By Dick Downey
Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, Tenfold breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 (27/42) under exercise rider Angel Garcia.
His splits were 12.60, 25.20, 37.20 and 49.40, and he was out six furlongs in 1:15.00 and seven in 1:28.80, per track clocker John Nichols.
“We were three-quarters of a length from where we needed to be in the Preakness,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He’s lightly raced, and his best races are ahead of him. I think he deserves the opportunity in the Belmont Stakes. I have nothing but respect for the field, not just Justify. It’s a very respectable field with a lot of ability. I think Tenfold is very talented and getting better at the right time.”
Winchell said that, being a son of Curlin, out of the Tapit mare Temptress, Tenfold can effectively get a mile and a half.
“Distance is well within his capabilities,” Winchell said. “We’ve got it on both sides of his pedigree.”
“I’ve had a lot of success with Curlin and Tapit offsprings,” Asmussen said. “They’ve also done very well in the last four or five runnings of the Belmont Stakes. Even though he’s lightly raced, I think Tenfold is very talented and getting better at the right time.”
Justify, Restoring Hope
Meanwhile, Justify continued his march toward the Belmont Stakes, galloping 1 1/2 mile under regular exercise rider Humberto Gomez.
“Every day he’s been training well,” trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes said. “He’s just full of energy and happy. We went 1 1/2 miles today, and it was pretty quiet with just a few horses on the track. He was really professional today. He’ll have one more gallop day tomorrow and I’ll let Bob take over and do his thing."
Restoring Hope, also in the Baffert barn, galloped about 1 1/2 mile under Gomez.
“Restoring hope is also doing good,” Barnes said. “He galloped well this morning and has been training forwardly.”
Free Drop Billy
Free Drop Billy galloped 1 1/2 mile for trainer Dale Romans.
Bravazo after walking Friday and breezing a mile in 1:42.60 Thursday. He jogged two miles for D. Wayne Lukas.