Bobby Zen

Juddmonte homebred Batten Down (Tapit), a full-brother to multiple graded winner Tacitus, worked five furlongs in company in 1:01.09 (1/4) over the Oklahoma training track in Saratoga Monday, but trainer Bill Mott is still considering whether the sophomore will line up for the June 8 GI Belmont S.

Batten Down, with jockey Junior Alvarado up, went on the outside of stablemate Arthur’s Ride (Tapit) as NYRA clockers caught them through splits of :12.54, :24.80, :36.99 and through five-eighths in 1:01.99 before galloping out in 1:14.19 and 1:28.94. The pair stayed on even terms throughout with Arthur’s Ride, a 4-year-old allowance winner, a long head in front at the wire. Both horses wore blinkers for the work.

“I don’t know if I’m running in the Belmont–he had a nice work,” said Mott. “It couldn’t have gone better. He went with an older horse and they breezed nicely together. Junior was pleased with him, so [now] we decide where we go.

“Maybe we skip the Belmont and go to Ohio possibly,” Mott added, referencing the GIII Ohio Derby June 22 at Thistledown. “We’ve got to figure it out.”

With Alvarado aboard, Batten Down rolled to an 8 3/4-length maiden victory going 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs Apr. 30.

“I love him. He’s a very nice horse to be around and he’s a very kind horse,” Alvarado said. “He’s a little different in the afternoon and gets very aggressive and wants to go, go, go. But he lets you do whatever you want in the morning. Arthur is a good work horse and it was a very good pairing–beautiful and enjoying their work together.”

Batten Down ran with his head tilted slightly as he ran alongside Arthur’s Ride in the stretch, but Alvarado said it is not something that concerns him.

“He does that. When he gets a little in front or he’s about to pass a horse, he always likes to lean in and play around,” said Alvarado. “He’s always been that kind of horse, but we know that when it’s race time, he gets serious. He’s a totally different animal in the afternoon.”

Also on the tab Monday for Mott was GII Wood Memorial winner Resilience (Into Mischief), who posted his first work since finishing sixth in the May 4 GI Kentucky Derby. The bay colt worked alone through splits of :13.32, :26.29 and a half-mile in :50.45 (5/7) before galloping out in 1:04.20.

“I’m trying to figure out what’s next,” Mott said of a potential next start for Resilience.

Mott sent four-time Grade I winner Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) to work four furlongs in :48.02 (1/7) Monday. Working in company with 3-year-old maiden Timeout (Curlin), the 8-year-old went through splits of :12.87, :24.64 and galloped out in 1:01.25, according to NYRA clockers.

“He was very, very, very good,” Mott said of the veteran.

Owned by LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable, Casa Creed has made three straight starts in the GI Jaipur S.–including a win in 2022–when it was contested at six furlongs at Belmont Park, but will skip this year’s event at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with the race being run at 5 1/2 furlongs. He will instead aim for the one-mile GIII Poker S. on the Belmont S. undercard.

The post Batten Down Works, Still on the Fence for Belmont appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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