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Posted by on 5/28/2014 8:38:39 PM

The Belmont Stakes hopefuls are still taking shape but we are starting to get a clearer picture of the line up for June 7 and online sports betting site players will not have Intense Holiday to kick around.

He was working in company with stablemate Commissioner on Sunday and they recorded a 1:00.77 time for 5 furlongs. Unfortunately, Intense Holiday suffered a condylar fracture and will have surgery.

Intense Holiday was coming off a 12th in the Kentucky Derby and the Todd Pletcher student could race another day.

His trainer had this to say about both of his horses, Todd Pletcher: “It’s not life-threatening and I don’t think it’s career-ending. It’s particularly frustrating because after the Derby we ran all the tests and everything indicated he was healthy and ready to move forward.”

As for his other trainer Commissioner, the Belmont distance should suit him, Pletcher: “ I thought Commissioner breezed very well. He was traveling well throughout and willing; he seemed to be getting over the surface well and wrapped up good. He did everything you hoped he would do. I think the longer he goes, the better. We’re looking forward to the distance.”

Commissioner has only won twice but he has been troubled in 2 of his outs and recently chased Tonalist in the Peter Pan. This race bobbled at the break in New Mexico and never got to show his best stuff. Lack of speed a concern but there should be a legit pace in the Belmont to help the cause. The blood is there for this runner to thrive, as half brother Laugh Track was Grade 1 place, successful in a Grade 3 and an earner of over $550,000.

The racer that Commissioner just was 2nd to could be the ‘wise guy horse’ in the Belmont.

Tonalist was closing ground when wide in his debut last year. Put away until January, he came back with a vengeance going from mid-pack to first and then extending to earn the diploma going away.

Versatility is one of his better assets. He came from left field for the diploma but won the Peter Pan virtually wire-to-wire. He was on the Triple Crown trail but had foot issues and was stopped on, wisely.

You can’t go in this game or any sport without wheels and Tonalist’s wheels are fragile. His trainer explains, Christophe Clement: “You just have to keep on eye on his feet. He’s got a weakness on his feet, he lacks a bit of a wall, nothing bad. It’s not a major issue; it’s a small deal. We’re just trying to help him as much as we can.”

Bred for stamina on the top, Tonalist’s dam only won once but it was a route. His lone sibling won nearly $200,000 in the minor leagues and excelled routing. And the horse that beat him in his February finale returned to win the Florida Derby.

Another thing Tonalist has going for him is that he is relatively fresh and the Beyer Speed Figures are going in the right direction.

Things for the Belmont Stakes are getting clearer, but forecast still is a bit cloudy.



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