Four runners trained by the venerable Aidan O'Brien arrived at Belmont Park on Tuesday, each targeting a race on Saturday's Stars & Stripes card. According to drf.com, those four include Athena, Hunting Horn, Threeandfourpence, and Mendelssohn.
Expected to be entered in the G1 Belmont Oaks, Athena is a 3-year-old daughter of Camelot. She has just one win from nine starts on her resume, but was most recently third in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh, and before that, fourth in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Both Hunting Horn and Threeandfourpence are expected to line up for the G1 Belmont Derby. Hunting Horn is also a son of Camelot, and he was impressive last out to win the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot by 4 1/2 lengths. Threeandfourpence, an American-bred son of War Front, traveled stateside for the G2 American Turf on the Derby undercard, but was 11th of 14 that day. He rebounded to run fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and was eighth last out in the St. James's Palace at Royal Ascot.
Mendelssohn, of course, is the Scat Daddy half-brother to both Beholder and Into Mischief. Though the colt was last of the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field in his most recent start, he was extremely impressive on a dry dirt course in Dubai, blowing away the UAE Derby field by 18 1/2 lengths. As a juvenile, Mendelssohn made a successful foray to the States in winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
O'Brien laid out a plan in early June for Mendelssohn to make it to the Breeders' Cup Classic this fall at Churchill Downs: the colt is expected to start in the G3 Dwyer Stakes on Saturday, then target the Pennsylvania Derby before the Classic.
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