Red Route One breezes for G1 Belmont Stakes
by NYRA Press Office
- Red Route One breezes for G1 Belmont Stakes
- Front Run the Fed to ship for G1 Jaipur
- G1-winner Sibelius to try Aristides over G2 True North
- Early look at probables for the G1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Kentucky homebred Red Route One posted a half-mile breeze in 50.85 seconds over the Belmont Park main track Monday in preparation for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 10 over Big Sandy.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, the chestnut son of Gun Runner worked solo under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. NYRA clockers caught him galloping out five furlongs in 1:04.
Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s Belmont-based assistant, said the work went well.
“It was good,” said Sheets. “He seems like he got something out of it.”
Red Route One, who will vie to provide Asmussen his second Belmont Stakes win after he saddled Creator to victory in 2016, was last seen finishing a closing fourth in the Grade 1 Preakness on May 20. He stalked moderate fractions in the Preakness and made a mild bid down the lane under Joel Rosario to come up 4 3/4 lengths shy of the victorious National Treasure, who is expected to breeze here Tuesday in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.
Red Route One has finished on-the-board in three graded events when second in the Grade 2 Rebel and Grade 3 Southwest this year at Oaklawn Park, and third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland as a juvenile.
Red Route One’s most recent trip to the winner’s circle came two starts back when posting a determined head triumph over possible returning Belmont Stakes rival Tapit Shoes in the nine-furlong Bath House Row on April 22 at Oaklawn.
Front Run the Fed to ship for G1 Jaipur
Following an impressive Keeneland allowance score in his 2023 debut, George Sharp’s Front Run the Fed will target the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur for 3-year-olds and upward going six furlongs on the turf on June 10 at Belmont Park. The Jaipur offers a "Win and You're In" berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in November at Santa Anita.
The 7-year-old son of Fed Biz displayed an impressive turn of foot in his last effort, chasing a torrid pace from 10th-of-11 down the backstretch and weaved his way through traffic in the stretch drive under Reylu Gutierrez to win by one length. The bay horse completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.23 and garnered a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.
Trainer Caio Caramori said Front Run the Fed puts in his best effort with time in between races. He made his 2022 debut off a nine-month layoff to win the Van Clief in July at Colonial Downs.
“He always runs well off a layoff,” Caramori said. “I like the way he’s coming into this race. We gave him plenty of time between that race and this race as well, so I’m expecting a big effort. The plan is to go for the Jaipur and then regroup after that.”
Caramori would ultimately like to point Front Run the Fed to the Grade 2, $1 million Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint on September 9 which is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” event. He finished a respective fourth and seventh in last two runnings of that event for Caramori and was second in the 2020 edition when conditioned by Chad Brown. Sharp purchased the six-time winner at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale for $440,000.
“The major objective is the million dollar race at Kentucky Downs. He loves that track so we’re trying to get there and get the best trip possible,” Caramori said. “We may come back to New York at some point again over the summer and then end up at Kentucky Downs and hopefully California for Breeders’ Cup at the end of the year.”
Gutierrez is expected to retain the mount for the Jaipur.
Caramori also nominated Code Runner to both the 12-furlong Grade 2, $250,000 Brooklyn on June 10 and the previous day’s Grade 2, $250,000 Belmont Gold Cup going two miles on the grass.
The 6-year-old Honor Code gelding, also owned by Sharp, was fourth in a 1 1/16-mile allowance event on Pimlico’s Preakness undercard on May 20. A four-time winner in 25 starts, Code Runner was sixth in both of his efforts on turf.
“He’s a horse that wants to go really long,” Caramori said. “It’s ambitious spotting, but I really do think this horse wants to go a mile and a quarter, mile and a half or even longer. We aren’t sure which one we’ll go in or even if we’ll go. We’ll decide a little closer to the race.”
Caramori added that Sharp’s Curry Larry and Mo could also ship up to run in a New York-bred allowance that same weekend. The Mo Town sophomore, bred by Hidden Lake Farm and Donna Bernhard, was a last out eighth in Horseshoe Indianapolis’ Caesars Handicap on May 17.
G1-winner Sibelius to try Aristides over G2 True North
Trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer said that last-out Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Sibelius will be entered in Saturday’s $225,000 Aristides, a six-furlong sprint for older horses at Churchill Downs, but will keep tabs on the Grade 2, $250,000 True North on June 10 here as a backup option.
"He's stabled here at Keeneland and it's only up the road. We'll have a look at the race and see what post position we get and how the race is shaping up,” O’Dwyer said. “If we like what we've got we'll run him there, but we'll still keep the True North in mind.”
Owned by Jun Park and Delia Nash, the 5-year-old Not This Time gelding is a perfect 2-for-2 this year, taking the Pelican in February at Tampa Bay Downs ahead of a rallying nose score over Switzerland in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
O’Dwyer, who was aboard Sibelius for a half-mile breeze in 50 seconds flat on Saturday at Keeneland, said the chestnut is thriving since returning from overseas.
"He's done great. We gave him some time off and let him relax and put all his weight back on,” O’Dwyer said. “We jogged him at Keeneland for a week and he was jumping out of his skin, so he went back to galloping. He's had three breezes since and his fitness level is good and his energy level is good. He's bright, happy and content. That's all we want. Happy horses run for you and he seems pretty happy right now."
O’Dwyer said he was pleased with the Saturday work.
"He's a fun horse to ride. I just wanted a smooth, relaxed breeze. If you put certain riders on him, he'll roll in 46 every time on the bridle if you let him,” O’Dwyer said. “I let him have a nice gallop out and get a bit of air in his lungs. We know he's a very fast horse, but we wanted to make sure that foundation is still underneath him.”
Sibelius boasts a record of 19-7-3-3 for purse earnings in excess of $1.6 million and O’Dwyer said the gelding’s form has improved not only with the addition of blinkers last spring here, but also through maturity.
“He was a bit shy. A bit insecure, I guess. We put the blinkers on him and they helped him and racing helped him,” O’Dwyer said. “He started getting more mature and more confident. He took a few good races before the penny dropped on what he was going to be. He just needed that racing experience to mature into the horse he is right now.”
Sibelius posted impressive Beyer Speed Figures last year through wins in the Lite the Fuse  at Pimlico and Mr. Prospector  at Gulfstream Park while racing forwardly, but he found a new dimension under Ryan Moore last out in Dubai.
“He missed the break and sat in behind a bunch of horses and he went down the inside,” O’Dwyer said. “Before that, I'd be telling you he'd need to be on the lead or close to the front and in the clear to run his best race. But that's one thing about horses, you can say one thing and they'll do another. They always keep you guessing.”
Bred in Kentucky by Taylor Brothers Properties, Pollock Farms and Patrick H. Payne et al., Sibelius is out of the Pulpit mare Fiery Pulpit, who is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Clamorosa.
Early look at probables for the G1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets
HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER / OWNER
Angel of Empire / Flavien Prat / Brad Cox / Albaugh Family Stables
Arcangelo / Javier Castellano / Jena Antonucci / Blue Rose Farm
Forte / Irad Ortiz, Jr. / Todd Pletcher / Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable
Hit Show / Manny Franco / Brad Cox / Gary and Mary West
Il Miracolo / Marcos Meneses / Antonio Sano / Alexandres
National Treasure / John Velazquez / Bob Baffert / SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan
Raise Cain / Junior Alvarado / Ben Colebrook / Andrew Warren & Rania Warren
Red Route One / Joel Rosario / Steve Asmussen / Winchell Thoroughbreds
Tapit Trice / Luis Saez / Todd Pletcher / Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable
Possible: Prove Worthy (Pletcher), Tapit Shoes (Cox)
The Belmont Stakes headlines the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival that features a total of 16 stakes events from Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10. For additional information on the 2023 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival and details on hospitality offerings, ticket packages and pricing, visit BelmontStakes.com.