McLaughlin provides updates, plans for stable stars
Returning to Belmont Park after visiting his stables at the Greentree Training Center in Saratoga over the weekend, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin discussed his group of possible starters set for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
Multiple graded stakes winner Frosted, who has not raced since returning from Dubai where he finished fifth in the Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 26, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 Friday. Pointing towards the $1.25 million Metropolitan H. (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day, the four-year-old returned from Dubai in good order according to McLaughlin and set to have one final work this week before the race.
"He's doing very well coming off Dubai," McLaughlin said. "We'll work him one more time next Friday. He's probably better going a little further [in distance] but the Met Mile is such an important race in terms of a stallion-making race that we decided we would run him there."
Frosted will lead McLaughlin's delegation for the Met Mile, which is now likely to include 2015 Godolphin Mile (G2) winner Tamarkuz, in his first start of the year. Last out, he finished in fourth in the Kelso H. (G2) on October 3.
"He's been training well," McLaughlin said. "He came up from Camden and has been working weekly, so we'll see where we're at off the long layoff. Like I said, the Met Mile is such an important race, so we want to give our horses the best opportunity to win it."
Marking, who finished fourth in this year's edition of the Godolphin Mile in Dubai in his most recent start, is also probable for the race.
In addition to McLaughlin's runners, the Met Mile is expected to attract a trio from Todd Pletcher in Anchor Down, Blofeld and Mshawish. Recent winner of the Pimlico Special (G3) Noble Bird is likely for Mark Casse, as is Razorback H. (G3) winner Upstart for Rick Violette and Sloane Avenue for Jeremy Noseda. Ami's Flatter is questionable.
Grade 1 winner Cavorting, who earned an impressive five-length victory in the Ruffian (G2) at Belmont on May 14, will be pointed for the Ogden Phipps (G1). Expected to attract a star-studded field of multiple graded stakes winners including Forever Unbridled, Curalina, Stopchargingmaria, and Carrumba. McLaughlin was looking forward to what likely will be a thrilling edition of the race.
"She'll [Cavorting] train once before, either Wednesday or Thursday because she trains aggressive and she's coming in fit. It's a stellar field and we're excited," he said.
Finally, McLaughlin added that multiple graded stakes winner and fourth-place Kentucky Derby (G1) finisher Mohaymen recently returned to Saratoga and has put on some weight since his start in the Derby.
"He's put on some weight -- 46 pounds, to be accurate, since the Derby," McLaughlin said. "He's settled in nicely. We think he's a special horse and in the Derby, he didn't break sharp but ran very well to finish fourth. We're looking to regroup and the goal is to first point for the [Grade 2] Jim Dandy [on July 30], with the ultimate goal the Travers [on August 27] to get him a Grade 1 win."