Rebel’s Romance Posts Solid Work For Belmont Stakes

All four of trainer Charlie Appleby’s Godolphin-owned Belmont Stakes Racing Festival starters – Rebel’s Romance, Desert Peace, Summer Romance and Althiqa – breezed Saturday at Belmont Park.

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival runs from June 3 through Saturday, June 5, and is headlined by the 153rd running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.

The festival will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade 1s on Belmont Stakes Day, capped by the “Test of the Champion” for 3-year-olds in the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Triple Crown.

Group 2 UAE Derby-winner Rebel’s Romance, who is pointed to the Belmont Stakes, breezed on the fast main track in company with Grade 2, $300,000 True North hopeful Desert Peace.

The pair visited Big Sandy at 5:30 a.m. with Michael Metcalfe piloting a tracking Rebel’s Romance and Patrice Pot guiding the more forward Desert Peace. NYRA clockers captured the pair in 1:01.05 and out in 1:14.

“They went out early at 5:30 to try and get a good track. They worked six furlongs and the time was good. They’re getting better in their fitness,” said Appleby’s traveling assistant Sophie Chretien. “Rebel stayed at the back of Desert Peace, we didn’t want to ask him too hard. But he traveled much better than last time and went out seven-eighths.”

The breeze was a follow-up to the pair’s half-mile work in 50.54 on Wednesday on the Belmont main track.

“It’s normal for them,” said Chretien of the quick work back. “It was an easy first breeze and we need to carry on with the race in two weeks. They will go again Wednesday and after that we’ll see where we are.”

Summer Romance and Althiqa, who finished first and third last out in the nine-furlong Group 2 Balanchine on February 18 at Meydan, are targeting the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Just a Game, a one-mile turf event for older fillies and mares on June 5.

The fillies breezed six furlongs in company on the firm inner turf with Summer Romance [Metcalfe] tracking outside of Althiqa [Pot] and finishing up very strong in 1:14.20.

“The fillies went to the grass for the first time today and had a good, strong piece of work,” said Chretien. “They had a good blow. They needed it. I liked the way they moved on the grass. It’s been a dry week and the grass is good. They will go again next Saturday.”

Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith will have the call aboard Rebel’s Romance, Althiqa and Desert Peace, while Luis Saez will ride Summer Romance.

The post Rebel’s Romance Posts Solid Work For Belmont Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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