by Kim Thomas
Remember our gray friend, DUNKIRK? Back in May, I blogged about the fact that he was purchased for $3.7 million as a yearling at Keeneland's September yearling sale, had a rather highbrow profile, and was being trained by Eclipse Award winner, Todd Pletcher. I gave great weight to the fact that he is out of the A.P. INDY mare and Grade I Kentucky Oaks winner, SECRET STATUS, and "even though he has not raced as much as the other Derby hopefuls, Dunkirk has all the marks of a brilliant horse destined for fame."
Today, I'm thinking, bless his heart, it's time for him to get over the fact that he has little experience, and run his little gray rump off to win the Belmont.
The latest news is that he is definitely running in the Belmont Stakes and put in a great workout last Sunday in preparation for what everyone and their brother feel necessary to name as the 'third jewel in the triple crown." The good word is that with the longest race of the triune trials looming before him, DUNKIRK breezed his workout (alongside another stakes winner, MONBA), with jockey John Velazquez aboard. Valazquez is on the card to ride DUNKIRK in Saturday’s race, however this will be the first time he has ridden in race atop the son of UNBRIDLED’S SONG.
Once highly touted DUNKIRK was the runner up to QUALITY ROAD in Grade I Florida Derby and is trained by Todd Pletcher, but he finished in 11th place in the the Grade I Kentucky Derby back on May 2. Pletcher believes the surface afforded in the Belmont will be kinder to the colt, however and that he is a top quality colt with terrific energy. Well, he's gonna need every ounce of that energy, plus the Thoroughbred equivalent of double shot of RedBull...which perhaps is a lil bit of alfalfa or something (legal) in his feed.
In my humble and not-at-all-expert opinion, DUNKIRK will need to make quite a rebound and draw on his reserves to have the endurance to finish in the money for the mile-and-a-half-long Belmont.
pray for peace, y'all,