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Belmont Stakes Contenders Flash Workout Quotes

Story by: NYRA Press Office


Ken McPeek, trainer of Atigun (4f, 48.55, b): “Julien [Leparaoux] felt like he was really strong under him. I was real happy with the work. Nice and solid. He’s at a really great stage right now.”

Dale Romans, trainer of Dullahan (4f, 45.97, b):“Right before the Blue Grass he went in [57 2/5]. When he works like that, he runs big. He looked like he was galloping, and then we got back to the barn he recovered quickly. He wasn’t blowing. I think he’s ready. I’m happy with my position. I wouldn’t change places with anybody in this race.”

Jim Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, trainer of Paynter (7f, 1:25.00, b): “Bob likes that kind of work, and I saw what I needed to see. He’ll sit and wait, and when you ask him he responds. When [Rajiv Maragh] asked him to go, he accelerated by his company and up to Chad Brown’s horses. I thought they were quite a ways in front of us. I’d have to see the works again to see where [Brown’s horses] actually were when they went off, but I know we left at six and I thought they left at five. They were well in front of us, and I wasn’t expecting to catch them.”

Chad Brown, trainer of Street Life (1:01.15): “I was looking for five-eighths in 1:01 and that’s exactly what he did. He worked very good. He galloped out good and came back with plenty of energy. I just want to maintain where he’s at. I wasn’t looking for more than that.”

Michael Matz, trainer of Union Rags (5f, 59.00, Fair Hill Training Center): “I’m glad Johnny [Velazquez] made the effort to come down and sit on him. Johnny seemed to like him and he seemed to do that easy enough.”

Ken McPeek, trainer of Unstoppable U (1:02.05): “I was more concerned with him switching to his right lead when they straightened up than I was with the time of the work. He really struggled in his last breeze switching leads and I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I’m going to tell you he’s probably 50-50 to run in the Belmont right now. I’m going to watch him the next few days; we don’t have to make a decision until Wednesday. I wasn’t thrilled with it. He hung on the left [lead] again to the eighth pole. For him to win the Belmont, he can’t do those kinds of things. It’s just a bad habit, and it’s really only popped up recently. We’ll see. We’ll give it a few more days and then make a decision. It’s probably going to be what I call an audible at the line of scrimmage.”