Destin, Governor Malibu breeze for Belmont Stakes
Edited Press Release
Destin, who is being pointed to the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), breezed five furlongs in 1:01.85 on the fast Belmont Park training track Friday morning in his penultimate work prior to the June 11 "Test of the Champion."
Sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last out, Destin would be returning to the site of his maiden win last October in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.
"He had a good breeze with a solid gallop out and seems to be in good form," trainer Todd Pletcher said of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner.
Christophe Clement trainee Governor Malibu, most recently second by three parts of a length in the Peter Pan (G2) two weeks ago, worked five furlongs on the fast Belmont main track Friday morning in 1:01:15 toward a possible start in the Belmont.
New York Racing Association clockers caught Governor Malibu in splits of :23.80 and :48.20 with a gallop-out time of 1:14.40.
Clement said he was impressed by the Malibu Moon colt's effort.
"It was a nice work. Joel Rosario was aboard and he looked well," Clement said.
"We are not sure at this point (as to his next start)," he added. "We are leaning toward the Belmont Stakes, but of course, nothing is certain."
Governor Malibu will continue preparations toward the Belmont Stakes with a five-furlong breeze either next Friday or Saturday, Clement said.
Destin and Governor Malibu are two of four early Belmont possibles currently at Belmont Park, along with the former’s stablemate and fourth-place Preakness (G1) finisher Stradivari as well as U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) victor and Japanese contender Lani, fifth in the Preakness behind Exaggerator, who is scheduled to arrive in New York on Sunday.
Other possible starters for the Belmont include Preakness runner-up Cherry Wine and his Grade 1-winning stablemate Brody's Cause, who are currently at Churchill Downs and expected to arrive at Belmont Park over the weekend; Grade 3 scorer and Kentucky Derby fifth-placer Suddenbreakingnews, who is scheduled to ship in Belmont week; and Arkansas Derby (G1) victor Creator, whose travel plans from Churchill have yet to be determined.
Wild About Deb, third in the Peter Pan,is questionable.
Destin photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography