By Dick Downey
All the final workouts for the Belmont Stakes are in the books after Justify and Restoring Hope breezed this morning at Churchill Downs.
Justify was sent out first during the 7:30 training window for Belmont Stakes contenders. Under Martin Garcia, who flew in from California for the occasion, Justify worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 (8/14). He registered splits of 12.80, 24.80, 37:00 and 48.80. He was out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven in 1:27.20.
Justify's workout started at the half mile pole, thus ending at the seven-eighths pole midway through the first turn.
Restoring Hope was quick to follow Justify onto the track. The workout was described on live streaming video as a five-furlong move, but it was assigned a six-furlong time of 1:13.00. Splits were 12.60, 24.40, 36.20, 48.40 and 1:00.20. Restoring Hope was out seven furlongs in 1:26.40 and wasn't pulled up until he reached the track kitchen at the half-mile pole.
Florent Geroux will ride Restoring Hope in the Belmont, while Mike Smith will of course once again be on board Justify. Both horses are trained by Bob Baffert.
Both horses will walk the shedrow on Tuesday and are scheduled to be flown to New York on Wednesday.
Separate story to follow.