Belmont Stakes Contenders News

Some news and notes to pass your way as the big race draws near.

Orb’s a Go

While there was no question that Orb – this year’s Kentucky Derby winner – was going to run in the field at Belmont, there was some question about his form following a disappointing finish at the Preakness.

Well, no worries says trainer Shug McGaughey.

McGaughey, a horseracing Hall of Famer, worked out Orb extensively this week. The horse worked four furlongs in 48.30 and galloped the five in 1:00.48, raising eyebrows from onlookers.

Orb will be in a direct staredown with Preakess winner Oxbow for the “rubber match” race at Belmont. The winner will have captured two of the three Triple Crown races for the season and culminate what would be one of the most successful individual performances we’ve seen in quite some time.

That said, McGaughey knows Orb will have to raise his game at Belmont. Oxbow beat him by nine lengths.

Frac Daddy may Run

An intriguing horse out of Billings, Montana may run in the Belmont, according to his owner.

Frac Daddy – owned by Billings native Carter Stewart – said he and his crew are “leaning toward” running the three-year-old gray thoroughbred in the $1 million race.

Frac Daddy, a Kentucky-bred horse, ran at the Derby and came into the race as a 25-1 longshot. He started well, but eventually faded to the back and finished 16th.

Since then, the horse has looked good, and drew a lot of whistles and admiration during a mid-week run in which he paced a half-mile drill in 47.80 seconds at Churchill Downs.

“He’s training as well as I’ve ever seen,” said trainer Ken McPee.

Giant Finish will Run

Giant Finish is on his way to New York, trainer Tony Dutrow confirmed this week.

Giant Finish, owned by Andrew Cohen’s Sunrise Stables, finished 10th at the Kentucky Derby but did show solid prior to that, placing at the John Battaglia Memorial and Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway in March.

The ownership group wants to see what they have in Giant Finish, and are essentially throwing him into the Belmont on a hunch more than anything else. Dutrow has been a straight-shooter when it comes to Giant Finish’s pedigree, saying he’s an unremarkable horse that tries his best, and is a straightforward runner.

Always in a Tiz continues to put in work

Nobody’s quite sure what to make of Always in a Tiz.

The horse made major noise near the tail-end of 2012, finishing first at the MSW at Saratoga, second at Traskwood at the Aqueduct and third at the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn.

Since then, though, not much of anything.

“Tiz” did work out this week and worked out well, running five furlongs in 1:01.86. That said, many in attendance noted that jockey David Cohen appeared to let Always in a Tiz breeze an additional 1/8 of a mile after the finish line, then gallop to the clubhouse turn.

The times were good, but for a horse that hasn’t raced in two months or worked in five weeks, many were wondering if there could be an injury or fitness issue at play.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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