NEW YORK (AP) – Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another went for an earlier than usual gallop around Belmont Park, a decision made by trainer Doug O’Neill to avoid the congestion around the detention barn housing all the Belmont Stakes horses.
I’ll Have Another went to the track shortly after 5:30 a.m. Friday, trainer Doug O’Neill told the New York Racing Association. The colt jogged and then galloped around the 1 1/2-mile oval accompanied by stable pony Lava Man.
O’Neill said, “it’s been hectic the last few days so we thought we would take him when it’s quieter.”
Belmont horses having been going out to the track from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., but with all 12 horses coming back to the barn at the same time, there’s little room for all of them to cool down at the same time.
The trainer said the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is “fit and ready to go” for Saturday’s Belmont, where he will attempt to become the first Triple Crown champion in 34 years.