ELMONT, N.Y. – It was a relatively quiet morning on the Belmont Stakes watch here Thursday, with the favorite, Exaggerator, getting a day off from training, Lani doing little more than walking after having breezed the previous day, and a trio of recent arrivals – Preakness runner-up Cherry Wine, stablemate Brody’s Cause, and Creator – all getting themselves acclimated to their new surroundings.
GOVERNOR MALIBU, as usual, was the first of the confirmed Belmont starters to train Thursday, jogging a mile the wrong way on the outside fence before reversing direction and galloping a mile and three furlongs in a very leisurely manner. Although Governor Malibu is an impressive-looking colt and is certainly on the improve, anyone looking for trainer Christophe Clement to turn loose another Tonalist on this year’s Belmont may end up being disappointed. Governor Malibu, the runner-up in the Peter Pan Stakes, is scheduled to have his final Belmont work either Friday or Saturday with jockey Joel Rosario aboard.
Despite working anywhere from five furlongs to 1 1/8 miles – depending upon where you wanted to start the watch – after having jogged and galloped at least another two miles Wednesday, LANI was back on the track at his regular time, 6:30 a.m., once again Thursday. This was a relatively easy day for the son of Tapit, who walked a mere three miles while once again never seeming to turn a hair or raise a sweat.
DESTIN did his usual thing, galloping 1 3/8 miles over the training track at 8:15 a.m., a half-hour later than usual. He did not finish up quite as strongly Thursday as he had the previous several mornings. He was scheduled to work Friday along with his stablemate and potential Belmont starter Stradivari.
CHERRY WINE and BRODY’S CAUSE visited the track for the first time after the renovation break, both jogging once around. Cherry Wine was definitely the more energetic of the two Dale Romans trainees, prancing and on his toes the entire time while making a very favorable first impression.