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Belmont Stakes Undercard Workout Report

by Zoe Cadman

June 19, 2020

Race 6 – Grade 3 Wonder Again

Sweet Melania | June 5 Workout Video | May 29 Workout Video  

Daughter of American Pharaoh has hit the board in all of her 6 starts, her last being a 3rd to Sharing (Runs Saturday at Royal Ascot ) in the BC Juvenile fillies Turf. She’s a filly who excels on turf, but is no slouch on dirt as seen in her June 5 work. Working with the maiden colt Bourbononrox, she was in the bridle early over a surface listed as good at Todd Pletcher's Palm Beach Downs base. The surface was tight with a bit of rain, and she clearly loved it. Moving easily and being let swing wide around the turn, she was easily best in this easy, half-mile drill. The best thing is: Even though she is keen, she is tactical and has a ton left at the end. She’s the top pick in the Wonder Again. This filly always runs a good race and may just well be better at age 3 than 2!

Highland Glory | May 24 Workout Video

While she may have been best in the Honey Ryder after a tough trip, we will never know. Her May 24 work was a pure maintenance, clicking of 12ss every eighth-mile, while cruising round the dogs in easy fashion. Nothing wrong here, but as for a win wager, I prefer Franco and Tagg in the Belmont Stakes!

Selflessly | June 8 Workout Video

She ran super in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, beaten just 4 lengths to Sharing (Did I mention she runs Saturday at Royal Ascot?). Her June 8 work with My Sister Nat, a Grade 3 winner, left me a little puzzled.  Her works we have on XBTV all winter have all been rather good, but this was, well, a bit lackluster as she never got by (or even next to) her workmate. Perhaps she had an off day? She draws well in a short field and is the only one with a perfect record at Belmont. Still, prefer Sweet Melania off the works!

Race 8 – Grade 1 Acorn

Gamine | June 13 Workout Video | June 7 Workout Video

A $1.8 million acquisition from the Fasig-Tipton May sale last year, she gutted it out around 2 turns with a big fig at Oaklawn; but I’m not convinced she’s not better around one turn like the Acorn. This race is the perfect fit, although she will get pressure from Casual and Glass Ceiling amongst others. Her June 13 work was good. Breaking off a couple of lengths behind Dodger (maiden colt), she was nice and relaxed throughout. The leggy daughter of Into Mischeif inhaled her company like a Ritz Cracker (She’s watching her weight) at the quarter-pole, and as usual worked to the seven-eighths pole easily. She’s probably best of the rest in the Acorn, but doesn’t win the draw from the rail. Beware: I’m using Casual on top! 

Race 9 – Grade 1 Jaipur

Hidden Scroll | June 14 Workout Video

How good is he? Jury’s out there, but he has shown brilliance at times in allowance company. Disregard his turf bow, stumbling at the start and tossing John Velazquez. Delighted that he rides back. One thing I can say, they have not got to the bottom of him in his turf works. His June 14 work looked like he was going in :55 not :47-4/5 (which is a good thing ). In the solo work, he was unfocused at times and looked almost lost on the expansive turf course; nonetheless, he worked well and was surprisingly relaxed. With the speed of the wily veteran Pure Sensation inside of him, perhaps he can rate on a kinder surface than dirt? Lots of questions here, but wouldn’t be surprised.

White Flag | May 28 Workout Video

May 28 at Payson was no more than a gallop on the dirt. One thing that struck me is how massive this son of War front has gotten. He loves the Belmont sod and I can see him running along for a piece of it!