Kent Desormeaux to ride Exaggerator in lone Belmont work

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TwinSpires Staff

May 27th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Preakness winner Exaggerator will have his regular rider, Kent Desormeaux, aboard in his only major work at Belmont Park next week for the final jewel in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

“Nothing has changed with Exaggerator between yesterday to today,” trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux said Friday morning at Santa Anita. “He’s still cold and tight, and he only walked today (at Pimlico). He’ll train Saturday and go to Belmont Sunday. Next week I’m trying to decide whether to breeze on Saturday (June 4) or Tuesday (June 7)."

Keith had been mulling whether to have Aaron Gryder or younger brother Kent work Exaggerator, but decided on Kent.

“As I think about it,” he said, “we might as well get Kent there to work him. It will keep him busy, unless he’s got some plans that I don’t know about.”

Winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the Curlin colt finished second in the Kentucky Derby before turning the tables on Nyquist at Pimlico. Kent Desormeaux will be seeking his second Belmont Stakes victory after capturing the 2009 edition with Summer Bird.

Kentucky Derby winner and champion 2-year-old Nyquist remained on the road to recovery Friday from a fever that will prevent him from running in the Belmont Stakes and yet another meeting with Exaggerator, who handed Nyquist his first defeat in the Preakness after eight straight victories.

“I just got a text from Jack Sisterson (at Pimlico),” Doug O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora said Friday morning at Santa Anita. “He said Nyquist’s temperature is fine and normal for the second day in a row, his blood count is coming back to where it was and he’s eating normally, so we’re all very happy.”

O’Neill said Thursday Nyquist will return to Santa Anita a week from Sunday, June 5.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Holmes/.Equi-Sport Photo