December 6, 2022

Mohaymen highlights busy Belmont Stakes Festival worktab

Mohaymne at Churchill Downs preparing for the 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) (c) Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

A number of horses expected to take part in stakes during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, June 8-10, posted works on Sunday at Belmont Park.

Topping the worktab was multiple Grade 2 hero Mohaymen, who breezed a bullet, best-of-92, half-mile in :47.09 over Belmont’s fast main track. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained son of Tapit is readying for the $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on June 10.

“He got a little bit farther back than we wanted so it was hard to go by them,” McLaughlin said in reference to a pair of horses working in front of Mohaymen. “The two in front of him worked well. But he worked :47, so it was a fast work. He’s doing very well. He was happy after it. He’s doing well and we’ll have one more work and see where we’re at.”

Mohaymen captured Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) while finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1) and Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) last year. He closed out his sophomore campaign with a subpar 11th in the King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) in August and opened his four-year-old season with another fourth-placing, this time in the Westchester Stakes (G3) on May 6 at Belmont.

McLaughlin has Mohaymen scheduled to post his final breeze for the Met Mile either June 3 or June 4, depending on the weather.

Trainer Christophe Clement had some of his Belmont Stakes Festival runners on track Sunday, including Celestine.

The Scat Daddy mare breezed five furlongs in 1:01.18 on the main track ahead of a title defense run in the Just a Game Stakes (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day, June 10. She is two-for-two in 2017 after defending her title in the April 1 Honey Fox Stakes (G2) last out and taking the Sand Springs Stakes on March 4.

Celestine recorded splits of :36.20 and :48.40.

“I thought she looked very good this morning,” Clement said. “I was pleased with the work.”

Clement also sent out multiple Grade 3 scorer Pure Sensation to turn five-eighths in 1:01.93 and dual stakes winner Disco Partner to cover a half-mile in :50.44, both on the main track. The duo are scheduled to go in the $300,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G3) on Belmont’s turf course June 10, with Pure Sensation seeking a title defense and Disco Partner looking to improve on his neck second from last year.

“I’ve never worked Disco Partner or Purse Sensation on the turf,” Clement said. “I like to keep it consistent by working them on the dirt where it’s easier for me to judge their maintenance and see how they’re doing.

“I never worked Gio Poniti on the turf and he turned out OK,” Clement added with a grin.

Stakes winner Classic Rock is headed to the $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) on June 10 off a five-furlong bullet in :59.98 over the main track for trainer Kathy Ritvo. The sophomore son of Maclean’s Music is riding a three-race win streak that includes a four-length victory in the Roar Stakes on April 21 at Gulfstream Park.

“He looks like he’s on a good schedule,” Ritvo said. “He handled shipping really well, and he worked really nice this morning, nice and easy. He’s getting better all the time.”

Classic Rock targeted the San Vicente Stakes (G2) in February, but was sidelined with a virus.

“We had a setback this winter,” Ritvo explained. “We went out to California to run in the San Vicente and he ended up getting sick on us out there. We sent him home and brought him back to Florida when he got better, so he’s had 3 1/2 months between his last two races, but he’s won his last three going seven furlongs, so we’re here.”

Classic Rock will revisit the track next weekend, according to Ritvo.