Belmont-Based Rodriguez Eyeing Churchill Downs Races: ‘The Horses Are Ready To Run’

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who is currently caring for a stable of 55 horses, said he is keen to get back to business at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., where the spring/summer meet is under delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Live racing was last conducted on the NYRA circuit on Sunday, March 15 at Aqueduct.

“This is our livelihood and we can’t keep just training the horses up. The horses are ready to run,” said Rodriguez. “We’re following all the protocols and taking precautions. We’ve been washing our hands, wearing face masks and trying to do everything we can to stay safe.”

Rodriguez sent out stakes winners Water White (1:02.23) and Not That Brady (1:02.36) to breeze five furlongs Wednesday on the dirt training track at Belmont.

E.V. Racing Stable’s Water White, last out winner of the Busher Invitational on March 7 at the Big A, has worked steadily for the veteran conditioner.

Bred in Kentucky by Richard Forbush, the 3-year-old Conveyance gray graduated at third asking in November at Aqueduct ahead of a fifth in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at nine furlongs in December. She followed up with a five-wide second in the 1 1/8-mile Busanda in her seasonal debut in February ahead of her Busher breakthrough.

Rodriguez said he is considering entering Water White in the $100,000 Tepin, a one-mile turf test slated for May 23 at Churchill Downs.

“Right now, I’m taking a look at the condition book for Churchill Downs. Our owners have been very patient,” said Rodriguez. “She (Water White) is training very well right now. I’ll nominate her to the Tepin and see. She’s ready to go.”

Rodriguez said he would also consider the Grade 1 Acorn, a one-mile test for sophomore fillies, currently scheduled for June 6 at the delayed Belmont meet.

Not That Brady, co-owned by Rodriguez with Michael Imperio, Lianna Stables, and R. A. Hill Stable, made his name with a victory in the 2018 Damon Runyon.

Bred in New York by KatieRich Farms, the Big Brown chestnut finished second in the 2019 Grade 3 Withers and was a pace-setting fifth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial. After stepping off the Kentucky Derby trail, he would finish second in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes in July, but was off-the-board in his final three starts of his sophomore season.

Rodriguez said Not That Brady had throat surgery during his time off following a fifth-place finish in the Empire Classic in October at Belmont. The popular chestnut resumed training in April where he has breezed four times.

“He’s doing good. He had throat surgery to improve his airways and hopefully that will help him,” said Rodriguez. “We’ll see how he comes back. When we open here, he’ll be ready to run.”

Mr. Shortandsimple, who was off-the-board in the Grade 3 Withers in February, bounced back with a good second in a starter-optional claiming event in March at the Big A that garnered a career-best 71 Beyer Speed Figure. Owned and trained by Rodriguez, the veteran conditioner breezed the Kentucky-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile five furlongs in 1:04.01 on May 6 on the Belmont Park dirt training track.

Rodriguez said Mr. Shortandsimple is likely to make his next start in allowance company in Kentucky.

“He ran a pretty good race last time,” said Rodriguez. “I’m looking at a couple of races at Churchill for him. I’ll enter and take a look. He has been breezing very well..”

Rodriguez said Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger, a grey son of Mission Impazible bred in the Empire State by Sequel New York, Twin Creeks Racing and Pamela Zielinski, is currently taking time off on the farm. The talented sophomore boasts a trio of stakes wins includes scores in the Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes and the Notebook and Damon Runyon at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The post Belmont-Based Rodriguez Eyeing Churchill Downs Races: ‘The Horses Are Ready To Run’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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