Stewart: maiden winners Forever d’Oro and Seeking the Soul training forwardly for Belmont
Edited Press Release
Trainer Dallas Stewart reported that recent maiden winners Forever d'Oro and Seeking the Soul have been training forwardly ahead of their stakes debuts in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11.
Separated by little more than 700 miles and just shy of an hour, Charles Fipke's homebreds joined the Triple Crown trail almost simultaneously on May 29 when Seeking the Soul beat a maiden special weight field by a neck at Churchill Downs and was followed 51 minutes later by Forever d'Oro at Belmont Park, who posted a nose victory in a maiden special weight.
Forever d'Oro, a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Forever Unbridled and Unbridled Forever, has remained in training at Belmont since his win last weekend, Stewart said, and put in a 1 1/4-mile gallop on Sunday morning, overseen at Belmont by Stewart's assistant Bentley Combs.
"Bentley said he was really good," Stewart said by phone from his Churchill Downs base. "It was what we wanted, nothing fancy, just basic gallops right now. We're coming back in two weeks and we want a healthy and fit horse. Hopefully, we'll be able to maintain his fitness.
“Tomorrow or the next day, we'll probably pick it up in his distance, pick up his speed in the stretch just a little bit but that'll be about it."
Churchill-based Seeking the Soul will join his stablemate on Tuesday, when he is scheduled to travel to New York along with stablemates Forever Unbridled, an expected contender for the $1 million Ogden Phipps (G1), and Tom's Ready, on point for the $500,000 Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
"I'm very happy with him," Stewart said of Seeking the Soul. "He's a real tough individual. He loves to train and he's tough around the barn for sure, but he's looked great (since his race)."
Belmont Stakes hopeful Governor Malibu came out of his Friday morning workout, in which he completed six furlongs in 1:13.42 at Big Sandy, in good order, according to trainer Christophe Clement.
"He's doing great," said Clement, who won the 2014 Belmont with Tonalist. "(He's) training forwardly and he had a nice work two days ago. The plan is to go to the Belmont with Joel Rosario aboard."
Destin and Stradivari walked the shedrow on Sunday, standard procedure for Todd Pletcher-trained horses on the second day after a workout. The pair jogged on the training track Saturday after putting in their final breezes for the Belmont Stakes on Friday.
Both horses will gallop on Monday. Pletcher generally trains his horses on the training track but said that he might opt for the main track early Monday morning provided the track condition is to his liking. Heavy rain is expected to hit the area Sunday afternoon into the evening hours.