- Contingent of California Chrome challengers to breeze this weekend at Belmont
Several of the horses who are slated to challenge California Chrome in the 146th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 7 are scheduled to breeze this weekend at Belmont Park.
Robert Evans' Tonalist, a four-length winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan on May 10 at Belmont, likely will breeze tomorrow at 6 a.m. on the main track, according to trainer Christophe Clement.
"Tomorrow or Sunday, most likely tomorrow," said Clement. "First set, only if the track is good. If not, we'll wait until the next day."
Tentatively scheduled to breeze on Sunday are Wicked Strong, Samraat, Commissioner, and Intense Holiday.
Centennial Farms' Wicked Strong won the Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial in April at Aqueduct Racetrack before finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Jerkens said Wicked Strong probably will make his next breeze on Belmont's training track.
"He'll probably go Sunday, but I don't know how far," said Jerkens. "I have to think it over, but most likely on Sunday."
Samraat, a My Meadowview Farm homebred, has finished one spot behind Wicked Strong in his past two starts, reporting home second in the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial and fifth in the Derby. He is currently based at Aqueduct, but trainer Rick Violette said he is leaning in favor of taking him to Belmont to breeze on Sunday.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner, second in the Peter Pan, and Starlight Racing's Intense Holiday, 12th in the Derby, remain on schedule for Sunday breezes, according to Byron Hughes, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher.