Friday, December 02, 2022

Mo Donegal prepares for the Nest, We the People Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Belmont Stakes contenders Mo Donegal, Next and We the People all worked together in preparation for the Triple Crown’s third jewel of racing’s triple crown in two weeks on Friday.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Plechter used to work at Mo Donegal and Nest Company. Jose Ortiz was aboard the Nest and Mo Donegal was piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr. The Colts went five-furlong in 1:02.99, followed by an extended three-eighths gallop.

“The main thing I tried to emphasize to Jose and Irad was that I wanted a nice, steady, long gallop wind. I didn’t care about how quickly they went,” Plechter said.

The $1.5 million race will run on June 11.

Mo Donegal was fifth in the Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs after accidentally breaking off a rail. In his previous debut, the Colt defeated Preakness winner Early Voting in the Wood Memorial at the Aqueduct on April 9.

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The Nest finished second behind Secret Oath at the Kentucky Oaks on May 6. Plechter said that Nest has been bred for stamina, one of the reasons why the emphasis is on putting Nest at Belmont against the Colts.

We put in our final Belmont work on the Belmont main track, covering the half mile in 48.39 seconds.

“It was an easy half, very routine for him,” said trainer Rodolph Brissette, who rode him. “It was exactly what we were looking for. Just a maintenance job to put us in a perfect spot for next week. We like the way he’s acting and training here. He’s not an easy horse. And he feels that he is maturing at the right time.

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We established ourselves as a top contender for Belmont, with a 10 1/4-length victory at Peter Pan on May 14.

Kutcher at Winstar Farms and Sienna Farms may also be under consideration for starters in Belmont. Uncle Mo Colt with Florent Gerroux riding won the 1 1/4 mile allowance race for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill on May 22.

Brissette said Kutcher could also target the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 25.


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