Japanese invader Epicharis was timed in 1:06 working five furlongs over Belmont Park’s training track on Tuesday, but the Belmont S. (G1) contender picked things up late in negotiating the final three furlongs in :37.
“He went good early,” trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said through interpreters. “He was good down the backstretch. I think it might be better to get some position behind some horses. He’s recovered from the long flight well, better than Dubai. So, he’s in good form.”
Epicharis was a narrowly beaten second to Thunder Snow in the U.A.E. Derby (G2) when last seen in late March.
Also working for the Belmont on Tuesday was Lexington (G3) winner and Preakness (G1) third-place finisher Senior Investment, who covered a half-mile ion the main track in :50.19 for trainer Kenny McPeek. Senior Investment got his opening quarter in :25.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.80.
“It was a simple half-mile, nothing complicated, just let him stretch his legs over the track,” McPeek said. “I think that horses need a little work over this racetrack before they run here and he handled it fine.”
Likely Belmont favorite Classic Empire, Multiplier, J Boys Echo, and Hollywood Handsome all arrived at Belmont from Kentucky on Tuesday.
“Everything is good. When he’s happy, he ships well,” assistant trainer Norm Casse said of Classic Empire, a narrowly beaten second in the Preakness last time. “The only time he didn’t ship well was the time he ran bad in the Holy Bull (G2).”
Peter Pan runner-up Meantime galloped on the Belmont main track early Tuesday morning, with trainer Brian Lynch noting a potential pace flow that might work in his horse’s favor.
“A win would be nice,” he said. “Real nice. Just to get a piece of it I’d be happy. My main thing is there is not a lot of speed in the race. He could be left alone, and lone speed is always dangerous.”