Carrot Farm's Epicharis received his anticipated release from quarantine late this morning, and stretched his legs atop the Belmont Park training track in route tonext Saturday's Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes. The UAE Derby runner-up entered the track in his private session roughly around 11:40 am, and calmly jogged a clockwise five furlongs before turning around to gallop a brisk seven furlongs. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara was pleased with the colt's first run on U.S. soil since arriving here on Thursday.
“It was just to check how he is here since arriving from Japan,” Hagiwara said through interpreter Soshi Inoue. “It looked like he's okay so it was good. Tomorrowhe will go a lot faster, and longer, but he's not sure if he'll go here or the main track.
The Japanese-bred son of Gold Allure was undefeated through four starts in Japan before finishing a nose behind Thunder Snow in the muddy UAE Derby on March 25. The Belmont hopeful has a legitimate shot, according to Hagiwara.
“He knows about the other horses in the race, but he's not sure about the race,” said Inoue. “He'll see how he goes. He's here to win the race so you tell me.”
Epicharis will be the first American starter for Hagiwara, who trains 55 horses in Japan.
Hagiwara isn't too familiar with the history of the Belmont, but when asked through his interpreter about any particular favorites of the historic classic he responded “Secretariat.”
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