O’Brien’s Turf Triple Contingent Tours Belmont’s Training Track In Advance Of Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Racing Festival

by | 07.04.2019 | 4:55pm
Aidan O'Brien, left, with owner Michael Tabor, could have a big day on Saturday at Belmont Park

Trainer Aidan O'Brien's Turf Triple contingent cleared quarantine at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., on Thursday morning and enjoyed a brief training session on the dirt training track.

The quartet, led by the vocal Blenheim Palace, included his fellow Belmont Derby contender Cape of Good Hope and the fillies Coral Beach and Just Wonderful, who will start in Saturday's Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational, part of the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival.

“They're all straightforward horses. They're good travelers and seem to be in good form,” said O'Brien.

Cape of Good Hope, a full-brother to world-travelling multiple Group/Grade 1-winner Highland Reel, graduated in April over 10 furlongs of good going at Epsom. After finishing fourth on June 2 in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, Cape of Good Hope followed up on June 20 with a an off-the-board effort in the Group 3 Hampton Court on soft turf at Ascot.

O'Brien said the soft ground last out was not to Cape of Good Hope's liking.

“It probably wasn't a plus for him. He seems to be a very good moving horse and he's come out of Ascot well,” said O'Brien. “We think he has enough speed for a mile and a quarter and probably would have enough speed for a bit less, so the mile and a quarter should suit him.”

Cape of Good Hope will leave from post 9 under Wayne Lordan.

Blenheim Palace, by Galileo and out of the Storm Cat dam Meow, is a full brother to stallion and four-time Group 1-winner Churchill. He will be piloted by Michael Hussey from post 11.

O'Brien's Oaks fillies include multiple group winner Just Wonderful, a bay daughter of Dansili out of the Montjeu mare Wading, who captured the Group 3 Flame of Tara Irish E.B.F. at the Curragh in September and two starts later was victorious in the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel at Newmarket. Just Wonderful, who comes from the same family as last year's Belmont Oaks-winner Athena, was eighth on June 21 last out in the Coronation at Ascot.

Wayne Lordan will ride Just Wonderful from post 6.

Coral Beach, a bay daughter of Zoffany, owns a record of 2-1-2 from 10 starts. She graduated in October at Cork when sprinting six furlongs and came back to beat the boys in October in the Group 3 Killavullan at Leopardstown.

On Saturday, the talented chestnut finished a strong second in the Group 3 Full of Surprises International at the Curragh over 1 1/4-miles of good going.

Michael Hussey has the call on Coral Beach from post 3.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram