May 18 NOTE: American Pharoah was given a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for the Preakness. Must have been difficult to assign a figure, given that the track was nothing like it was during preceding races on dirt.
May 17 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “We’re going to fire another one at him. We’ll try a new bullet next time. We’re hoping to run Conquest Curlinate in the Belmont. He was just second in the Peter Pan and second in the Illinois Derby. He’s a tough horse. We may take a run at him there.”
May 17 NOTE: Today at Belmont Park, Mubtaahij breezed five on a firm inner turf track in 1.01:11 ( 1/23). "Doesn't matter if they're turf, poly, or all-weather, we'll gallop them on the turf," said assistant trainer Trevor Brown. "We just get a little more out of them galloping on the turf as opposed to working on the dirt. On the dirt, they can come out a little stiff. As for the turf, it's kinder on their legs."
May 17 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes: American Pharoah, Carpe Diem, Frammento, Frosted, Keen Ice, Madefromlucky, Materiality, Mubtaahij, Tale of Verve.
May 17 NOTE: On May 16, Materiality breezed four furlongs in 49:03 (5/24) at BEL.
May 15 NOTE: Today at Churchill Downs, Keen Ice breezed five furlongs in 1.01:80 (12/20). Up at Belmont Park, Frosted breezed four furlongs in 47:64 (1/31), besting a move by Classy Class by over two seconds. The latter one was timed in 49:65 (15/31).
May 12 NOTE: Materiality declared out of Preakness consideration, trainer Pletcher saying two weeks was not enough time, and look for him in the Belmont Stakes.
May 10 NOTE: Today at Churchill Downs, just eight days after the Kentucky Derby, Mubtaahij breezed four furlongs in :49.40 (11/39) with fractions of 12.60 and 24.40. He galloped out five furlongs in a slow 1:05.60. He ships to New York on May 12. “We’ll have to be (closer in the early going in the Belmont),” assistant trainer Trevor Brown said of Mubtaahij. “It has a shorter home stretch, and we’re going to have to be closer and sharper. American horses are a lot sharper out of the stalls in the first two furlongs than we are. We’ll have to sharpen up a bit. I don’t know if he handled the run on the rail; I would have liked for him to be a little more out.”
May 10 NOTE: Trainer McLaughlin said today he is "hopeful" Frosted will make his next start in the Belmont Stakes on June 6. The trainer said the colt exited his fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby in good shape and that his status for the Belmont Stakes will be resolved in the near future.
May 9 NOTE: Still galloping and said to still be under consideration for the Preakness. Trainer Pletcher said of Materiality, “He looks as good as he can look. He hasn’t missed a beat since he came back. His appetite has been excellent, his energy level’s been good, he’s been galloping really well. I’ll talk to the connections and make a decision here soon.”
May 9 NOTE: Post race comments after Madefromlucky won the Peter Pan: Todd Pletcher: "The Belmont Stakes is something we'd talked about a while back. We felt he would keep going and going and going. We wanted to find out where he fit, and the Peter Pan has historically been a good prep for the Belmont. He earned his way in if he comes out of this well and trains accordingly."
Javier Castellano: "I had a beautiful trip behind the speed horses; there was a good pace in the race. My horse settled beautifully off the pace and turning for home I had a clear trip. He did it the right way, switching leads at the right time and finished well." Is he a Belmont Stakes horse? "I think so. The way he did it today, why not? He finished very well; he finished strong and galloped out strong. I think it was a perfect prep for the Belmont. Now it's up to the owner and trainer."
May 6 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said of Materiality, “I was very pleased with the way he finished. I was obviously disappointed with the start of the race. It kind of left him in a position where he had too much to do turning for home. I thought he ran very well. It’s kind of frustrating to think what may have been had he gotten off to a better start. But he came out of it very well. He proved his class anyway.”
May 6 NOTE: We have highlighted what we believe is the most important part of this quote about Mubtaahij. After the Kentucky Derby, trainer de Kock said Mubtaahij would get a break from racing. The trainer said posted on his website on May 5, “After Saturday’s Kentucky Derby we had some time to reflect on his performance. We watched the race replay, spoke to some people and got opinion. Mubtaahij ran a decent race and his owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum agreed that his run was good enough to keep him here for a tilt at the Belmont. Going for the Preakness with Mubtaahij will be hard. He will be up against the first three past the post in the Derby, the race is two weeks away and is run over 100m shorter than the Derby. The Belmont Stakes suits us best. Mubtaahij will see out the 2400m, we have more than a month to prepare him. Mubtaahij will be more settled and he’ll be better for it, he’ll come on from his Derby run.”
May 6 NOTE: Pointing to the Belmont Stakes: Frammento, Frosted, Keen Ice, Mubtaahij, Tale of Verve.