Wild About Deb joins Belmont Stakes mix

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 31st, 2016

After breezing six furlongs in 1:13.20 Tuesday morning, according to Churchill Downs’ clockers, Peter Pan (G2) third-placer Wild About Deb appears likely to contest the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11.

“It was a really good breeze,” trainer Phil D’Amato told DRF. “We got him in seven furlongs in 1:27. We’ll see how he comes out of it and go from there, but he gave us indications that the Belmont would be in his reach.”

Second when making his career debut at Del Mar in late November, Wild About Deb opened his sophomore season with a six-length maiden special weight tally at Santa Anita on April 9. He jumped straight to stakes company with a rallying third in the May 14 Peter Pan (G2) at Belmont Park.

By Eskendereya and out of a Smart Strike mare, Wild About Deb is bred to relish route distances and D’Amato said prior to the Peter Pan that he believes the 1 ½-mile Belmont trip will be to his colt’s advantage. Wild About Deb’s last two starts have come at 1 1/8 miles.

Peter Pan runner-up Governor Malibu is confirmed for the 148th Belmont but the winner, Unified, is being pointed toward shorter events.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is listing eight horses as probable as of Tuesday. Preakness winner Exaggerator heads the list and is expected to be a heavy favorite. The other probables are Brody’s Cause, Cherry Wine, Creator, Destin, Governor Malibu, Lani and Suddenbreakingnews.

Wild About Deb is listed as questionable along with Stradivari, a good fourth when making his stakes debut in the Preakness; and the maiden Trojan Nation, who finished a head second in the Wood Memorial (G1) before a 16th in the Kentucky Derby.