Exaggerator in high spirits after arriving at Belmont Park

Profile Picture:

TwinSpires Staff

May 29th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator left Pimlico at 8:08 a.m. (ET) Sunday morning and arrived in New York in good order early Sunday afternoon to continue his preparations for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 11.

Exaggerator, second in the Kentucky Derby (G1), won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown on May 21 by 3 1/2 lengths.

Accompanied by Julie Clark, assistant to California-based trainer Keith Desormeaux, Exaggerator stepped off the van from Pimlico Race Course just after 12:20 p.m. The dark bay son of Curlin examined his surroundings and made a few laps around the walking ring outside his barn, exhibiting a few displays of the high energy for which he's known.

"That's him mellow," Clark joked.

Exaggerator is expected to get his first glimpse of Big Sandy Monday morning, Clark said, with a light gallop over the 1 1/2-mile main track. It will be his third time back on track since his 3 1/2-length victory in the Preakness, in which he finally defeated his longtime rival, the then-unbeaten Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Nyquist.

"We usually walk two days after a race, and then we walk on Tuesdays and Sundays and put in another walk day, just to make it more exciting for the hotwalkers," Clark explained.

Exaggerator will be making his sixth start of the year in the Belmont and, including his second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, his third start in five weeks. That feat has left the fast-recovering colt no worse for wear, according to Clark.

"By Sunday (after the Preakness), he was squealing and on his toes, and by Monday he was a handful," she said. "He doesn't notice when he runs, it seems. That factor comes right back."

Also expected to arrive for the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown later this week are the Dale Romans-trained duo of Brody's Cause and Cherry Wine, who are scheduled to ship from Churchill Downs on Tuesday to join already Belmont-based contenders Destin, Stradivari, Governor Malibu and Lani.

Blue Grass (G1) victor Brody's Cause, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby, worked Saturday morning at Churchill, breezing an official mile in 1:42. Preakness runner-up Cherry Wine was caught breezing an easy half-mile in :49.60.

"They're in good shape, they came back well," Romans said of his workers on Saturday morning. "I just wanted to see that they had their energy and were moving good. They're both good horses and one's coming off 1 1/4 miles and the other off of 1 3/16 miles, but you've got to teach them to go a mile and a half. My plan was to get the hard work done and then freshen them up before the race."

In other Belmont Stakes news, trainer Steve Asmussen said Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Creator is scheduled to work Monday morning at Churchill before shipping plans are finalized. The son of Tapit, who finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby, last breezed on Monday at Churchill, clocking five furlongs in 1:02.

Grade 3 winner Mo Tom, eighth most recently in the Kentucky Derby, will bypass the Belmont Stakes and point instead to the $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 25.

Exaggerator photos courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography