Bobby Zen

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has plenty to look forward to at next month’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, with at least five trainees eyeing stakes engagements during the lucrative weekend.

Juddmonte homebred Batten Down (Tapit) is the latest addition to the prospective field for the GI Belmont S. with Mott confirming the 10-furlong test is next.

“I don’t know if he’ll get in or not–he’s only broken his maiden,” said Mott.

At fourth asking Apr. 30 at Aqueduct, the full-brother to the Mott-trained MGISP and current sire Tacitus drew off for an 8 3/4-length victory and was awarded a 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

“It was a spectacular ride by Junior Alvarado,” said Mott. “We were pleased to find out he handled the distance well.”

Batten Down worked Monday over Saratoga Race Course’s Oklahoma dirt training track, covering five-eighths in 1:02.55 with Alvarado at the helm.

“He’ll be in with a different group of horses, but the pace is usually different going a mile and a quarter than a mile and a sixteenth, so that leaves him closer [in longer routes] than the other types of races,” said Mott.

“It [the workout] was beautiful, and Junior worked him like poetry in motion. It was a beautiful piece of work.”


Krikorian’s Colors At Saratoga

George Krikorian’s Just F Y I (Justify) will be nominated to the GI DK Horse Acorn S. June 7 after a runner-up effort behind Thorpedo Anna (Fast Anna) in the GI Kentucky Oaks. The homebred had her first work back since the Oaks with a bullet half-mile solo in :47 flat on Monday.

“Yes, she was [sharp],” Mott said. “I think she’ll have a great year.”

Also slated to make an appearance upstate is Krikorian’s War Like Goddess, who returned to the work tab on Friday for the first time since scratching from the GIII Bewitch Apr. 26 at Keeneland. The daughter of English Channel withdrew from the race due to a cut on her leg, but returned to breeze a half-mile in :49.49 Friday.

Mott said the GI New York S. June 7 is the likely next target, but expressed his concern that the distance may prove too short for the expert marathoner.

“She’s doing well,” said Mott. “I guess the New York. It’s not her distance. I wish we had a race at the proper distance for her.”


Casa Creed | Sarah Andrew

No Jaipur For Casa Creed

MGISW Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) has contested the GI Jaipur for three straight years–and won in 2022–but will skip it in favor of the GIII Poker S.

The Jaipur was shortened by a half-furlong from its traditional six-furlong distance this year, leaving it at a distance the 8-year-old Jimmy Creed horse has contested just once in his 35-start career–a ninth in the 2022 GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Casa Creed was last seen finishing sixth in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan Racecourse in March.

“It was probably a wasted trip,” said Mott. “We’re looking at the Poker.”

While Casa Creed is out of the Jaipur, Mott will likely still be represented by stakes winner Sosua Summer (Summer Front). The 5-year-old looks to rebound from an off-the-board finish last out in the GII Shakertown S. at Keeneland Apr. 6.

“I can’t make any big excuses,” Mott said of the Shakertown. “He just didn’t really fire.”

The post Mott Stable Preps For Belmont Stakes Racing Festival appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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