Poor Training Means Audible Won't Run at the Belmont Stakes
Audible, the third-place finishing horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby, will not be running in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, 9th of June. The New York bred three year old has been pulled back by his trainer because of “sloppy” recent form in training, despite performing well in the Run for the Roses earlier this month.
Track Performance Sloppy
Todd Pletcher, Audible’s trainer, said of the horse:
"I don’t feel like he's doing quite as well as he was leading into the [Kentucky] Derby. We've had a couple of weeks here where his training has been on sloppy tracks; now that we've had some good weather and some good surfaces I don’t feel like he’s where he needs to be to feel like he’s going to win the Belmont."
Although speculation has arisen, Elliot Walden, President and CEO of WinStar, asserted that not running Audible was in no way linked to the fact that Justify is attempting to win the coveted Triple Crown. The horses share common ownership, convincing some horse racing fans that there is indeed a conspiracy.
When pressed, Walden said:
"It was Todd’s decision. It was about what was best for the horse."
A breeze was cancelled for Audible by Pletcher and he galloped on Friday. It is now thought that the horse will be pointed to a race like the Jim Dandy at the end of July.
Noble Indy Now a Possibility for Belmont Stakes
Noble Indy, widely regarded as a pace challenge for Justify, is now in the mix for a 2018 Belmont run. He ran a half-mile in 47.15 seconds with Vino Rosso on Friday morning and Pletcher is adamant that WinStar will look to run him, despite a poor finish at the Kentucky Derby on May 5th.
"WinStar is fully on board with running him if the horse continues to do well. I felt the breeze this morning was as good as I've seen him breeze."
WinStar and Mike Repole co-own both Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby and will be racing in the Belmont Stakes. Javier Castellano, who has had 81 firsts in 2018 so far, is likely to ride him.
Belmont Stakes Looks a Riveting Affair
Coming off a win at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, critics and traders are adamant that punters should consider Justify for their Belmont Stakes strategy this year. Jody Demling, a staple fixture on the horse racing scene in the US, told CBS Sports the following about the horse:
"Justify has only run five races in his career, but he'll be tested by other horses in the Belmont Stakes lineup who are fresh. Also, the more horses in the gate, the tougher it will be for him because of potential traffic problems and a faster pace on the front end."
At present, Justify is leading the favourites at 8/11 with Hofburg behind him at 5/1 at top horse racing betting sites. Bravazo, a horse that Demling is also keen on, is currently priced a 8/1 with Ladbrokes, with Vino Rosso coming in at 10/1 with William Hill. Gronkowski, the horse named after Rob Gronkowski, is currently 66/1.
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