Bio for Summer Bird
KALARIKKAL and VILASINI JAYARANA
Profile by Randy Goulding
Strengths: He should have some staying power. His sire, Birdstone, upset Smarty Jones in the 2004 Belmont and he also is the father of the likely favorite, Mine That Bird. Summer Bird is a relatively fresh horse, and everyone seemed to be impressed with his five-furlong work over this surface May 30 with his new jockey, Kent Desormeaux, aboard for the move. Desormeaux also is a plus. He has had plenty of experience in important races and would certainly like to win his first Belmont, especially after the Big Brown fiasco last year.
Weaknesses: Not a lot of versatility here, and he is going to need a realistic pace to run at to have any chance of pulling off an upset. If they do get carried away up front, it is hard to see him outfinishing Mine That Bird. Lack of class also is an issue. Sure, horses eligible for entry-level races have won the Belmont, but there are too many potential stars lined up in this edition for that to happen.
Strategy: He hasn't shown any speed in his four previous races, but he will be wearing blinkers for the first time, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Desmormeux have him a little closer than usual. The plan has to be for Desormeaux to wait as long possible and hope that some of the speed comes back to him.
Value: He will be one of the longest prices in the race, and there is some chance he will be able to get up in time to hit the bottom half of the exotics.
Kalarikkal and Vilasini “Devi” Jayaraman are longtime Thoroughbred breeders and owners whose horses campaign primarily in Louisiana and Arkansas. Kalarikkal, a cardiologist, and Vilasini, a pathologist, were both educated in their native India.
Tim Ice, 34, was born in East Liverpool, Ohio. He is in his first year of training on his own after assisting Morris Hicks for two years. He also worked for Cole Norman and Keith Desormeaux. The Bossier City, La., resident notched his first stakes success with Affirmed Truth in the Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn Park on March 28. Ice was an assistant to jockey Kent Desormeaux’s brother, Keith, for five years.
Desormeaux, elected to racing’s Hall of Fame in 2004, twice came to the brink of winning the Triple Crown: in 2008 aboard Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, who did not finish in the Belmont Stakes, and in 1998 aboard Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet, who was second in the Belmont. Summer Bird will be his sixth mount in the race, having also finished second with Medaglia d’Oro in 2002. Desormeaux, a three-time Eclipse award winner (twice as a journeyman, once as an apprentice) began riding in Louisiana in 1986, where his father owned a bush track. Now 39, he rode career win No. 5,000 aboard Bella Attrice on July 27, 2008 at Saratoga. Desormeaux’s other Kentucky Derby victory was in 2000 with Wood Memorial winner Fusaichi Pegasus.