont Stakes Day, June 8 as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival slated for June 6 - June 8 at beautiful Belmont Park.
"He worked very nicely on the training track. It was the first work back for him and it was very good," said Mott. "We're nominated for the Manhattan, but I'm not sure what we're doing yet. We'll see how he trains up to it."
With the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes as its centerpiece, the 2019 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will include 18 stakes races over the three days including an unprecedented 8 Grade 1 races on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8.